Fred Wacker, rider #118, was sitting on the side of the road in rural
Virginia when we came upon him and his broken motorcycle. Diagnostics
were done there in the dirt parking lot and it was determined that the
immaculate 1913 Indian single was done for the day. There was no cell
service so calling for back up wasn't an option until a resident in
the tiny town offered a landline from a nearby home and the sweep
truck arrived soon after.
Later, when the Stage 3 scores were tallied, Fred's miles were
inaccurately recorded. When he discovered he'd been given an incorrect
score, he immediately contacted the scoring crew and reported the
mistake. This was the first time any rider had ever reported that he'd
been given too many points, so when I found myself across the table
from Fred for lunch one afternoon, I commended him for his honesty.
"You know I'm riding my Dad's bike, right?" he replied. The Indian was
purchased when Fred was a teenager and he'd shared road time with his
father during summer vacations.
"My Dad told me that everything you have can be taken from you. Your
money, property, possessions. Everything. Except your integrity.
Integrity is the only thing that you have to actually give away,
yourself." He shrugged and just smiled. Fred is the perfect example of
what a gentleman Cannonballer is all about. Just a man proving himself
and his machine along the back roads of America. He arrived on the California
coastline with a total of 2,612 miles ridden at an average pace of about 35 mph.