Tagβ€”-You’re It!

Miles and miles and miles, 314 in all of nothing

So, what do you do to overcome boredom–selfies!

And, handlebar tag! Steve and Ziggy’s new challenge of tapping grips. Let’s all just pray they don’t end up having a yard sale along the road!

They made it to the halfway point today. They are all looking forward to the rest day in Sturgis. You can’t tell it from their enthusiasm or the pace they walk, but you can see the glimmer of hope in all their eyes of all day off WITHOUT having too many motorcycle repairs to get done that day.

The guys finished up in Steamboat Park along the Missouri River in Pierre, SD yesterday to an awesome prime rib sandwich meal. During the bike display, they noticed that Justin had a crack on his exhaust manifold on the front cylinder. Repairs were made and they are going to keep a close eye on it. They may half to switch out a cylinder in Sturgis. (That glimmer is fading)

Ziggy had to repair his taillight.

Jared polished on his and completed maintenance He also stretched out and made some calls.

The vise got used again

Tomorrow will take them through the Badlands National Park, Mt Rushmore, through the town of Deadwood and finishing in Sturgis. 294 miles in all and then a day off before the last half of the race.

A few pictures of them leaving yesterday morning.

Some of my scenery pictures

Feeling 🐸 Froggy

The guys had a long day. They had a fuel stop with no fuel and a food stop at lunch with no food by the time they got there

Riders were a little panicked. Chris Tibbey rolled in and was out of fuel. Steve saw guys along the road closeby from the Iowa DOH and he went and borrowed fuel from them and gave it to Chris to get him on his way.

This evening, about three miles out Steve’s fuel line broke and he borrowed a piece of hose from Ziggy to fix it. The guys all left him to get in on time themselves as they were cutting it close. Justin rolled in first, then Jared, followed by Ziggy. Then Steve arrived with minutes to spare. Full miles again.

Indian hosted dinner this evening, gave factory tours and all the Indian riders were given a bell.

This morning when Justin got his Ace sticker for completing all his miles he cut it in half and gave one half to Clint

However, when the guys were servicing their bikes this evening Jared caught a toad and snuck it into Steve’s saddle bags. A little while later when I was filling bottles with marvels, I asked Steve for his bottles. Sure enough, when he opened the bags, the toad jumped out and hit Steve in the face and he just about had a heart attack. He ran out in the parking lot fussing and cussing while the boys were all but on the ground laughing so hard πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚. Everyone lived to ride another day!

Running on Fumes

The guys left Bourbonaise, IL and headed to Anamosa to the National Motorcycle Museum. Fingers were crossed that everything was up and in good shape for the day’s ride.

Riders are starting to run on fumes themselves. As I walked down the hallway, I heard Peter Arundel say to me, “too many hotels and too many room numbers, I can’t remember mine here!” I chuckled and agreed with him as I headed to mine. I walked down the hall and when I came to 328, I saw that I hadn’t even made sure it was shut earlier and headed in to hear the alarm clock going off. I stopped short…..we never set the alarm in our rooms, we just use our cellphones. I grabbed my room card out of my pocket and looked at the number.. …338! Oops! And I chuckled again as I remembered Peter’s remark.

That evening, we arrived at the finish line just as Class 3 bikes were starting to arrive. I hadn’t heard anything, so no news is good news on the Cannonball! Ziggy came in first followed by Jared, Doug and Kelly. They said that Justin’s bike had blown a dome nut and there was about 20 riders searching the sides of the roadway to help him try to find it. No luck, he was going to have to wait on the sweep truck. An officer stopped while they were searching and asked if he could help. Doug told him if he could get the DOH to mow the sides of the roadways that would be a big help for the guys that rode old motorcycles.πŸ˜‰

Then they realized that Clint’s power plus was already on the sweep, so dome nut crisis averted. He “borrowed” one of Clint’s when it arrived on the rolling NAPA store, (aka sweep truck) put it in before his repair time ran out and continued on his way. He was behind and went over his embedded “45 boys” limit and arrived in time on just fumes in his tank!!! Full miles today!

According to Bruce, when they come up on a rider, he gets out and lights a flare and tells the rider they have until the flare goes out to get their bike running or they get put on the sweep truck. He says you should see the panic in their eyes and the frantic pace they work. πŸ˜†

Steve was about a half mile out when he got a flat tire. He limped it into a Casey’s Fuel Mini Mart and put air in, to no avail. When Doug, Jared and Ziggy found out where he was about 2 blocks away they took off to push him across the finish!!! Before they could get there, he came in on the flat! WhooHoo! Another perfect day for the Pride Runner!

