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Despite early predictions of hot weather and massive break downs, the ancient iron ran well on Saturday even though it was hot. Sweep crews grumbled over the boredom of cruising the back roads looking for people to help and finding none, but were happy that no more than 3 bikes made the trailer. The bad news is that just 52 miles out of the evening stop in Pierre, South Dakota everyone’s favorite Indian crashed. The only motorcycle to have competed in all 5 of the Motorcycle Cannonballs, Shinya Kimura’s 1915 Indian Hedstrom, took a tumble when the tire peeled off the clincher rim and sent team rider, Yoshimasa Nimi, off into the ditch. Neither the bike nor rider fared well, but neither are out permanently and we’re certain Team 80 will ride again. Cannonball medics assessed the rider’s wounds and sent Yoshi to the hospital for an evaluation while Shinya got busy triaging the Indian. As of this writing, Yoshi is a bit battered but will mend and the Hedstrom is in surgery. Fellow riders stepped up to offer needed parts and support with anything the most beloved team on the Cannonball might need. The hope is to make the miles through the Badlands of South Dakota and Rushmore before the group arrives in Sturgis for a celebration and a day of rest, but Yoshi’s health is the priority.
The evening celebration in the city of Pierre was a pleasant afternoon alng the waterfront under dappled shade as residents came out to wish riders well. The Chamber of Commerce hosted a very nice dinner under air conditioning and riders enjoyed the community’s warm hospitality.
Today’s ride is another long one, 294 miles that will include sight seeing and a ceremonial finish on Harley-Davidson Way in downtown Sturgis. Everyone is invited to join the group at they celebrate each other’s victory of overcoming the difficulties thus far. Riders are weary and look forward to getting some laundry done before spending the night it the same bed twice in Sturgis. Even though there’s a lot of wrenching and preparation for riding in the west, spirits are still high and riders are still happy.