Day 2, from wellsboro pa, to sandusky, oh, 320 miles
it was cloudy this morning, and the weather radar showed a big wall of storms heading our way. Looks like we were gonna get wet, and my magneto hates water.
I had put up my tent behind the motel everyone was staying at. One good thing about motels, they usually keep the grass nice. I'm sure they would not approve of me camping on the lawn, but I was behind a big trailer, so they didnt see me.
we all gathered in front of the hotel, & the groups headed out in 15 minute intervals.
no GPS's are allowed, but they wouldnt help much anyhow. They gave us route sheets the night before, which could be taped together & put in a roll chart. I was too cheap to buy a touratech roll chart box, it was over 200 bucks, so I cut my sheets in receding lengths, and stuck em in the map pocket of my tankbag, with the longer ones on top. when I got to the end of that sheet, I pulled it out. Worked fine, and saved me some $.
You do need a good speedometer tho, as the roll charts tell you how far it is between turns. I had installed a trail tech speedo which worked good, but then I saw a couple guys that had GPS speedos by Pyle. Its only a speedo, no mapping, but they were awesome. No wires, just needs a clear shot at the sky. I'm gonna get me one of those, as they can swap from bike to bike in seconds.
This guy had built a roll chart out of an old etch a sketch. friggin brilliant!
about an hour out, it started raining like a cow pissin on a flat rock.
a mile later, the bike died like I turned it off.
this has always been the one bad thing of this bike, the magneto hates rain. I pulled the cap & tried to try it out. in the rain. its like herding cats, basically futile.
Joe stopped to help, he is a volunteer, & rides along helping people when possible, or to do whatever needs done. great guy, we had become friends last year on the IMS tour, he works for J&P cycles.
He had some grease, so I tried to seal it with that, & wrap a plastic bag over it to keep the water out.
After about 300 kicks, I got it going again, & the rain wasnt so bad now. Rode about an hour to a town, & stopped for gas.
It wouldnt restart.
I dicked with it for an hour, drying & kicking, and it finally started.
My idea after that was that if I dont turn it off, I dont have to start it. So I kept it running. gassed it up while running, ran into the woods to pee while running, etc. It kept chuggin along. finally the sun came out, I was glad to be past the rain. About 30 miles from cleveland, I ran into Paul, stopped along the road. His harley had quit, so I helped him with it for about an hour, but finally realized something in the timing had slipped, & we couldnt fix it with the tools we had. The chase trailer had shown up, so we loaded him up, and I tried to head out. damn bike wouldnt start. finally, after 30 minutes of kicking & wiping the water out of the mag, I got it to start.
Some genius had decided the best way to take old motorcycles to Sandusky was thru cleveland. on the interstate. with 10 miles of construction zone.
it was fuckin scary!
I'm doing 45-50, cars are doin 70+
then when I get close to town, the traffic stopped. Wasnt moving. (turns out some chick had gone the wrong way on it, hit a couple cars head on, died, & the road was shut down)
so I cant turn the bike off.
and its getting way hot sitting.
if I was anywhere else, I woulda split lanes. But I dont like ohio cops, & wasnt gonna risk it. I made it a couple miles in an hour. the bike is not happy.
I realized that I wasnt gonna make the end checkpoint in time, and I didnt want to kill the bike. Plus, one of the chase trucks was next to me, so I said screw it, and put the bike in the truck.
(later I found out that the check in time limit had been eliminated, due to the weather & traffic, but no one bothered to tell me this!)
so the truck had 3 broken indians in it. Marcin from Poland had an oil problem the 1st day & seized a piston. Ian from England had a problem also, but I forget what happened.
This guy from ADV tracked me down with my spot tracker. (sorry dude, I forget your name!) and helped us get the truck outta the traffic thru some back streets. *edit* I was just informed that his name is Chip. Thats what happens when I wait 3 months to do a damn ride report. Sorry!
I was really unhappy with the routing on the highway, and was pretty vocal about it. I understand that the whole reason for sandusky, then north tomorrow was to go to the HD factory in Milwaukee for PR & butt kissing.
They tried to say thats the only route. I called bullshit, pulled out a map, & pointed out several routes to the south that would have been much better.
The guy that planned the whole route did a wonderful job, except for this. I cant imagine what it took to plan a 4k mile trip, turn by turn.
Anyhow, this was pretty much my only complaint for the whole route