The biggest news at the halfway point of Stage 3 is that Pete Young is back in the ride again, having fixed his 1913 Premier. The biggest update to that is that Pete Young is back out of Stage 3, opting to pull his Permier out of the run, at least for now, and Pete is now riding his 1916 Excelsior (not for "points", just to ride along). Pete hopes to get his Premier ready to go again for Stage Four.
Both the Panhead and the Shovelhead sidecar chase vehicles have had issues, and are being trailered to the end of the stage. It is not certain what the exact causes are, or if they will be able to continue on in the morning.
As of this writing, the group is just heading back out on the road after their lunch stop. The steepest part of the ride is yet to come, with the Blueridge Parkway passing over the highest elevations so far on the run. The Blueridge Mountains represent the first major obsticle of the run, and could weed out the weakest from the flock.
And if they make it past the Blueridge Mountains, the steepest and highest are yet to come later on in the ride. Who will go the distance?
Stage Three Kicks Off - On to Maggie Valley
Written by Alleydude
Sunday, 12 September 2010 14:05
Photos via iPhone by Loy Norrix
With riders leaving this morning starting at 7:00am, stage three will climax with the much anticipated stop at the Wheels Through Time Museum. Dale Walksler and his crew will host dinner this evening for the riders, their crew, and event staff.
At the start of today's ride, Felicia reports that though the weather is foggy and damp, spirits of the riders are still high after two days of riding, fixing, bragging and lying.
Several of the riders, including Dave Kafton decided to sit this leg out because of the upcoming mountains. Concerns for belts, clutches, and general mechanical welfare convinced some of the riders to sit this leg out, trailering their bikes to the next stop. The majority of the riders did start the leg, looking at the mountains as just another challenge that needs to be overcome.
As of the start of this leg only 20 riders have traveled the full 387 miles up to this point. With this being the start of only the third leg out of sixteen, there are probably 25-30 riders that could still be in the running. Anything can happen, and as we've seen thus far, anything will happen. It's not over until it's over.
Rounding to Curve Heading to Concord
Written by Felicia Morgan
Saturday, 11 September 2010 21:50
Photo and Video via iPhone by Loy Norrix
Today it was pretty universal. Everyone got wet. Not downpour, torrential rains wet, but wet none-the-less. What riders of modern motorcycles take for granted, riders of these vintage bikes don't have the luxury of not worrying if the bikes stay dry or not. When they get wet, they tend to stop working. Magnitos, plugs and even sputtering carbs were the jinx of the day, primarily due to the high level of moisture.
Buddy Stubbs got a flat tire, and with the help of State Troopers and a Sheriff he managed to get loaded onto a support vehicle. Erik Dunk had trouble and had to be trailered to the end of the stage as well.
Lonnie reported that there were probably 2000 supporters at Pat Rogers Speedway Harley Davidson waiting for the entrants to reach the end of the stage.
More information as things settle down and Felicia and Loy can get me more pictures, video and stories from the road.
Stage Two - Report from the Halfway Point (of Stage 2)
Written by Alleydude
Saturday, 11 September 2010 17:17
Photos and video via iPhone by Loy Norrix.
From the lunchbreak, Felicia phoned in some tidbits from the first half of the second stage. Some of the best news from the morning was that Bill Nugent got his Sears back on the road. Edward J. Zalonski got his Flying Merkel on the road as well, but had to stop after about four miles due to undetermined reasons.
According to Felicia, there were fewer breakdowns and stops today, with everyone seeming to find their groove and bugs are getting worked out from machines that many only had a few miles on them after being prepared for the Cannonball.
A couple of the riders chose not to start this leg. Jeff Decker and Bill Rodencal both sat out the start of this leg for unknown reasons.
Dispite the threat of rain spirits remain high, and everyone is enthusiastic about the ride so far, and the ride yet to come.
Additionally, people are starting to get a handle on the route directions. Some had to make U-turns due to missed steps or misinterpreted steps on the route sheet, but most are getting familiar with them nicely.
Felicia notes that the German couple, #31 Katrin Boehner and #32 Dieter Eckel are each having touble getting their bikes rolling from stops, possibly due to clutch issues. Felicia notes that the couple have been see peddling or pushing their bikes to get them rolling when at stop.
Further, Felicia points out that it is obvious that they are getting further inland because the road kill is changing from seagulls to possums yesterday, to a red fox and a baby deer today. (Felicia is getting tired).
Stage 1 Recap And Ride Report
Written by Felicia Morgan
Saturday, 11 September 2010 12:26
Today was the first day of riding, and the creaking old motorcycles managed 162 miles. Well, some of them did, anyway. Most rolled to the Hampton Inn in Greenville, NC as the sun hung low in the sky, but still singeing rider's wind blown skin. For the most part, it was a beautiful day of great weather and gorgeous countryside. The fields of cotton waved as riders sputtered past and rivers and channels shone brilliantly, though not all riders were able to experience the ride from the backs of their motorcycles. Some had been loaded onto support vehicles and carted to safety. Among those souls were Pete Young, Eric Dunk, and Bill Nugent.
The support crew was busy offering aid in the form of fuel, tools, tape, wire, and cotter pins. There was water for the rider and gas for the bike. In addition, there was transport for the mortally wounded motorcycles and comfort and sympathy for the bruised egos and high hopes of the rider as well. Few managed the day without some form of assistance, and fellow riders offered their services when necessary.
Most traveled on to the next stop, after a little mechanical adjustment, while others never returned to the road at all. Among those numbers were Pete Young. Pete was considered to be one rider who would most certainly make it to his homeland west coast and the damaged 1913 Premier was both a surprise and disappointment to its owner. After arriving at the evening's stop however, the optimistic Pete began to tear into his motorcycle and is assessing the damage. He hopes to be able to rejoin his riding brethren after some repairs, but does not expect to do so for another few days.
Also on the rescue wagons were Jeff Decker, Sean Brayton, Bill Nugent, and Eric Dunk, though Eric's journey via support was a short one, before he was back on the road under his own steam. Does this mean these men are out of the running? Not at all. Each sunrise is a new day and the damages are still being assessed. It's just one day into the 17 day trip and it is anybody's game. Look up your favorite rider and see where they are in the scoring.