Since they were done for the day, I sweet talked Bruce to haul Steve and Justin’s bike from the finish to the motel. (Although it did cost me a beer AND a picture of Steve and his bike on the sweep trailer.) DONE!!!

He just looks too darn happy!

The guys completed maintenance, replaced Justin’s dome nut, and Steve repaired his flat tire and his license plate that broke in half. Justin also took his gas tank off and tightened it up.

Look at that tube or what’s left of it! Everyone came by and cut pieces off it to put in their saddlebags for shims. πŸ˜ƒ

Here’s Justin making sure his tank is full last night.

Our friends from Davenport, Carl and Toni Temple came to see us. Carl helped Steve change his flat. Thanks Carl! Great to see you guys!

Tomorrow the guys will ride and end up at Spirit Lake at the new Indian Motorcycle Factory.

A Hot Mess

When we arrived in Bourbonaise, Illinois at 1:30 on Wednesday, I was excited. I wanted to check into our rooms and sneak in a nap since we had worked until 2:42 am on Justin’s bike. No such luck, the cranky desk clerk said absolutely no check in before 3 pm. So I went out to the parking lot, pulled out a lawn chair and worked on the previous blog post. At 3:20, still no rooms. Finally, at 4:15, success! Three rooms and I lugged all the luggage to rooms to discover that I had no sheets on my bed. Well, I just figured they were still being laundered because of how late our check ins took. No big deal.

Jared, Ziggy and Steve made it in with full miles as did Doug and Kelly. Justin’s bike was running great and then it just quit. Another mag issue. Steve and Justin tried to fix it along the road, but no success.

Back to my story, Steve wanted to go to the room around 6, and you guessed it, still no sheets! We called housekeeping, instead of the front desk, and we immediately had sheets! Hurray!

The guys went to work. Jared completed his nightly maintenance and polished his up and then helped the rest of the crew.

Justin’s bike went on the lift and the cam cover came off.

Here’s what was left of the woodruff key holding the mag gear on.

Here’s the ring it made on the cam cover. Apparently, when Steve put the mag gear on the night before, the woodruff key wasn’t set right and once it worked itself out….trouble. So they cleaned the cam chest up and went to put a new woodruff key in. But…Steve dropped it and since it was getting dark, they had to get another one out. Justin and Jared laughed at him and told those around that “that’s what old guys do at night, look for their woodruff keys!” 🀣🀣🀣🀣

They timed it and buttoned it back up.

Jared reworked and then made a piece to fix Justin’s rear brake again!

Ziggy’s bike needed the neck tightened up and the rear stand welded again. His gas tank needed some work too.

Steve changed his oil and routine maintenance.

So everything was set and ready to head to the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa on Thursday.

Here’s where you just can’t make this stuff up. Steve and I went to our room. He washed the worst of the grime off with his powder hand cleaner, started the shower, hopped in, and then yelled for me. I walked in and their was water splashing off the toilet lid, across the floor and clean over to the sink. He says to me, “what am I going to do?” I squealed, “shut the shower curtain, you’ve got water everywhere!” He replied, “what shower curtain?” I looked at both ends of the shower and then back at him. We both busted out laughing as I grabbed all the towels we had (except mine) and threw them on the floor🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣. Later on, he called the front desk to tell them that he didn’t expect to be billed for a shower curtain because we didn’t have one! πŸ˜†πŸ˜† They offered to bring one right up and he told them he didn’t need one now, but they might want to bring a mop when they came to clean the room in the morning. Never a dull moment, with my hot mess! 😜

You heard it here first β€”support crew fired!

It started out like a typical Cannonball morning, the guys rode over to the Holiday Inn Express to pick up their route maps for the day and I went to check out. When I came back out…

They were working on Justin’s rear brake linkage. They got a quick repair completed before they had to leave and will work on it more tonight.

