Stage 15: Finale stage

Here we are 51 miles do the finish line. Had an awesome ride up to the viewpoint out of The Dalles.

Dean and I were the first two to arrive with our single belt drive machines. On the way after this to a nice lunch stop.

All riders them staged three miles from the finish line.

From here we all drove to the Skamania Lodge over the finish line! We made it! 2857 miles on the little Excelsior. Wow!

Hard to put into words the emotions I had when crossing the line. I cried with joy I made it. The most difficult and challenging endeavor I have embarked on. Now to try and “go back to a normal” lifestyle.

I will follow up on this blog in a few days with some final thoughts.

Thank you all for the support and positive karma; it has helped keeping me motivated.

Later…

Stage 14: Almost….

Started Stage 14 our ready! Less than two miles from the start we had a huge steep hill! All three of us with singles had to push up the hill. Rest of the day was great!

I was doing a lot of pedaling up hills today. The headwinds were terrible!! As I was cruising up one hill (with no need to pedal) and my left pedal went sailing down the highway. I need pedals to stop, start the engine, and pedal at stop signs to get going. So I was able to ride another 20 miles before I needed to pedal. So I pulled over and got in sweep truck. Oh well. 250 miles.

Then we repaired pedal and got all set for Stage 15 (last one).

More updates later.

Stage 13: I’m back, sort of…

After working on brakes again yesterday, thought I was good to go. But at 4.4 miles the rear wheel locked up! Left a 100 foot skid mark.

So back to hotel I went to repair the wheel. We then trailered to the lunch spot which is where I started from. 151 mike day. It was a excellent ride.

Ended up at Lone Wolf HD for a dinner.

And we worked quite late to get our bike ready for the 303 mile day.

Sorry for the short post but I’m operating on a few hours of sleep. I hope to get all the miles today with no brake issues!

Stage 12: End of day

It was tough for me to watch Class One bikes leave without me. I wished them all best of luck before they departed.

Then Class 2 bikes departed.

So I rode in a 4-wheel vehicle and did manage to get some riding in Glacier National Park.

Upon arriving in Kalispell our package had arrived so we could repair brake parts.

Bike is all back together and I’ll be in starting line in the morning at 8:15am for the 240 miles ride to Spokane Valley.

Back in the RUN!!

Stage 12 morning update

Stage 12 to Kalispell. Breaks my heart today to not be riding. After yesterday’s ride from Billings to Great Falls, my bike got a real workout. The rear brake was totally destroyed and in need of major repair. Then add to the mix rain and more hills today. I made the extremely difficult decision to be “safe” rather then risk bike damage to me or others as well as personal safety. It was rough to see the riders pulling out this morning.

We have new brake parts waiting for us in Kalispell so we can do the necessary repairs.

So after 12 stages I have 10 perfect scores, one partial, and one “no start” day. Three more stages to go and I’ll be ready in the morning for the ride to Spokane Valley.

Again a tough decision, but for me the correct one. Brent and Dan also agree knowing he capabilities of the bike.

Over and out for now.

Stage 11 addition. Over the Summit

This summit was my struggle today. I was not able to make it up all the way on this atmospheric 4 HP engine. So I did a combination of walking, pedaling, and burning up the belt to get over. My good friend Joe Skaggs captured this epic shot! Who would have thought I would have ridden this 1911 motorcycle 2406 miles!! More miles yet to come.

Stage 11: perfect score

Today took us from Billings to Great Falls. I was able to make all miles within the time limits.

The very fist mile proved to be one of the most difficult section of road; a huge hill! Almost made it up and had to pedal to get over top. After that it was 100 miles of flat straight roads.

At each gas stop riders meet and chat. Here is Tom

And we are all draining and adding new oil. I drain and add two ounces to my crankcases.

The weather was cold and we had some light rain.

We also have a lot of laughs!

Tomorrow we will be heading to Kalispell for the night.

This ride has been, and continues to be the most difficult and challenging motorcycle ride I have ever been on. Man and machine. I am honored to be here among some fantastic enthusiasts. Forming and building on relationships. I’m hooked.

Stage 10: disappointment

So we have made a perfect score in all 10 days of competition. (prologue and nine stages). Today was a perfect day humming along at 38 MPH on flat straight roads. Bike has never run so good! I was thrilled as I watched the odometer tip over to 100 miles. Looking forward to lunch 20 miles down the road.

Then at mile 114 the engine quit. Drifted over to road side to assess the situation. Traced all wires and checked continuity and voltage. To no avail. So I gave in to load the bike up on the trailer.

I was able to celebrate 114 miles of great riding today! After this mishap we stopped at a gas station and I caught up with Rebecca.

I was all smiles because of what I had accomplished so far. Before the day was over more bikes joined me.

Once back at the hotel we discovered the issue in 5 minutes. A broken exhaust valve.

So we replaced the valve and are running!

Tomorrow is another day. And I’ll have a little different perspective. One mile at a time.

Day off: Sturgis

This was a fantastic day. A “off day” to enjoy as we see fit. We met at 6:20 am to dig in. New tires and our daily maintenance. Here is Brent and Dan hard at work.

I’m Done tonight. Falling asleep as I type w this. We are ready for 300 Miles tomorrow. Bye

Stage 9: day from hell

Today started out as usual; arrived at departure location and loaded route map. All Class one machines lined up.

Off we went into the desolate parts of South Dakota.

The “assumed” easy ride turned upside down quickly. Even though the roads were straight as an arrow, we had extremely strong headwinds blowing against us. I could not get any speed! But had to keep forging ahead. One mile at a time is our motto. Finally got to the only station at this stop.

Then we were routed into the badlands.

But then it got ugly when we were routed to Mount Rushmore. Extremely busy area. One “hill” we had to climb and we did not make it.

Look closely at the top of the pic to see Mt. Rushmore. However now I had to push the bike to the top. And no one can help push the bike! So I did. I was looked after from Cannonball staff Doc and Karen. Had my first experience inhaling oxygen. After getting to top I was off again. At the end I crossed the finish line just minutes before cut-off.

So 9 for 9. Off to Billings tomorrow.

Later,,,,,