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Stage 5 from Ohio into Illinois started off with high anxiety for the intrepid travelers as they jockeyed their way through the morning commute, construction and a few miles of interstate before settling in for some mellow riding through the cornfields of America’s heartland. Just before the lunch stop at Kersting’s Cycle Center & Museum in Winemac, Indiana, father and son riders Buck #3 and Mike Carson #15 found themselves sliding across a construction zone to end up in a ditch. The senior Carson was transported to a nearby hospital to be treated for several broken bones before being released to join his crew in Bourbannais, Illinois where there was a party in the parking lot to celebrate Buck’s birthday. Buck is nursing his own less-serious wounds but is more concerned about the condition of his 1925 H-D. Though he was able to ride the machine in to finish out the day and keep his perfect score, the bike has a broken fork and a bit of its own road rash. The crew was working to get the machine safe for tomorrow’s ride from Illinois to Iowa. Mike’s miles are done, however, since he’s looking at surgery and continued care. His 1928 H-D fared much better than he did. 

The good news is that there were no fires for Stage 5. After #24, Kelly Modlin’s 1928 Indian Chief errupted into flames Sunday and #17 Rick Salisbury’s very rare 1927 Indian Ace exploded in a fireball on Tuesday, it was good to have no sparks. Both men were able to continue on route with their charred machines and finished out their days. Both have ridden every mile, though Modlin was penalized 3 points for coming in late. Salisbury, however, is still holding a perfect score.

In other news, everything from tire flats to mystery magneto malfunctions plagued the group and sweep trailers were once again earning their keep by transporting the disabled machines. The sun has reappeared, which has served to elevate spirits and amp up the party vibe in the pits while crews work to get themselves and each other back between the stripes. Tune in tomorrow as riders are hosted to lunch at Workman Harley-Davidson, Rock Falls, Illinois before rolling in for a celebratory dinner at the famous National Motorcycle Museum, in Anamosa, Iowa. So come on out, race fans, we’re anxious to share our stories and show off our proud antique motorcycles.