But he didn’t need to worry too much about them as he started his day with bigger problems. At about mile 20, he ran out of gas ⛽️ That is correct, I said gas at only mile 20. And, since he wasn’t carrying any with him, he had to wait until Steve showed up with the gas he carries. Well, here’s where the story gets a little sticky. You see the day before was a rain delay and the day before that his magneto bit the dust, so best guess is that he was last fueled the morning of day 3. Now, at the end of day three they worked until the rain started changing his magneto with the bike on the lift. So….. when I was filling bottles with zinc, marvels, two stroke oil, packing gatorades, slim Jim’s and crackers in saddle bags (you know, the important stuff) and then making sure bikes were fueled, covered up, locked up, maps were out of map boxes….oh, and making sure tools were wiped down, put back in their specific spots and locked up…… I, may have forgotten to make sure Justin was fueled up. So, I was fired! You got it, I fired myself.

Therefore, when 4 of my grandkids showed up at Bowling Green, OH, I was free to play with them. (You see any ulterior motives here 😜)

The cheering squad and I spent a couple hours in the hotel room while everyone else was out working on bikes 🏍. They took turns practicing their flips and somersaults on Mipa’s bed and cracked up at Mima’s one and only somersault. (I’m gonna feel that one for days)

Once they left, I wandered back outside. Repairs galore!

During yesterday’s ride Justin’s clutch basket assembly came off. The nut holding it to the transmission came off the shaft. His rear brake linkages twisted again and needed repair. He couldn’t get it into third gear, so they decided to switch out transmissions. Ziggy’s rear stand broke and needed welded together. Jared needed to polish up his fuel tanks. Tavis and I took the shin guards back off the Pride Runner so Steve could stretch his legs tomorrow and the engine could get a little more air. They serviced and fueled up. Thank heavens more troops showed up for moral support! (Ryan Allen). Then they discovered that Justin still couldn’t get it into third with the new tranny so they tore into the shifting linkages and decided to make a jockey shifter and new linkage to make that work. Finally, at 2:42 this morning we made it in to get ready for bed! What a night! As Steve went to clean his dirty, greasy, filthy hands, he thought that he had left his Matco super duty hand powder, but I came to his rescue with the bottle I had found on the “last check” at the previous motel room. He was exhausted and so glad he didn’t have to go back to the van for gojo!!!! He said, “what would I do without you!” So, I’m rehired!!!! Sometimes it pays to sleep with the boss. 😘

After a couple hours sleep, they were up and made a new and improved shifter linkage this morning before cutting it close to pick up their

The guys are headed to Bourbonaise, Illinois today.

Here’s Jared and Steve checking in last night with all their miles .

Doug #88 and Kelly #24 have made every mile as well.

Rain Delay

This morning, riders woke to heavy rain and Jason Sims delayed the start until he got a road report from the early crew that leaves around 3 or 4 am to run the route to make sure of road conditions. They reported flooding, gravel in the road, washouts, let alone the heavy downpour of rain. Plus, the fact that they were calling for lots more rain, they decided to call it for the day. Riders trailered their bikes and rode with support crews to Jamestown, NY. They were instructed to report into the Jamestown HD at 4:00 pm and stay until 6:15 for the Parc Ferme’ in order to get full points for the day. Thankfully, the rain quit about an hour outside of Jamestown, so it was a nice evening. We got to chat with the owner and learn about their shop’s history.

Here’s some pictures loading up this morning.

Once we got to the motel, bikes were unloaded and the hillbilly clothesline was strung.

Here are some shots at the Jamestown HD.

Here are the guys leaving this evening

There seemed to be a lot of strange events…. this crew looks to be plotting something

And I have no idea what the reason for this is as Rick is riding an Indian Ace so he’s a member of the tribe. Bartek from Poland took this πŸ˜‚. I’m not sure if he’s trying to whisper sweet nothings in his ear or kiss him. πŸ˜‰

These guys are always up to something and are a fun, easy going group. I’m having a blast on my first Cannonball!

Here are a few pictures of New York scenery.

Tomorrow, the riders will ride 273 miles and go to Bowling Green, Ohio. It will be the longest day to date so hopefully the tribe will hang tough.

Tonight’s to do list included working on Justin’s front brake hub and his rear fender mounting, tightening up his chain, along with routine maintenance. Jared tightened up his chain as well. Ziggy worked on his clutches and brakes again.

Yes, the heat from an Indian will melt Kevlar, so Steve is switching back to his leather chaps that have been on the last three Cannonballs.

There are three things that all who do the Cannonball must learn ….1-Patience, 2-patience and 3-patience!!!! So, remember support crews, patience with those around you. There seemed to be the start of grumbling about those not packing up soon enough. Everyone packs up at a different pace, but we’re all headed to the same next town. It’ll be ok. Patience!

