September 14, 2023
What an eventful day! The morning started out with a page full of emergency course instructions necessitated by three separate road construction projects that were supposed to be finished by now, but were not. Navigation was a challenge (understatement of the year), with numerous riders missing turns. However, everyone that completed all of today’s miles made it to the end-of-day checkpoint on time.
Today was also the first day that riders encountered big truck traffic and high-speed roads, with the course directing riders on and off Route 160. However, the miles ridden off the highway brought competitors over really nice backroads with really good curves and miles of beautiful countryside.
Our arrival some 275 miles later at the Twisted Oz Motorcycle Museum in Augusta, Kansas, was quite festive, with motorcycle enthusiasts and mainstream media from miles around on site to greet the riders. Cannonball alumnus Kelly Modlin has created an incredible vintage motorcycle museum which opened in 2016 with over 70 vintage motorcycles he’d acquired and tons of very cool memorabilia, plus several interesting antique automobiles.
Kelly rolled out the red carpet for riders, crew, and staff, grilling up steak filets, chicken, and fish, with sides of baked potatoes, corn on the cob, and even homemade ice cream for dessert! This gourmet meal was the best of the entire event. Admission to the museum was free, as it always is, and riders enjoyed the unique, fascinating exhibits that are spread across two large buildings. This was truly an evening to remember.
The number of riders with a perfect score dropped slightly from yesterday’s 44 to 42. And 11 bikes did not start today, with four ending up on the trailer. There’s also been a change in the top three points leaders! #99 Todd Cameron and #1 Dave Currier still hold, respectively, first and second places, but after #109 Alex Trepanier changed a blown-out inner tube, and just 30 miles from the day’s finish, he dropped a valve and grenaded the piston, causing his 1912 Indian single to end up on the trailer. However, Alex wonders whether even though he lost his third-place position (for now, anyway), if there’s a prize for having FIVE flat tires! #52 Doc Hopkins and his 1916 Harley-Davidson J with the wicker sidecar has moved up to the overall 3rd place position. Doc still maintains top points in Class 2, and is the first in Class 2 to crack the top three points position this year. All other class leaders remain the same.
Tomorrow is a day off from riding the course, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a day of rest. Riders and crew will be doing maintenance and repairs, running personal errands, and doing laundry. And I imagine that some will be going back to Twisted Oz to spend even more time with Kelly’s fabulous collection.