Moose Sighting

Well, look what I finally saw —- yes, a MOOSE! Apparently, I’d been looking in all the wrong places. 😜

A cool overcast start to day 2 which took the guys from Keene, NH to Binghamton, NY kept them snuggled in their gear and gave them a taste of what’s to come.

The guys got to make a stop at Hemmings in Bennington, VT. As the day progressed it took its toll on many bikes and left their riders becoming a part of sweep crew. Justin dropped a magneto at mile 71.5, but they worked until almost 11:00 last night and changed it out. It would have been sooner but Steve inadvertently set it 180 degrees out of time. Oh well, they didn’t have anything else to do at the Hilton πŸ˜‚

Jared and Ziggy came in first with Steve only minutes behind on the Romney Middle School Pioneer Pride Runner. Doug also made it and Kelly made it 7 minutes late. Which wasn’t bad considering his bike caught fire after a gas line broke. Thankfully, Jason and a few others got their fire extinguishers out (which they all carry for safety) and took care of them flames which were up over Kelly’s waist before he was able to get off. He cleaned it up alittle, repaired the line, and kept riding. Way to go Kelly!

The guys said the Vermont and New York roads were tougher than New Hampshire. Jared’s handlebars shook loose and the welds and had to be tacked back.

Ziggy had to adjusted all his linkages, brake and clutch. He checked his valve clearances and plugs, then serviced.

When Justin made it in they went to work.

Jared and I added the shin guards to the Pride Runner and fueled Steve’s bike up and he was good.

It was just starting to sprinkle when they finished up and it’s calling for rain for the next two days. 😞

Those signs should say Squirrel Crossing

NH Squirrels 999/Dee Dee 1

That’s the count! Good heavens, I have never in my life seen so many squirrels as I did in New Hampshire. They were darting in and out of traffic and it was quite entertaining to see. I remember that Super Bowl commercial from a few years ago with the cars wrecking and the two squirrels doing the high 5. Well, that was me…..doing the high 5 when the little sucker came out of nowhere. Got him! There I was gawking and lolligagging (as I tell my grandkids, when they’re not paying attention) looking for moose in all the marshy areas and at all the moose crossing signs, when he met his demise. Unbelievably, I actually counted 9 roadkill squirrels in a 1 mile stretch!! Crazy!

Made it to Keene, NH through some beautiful country and got set up for the guys to arrive.

There were only 4 bikes on the sweep trucks for the day which totaled 145 miles. The guys enjoyed breakfast at Big Moose HD and then lunch at the HD Shop of Rochester, NH. Our guys made all their miles and earned their second ACE sticker, but came in needing lots of repairs. The roads were rough.

Jared’s rear fender came apart and he had to make a new spot to put it together. He had to fix his seat and replaced his rear taillight. Ziggy’s front seat mount broke loose from the frame and had to be welded back on. Delicately…..since it was at the gas tank and, of course, they didn’t remove. Lots of water was used in the process.

Justin had a variety of things shook loose and shifted. His rear stand came off on the left, the rear axle needed some work. His muffler brackets broke on the rear and had to be fabricated and welded back on. His shifter linkage had to be readjusted.

Steve, well, he had to tighten up the mirrors on the Pride Runner. Plus, they all had to service and fill up with gas, marvels, two stroke oil and zinc. Busy day, or should I say night. Yes, the lights work well!

Here’s some pictures when they came in last night at check in.

These are the standings at the end of Day 2.

Herding Cats

Yep! That’s what it looked like today at Bug Light Park when Michael Lichter was organizing all the Cannonballers and their bikes for the panoramic photo. But he had the patience of Job and …. mission accomplished, finally! He also had to deal with all the support crew spectators, regular tourists and all those who rode out to see the spectacle after reading about it in the morning paper. I can’t wait to see his finished image!!!

Here’s my partial attempt.

The official start began after the picture and consisted of a ten mile trip back to the Marriott. The green flag went down and the craziness began

All our guys #6, #7, #37, and #91 made it in with a perfect score! Hurray! Other Indian riders, Doug #88 and Kelly # also made perfect scores.

Just to show you that although the Indian tribe and Wolfpack ride separately, they are currently still helping one another 😜. Here’s Steve helping Frank Westfall start his Henderson before the official start.

I got to ride with Cole and Bruce in the sweep truck over to Bug Light Park and then back. I’m hooked! I had a blast with the pick up crew and came back and told Steve I’d have to learn to pull a trailer!πŸ˜‰ However, the odds were pretty bad today on the casualties. In 10 miles, we had a full trailer-7 bikes. Bruce said with those odds, tomorrow was gonna be a long day as he figured they’d be picking up 84 bikes!

We got to enjoy some gorgeous Maine scenery. We saw Fort Gorges and Fort Williams, a few lighthouses and some beautiful coastal views. Then we headed back, got the bikes ready for tomorrow’s start and headed to the Opening Banquet. A perfect start to this adventure. Tomorrow the guys will enjoy breakfast at Big Moose HD before heading to Keene, NH. I will start my first day as support driver and head out early to get the perfect spot to set up for any repairs that might be needed.

You learn something new everyday

Did you know that you’re supposed to lull a lobster to sleep before you stick him in the pot? Something new we learned yesterday. Here’s Bruce trying his hand at it!

What’s for dinner? Why, lobster, of course, you are in Maine!

Steve spent the day working on “shake down” repairs. Kelly’s front end had a clunk and it needed a couple more bearings, his instrument panel needed some work, a headlight bracket cracked and needed welded, clutches needed adjusted and some minor sheet metal repairs.

Yes, they did get to experience some rain, just to get broke in right. The boys arrived, registered and went right to inspection. All made it through tech inspection with flying colors.

Steve did take a minute to waterproof his “spare” boots, just in case he needed them.

Doug, from Alabama, had some chirping going on, so headgaskets were replaced—twice to solve that noise. I just call this test fittingπŸ˜‰

Pat, from Australia, needed to make his wrench a little bigger to fit over his valve covers, so the vise got used — again. Mr. Groves, make sure your classes see this! I had a lot of questions on what a vise was and what it was used for.

Doug had to use the vise for some muffler repair!

Bartek, from Poland, needed a breather disk.

Steve and Peter, from Australia, talked shop.

Steve took a minute and added a fuel filter to the Pride Runner.

Questions were answered, problems were discussed, and excitement is building. No one can wait til tomorrow for the riders meeting, picture on the water and the official 10 mile start!!!!

And so it begins

We arrived late this afternoon, found a perfect spot to set up our rolling Indian shop and unloaded our bikes

The Pride Runner is officially at the start and looking pretty spiffy!

Once the doors were opened, so was the repair shop. So, #88 Doug Wothke pulled up his 101 for a little tweaking on his return oil system on his 28 101.

Once it was done, Longhorn Steakhouse take-out was enjoyed in the parking lot.

Tomorrow’s a new day and there’s more bikes to tweak. Justin and Jared will fly in by mid-day and tech inspection will need to be completed on all the bikes.

Lighting is coming in handy already!

Portland, Here WE Come!!!!!

 

 

IMG_4369.jpg

L-R:
Rider #7 Steve Rinker on a 1928 Indian Scout 101 “Pride Runner”
Rider #6 Justin Rinker on a 1916 Indian Power Plus “Cali”
Rider #37 Jared Rinker on a 1916 Indian Power Plus “Lexi”

Final preparations are almost complete.Β  Support truck is almost full (I’m trying to convince Steve to take a microwave!) Work bench is set up.Β  I think we’ve packed a zillon tools, parts and other stuff, “we hopefully won’t need, but we NEED to take, just in case,” according to Steve.Β  Clothes go in tomorrow, along with some lawn chairs and our awning.Β  We’ve been outside after dark, just to check out how much light the outside lighting on the support truck makes, how much the work area inside the support truck lights up, and how much light the amber lighting in the tool boxes illuminate the tools!

The final boxes of gear from Jared have arrived and the boys’ saddle bags are filled, so they are ready to go as well.Β  They will fly into Portland, ME on Thursday.Β  Steve & I will leave on Tuesday to get to Maine on Wednesday in time for pre-race inspection on the bikes and get everything checked in and approved.

Excitement levels are high and the adrenaline is flowing.Β  Cannonball racers from all over are calling each other and checking in, problem solving, and creating the fever that is known as the MOTORCYCLE CANNONBALL!Β  Let the games begin…….

 

This Cannonball, the White Knights (Buck Rinker & Dick Jones) will not be driving the support vehicle, but they have been a part of this upcoming one.Β  They have test rode with Steve and been the support crew through the build process.Β  This will be my first Cannonball as support crew on the run, instead of just “shop mechanic helper” (ha!)Β  with Steve.

IMG_4373 (1)