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Old 07-13-2007, 06:35 AM   #346
Durangoman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crooked roads
There is a part 2.
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:41 AM   #347
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaYolk
Yes, those are carbide lamps. The 1916 Indian would top out at 70. These two young ladies crossed the country in 1916 on Indians with Firestone tiers.





That pic makes a nice desktop background.
GREAT story-another big thanks for sharing the diary
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:54 AM   #348
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That was a great read!!
Part 2 please

Quote:
I also used 14 qts of oil which makes an average of 62 miles to a qt.
that shoulda kept the skeeters away!!!
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:03 AM   #349
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I just found this thread. Did anybody else notice the fuel and oil usage?

"On the trip I used 16 gal. of gas. Which makes an average of 54miles to a gal. I also used 14 qts .........81.....of oil which makes an average of 62 miles to a qt."

54 mpg of gas. 62mpq of oil. No wonder that "The motor came thru as smoothly as you please (except filling up with carbon ,any motor will do that)"

Back to read the rest.
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:05 AM   #350
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In 1914 Indian had been the first with both electric lighting and an electric starter. All very advanced but they did not continue with the electric starters.



Taken from the Indian historical website.
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:09 AM   #351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary B.
I can't get over the fact that he hasn't mentioned a flat...yet. Or did I miss it? I find it hard to believe those tires held up that well.
I'm having trouble with that too. My parents talk about changing two tires on a 100 mile car trip in the 40s. They had cotton cords like a 10-speed bike. Maybe it was a war-shortage thing and they were worse than the tires in the teens?. They also talked about the red, rubber inner tubes that were extremely pliant and made the best slingshots. Hell I miss those old patch kits that used a match and actually galvanized the tube. Where can I get some of those? Mexico maybe?
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:31 AM   #352
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Crooked roads, again - many many thanks for taking the time and trouble to type this in and share it.

This has been a real treat to read and follow along. And I feel it is fitting that we have been reading it in installments, seeing as how that is the way the journey was made.

And my quick responses to earlier comments in the thread... People that call for it to be condensed into a single document for a quick read are missing something. And editing it? No way. It is way more interesting to read the journal exactly as written. Publish/money? Only with permission and release from the family. Probably not enough material to stand alone, but it would make a good piece for the appropriate magazine if the family or rightful owner of the journal wanted to share it that way.

And as others have said, this has to be one of the best ride reports ever posted here.
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:36 AM   #353
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Hey Crooked Roads,

Thanks for taking the time to share this. Being a one finger typist myself, I know how long it took you!

I just read throught the whole story in one shot. What a great read!

Good luck with the new shop project. Thanks again!
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:41 AM   #354
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Thumb Laughed cried snorted...

Great Ride Report.

Thank you CR for taking the time to post it.


I am leaving for two weeks of vacation TODAY So if anyone wants to up-date the route, go for it. The google link is there. you can add a destination and even drag the route off of one road and on to another if the road is an Interstate or whatever.

Then we can argue for DAYS what the proper road would have been!!!




I am taking the bike, but it's not going to be anything epic. (I hope)
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:13 AM   #355
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cauldron
Great Ride Report.

Thank you CR for taking the time to post it.

I am leaving for two weeks of vacation TODAY S
Well, now you know how to pack. I quote Chas. K.: "Baggage consisted of rain coat and gal. of oil "
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:47 AM   #356
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That was fun! Thanks Crooked Roads. I wish I could make repairs as fast in an enduro. 20 mins. for wheel bearings. Wow! They had to be alot simpler in a 1916 Indian than a modern wheel. Probably solid bushings or something.What planning to have a spare set. Waiting for part II
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:21 AM   #357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cauldron
Great Ride Report.

Then we can argue for DAYS what the proper road would have been!!!
Take a look at the 1918 Ala/GA Roadmap I posted (Post #290). I think it's pretty clear what the route was in those two states (with a few minor exceptions where alternate routes existed between towns named in the report).

Now matching that map up to modern roads might be a bit tricky.
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summerinmaine screwed with this post 07-13-2007 at 10:27 AM
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:47 PM   #358
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Damn fine story. Can't wait for the part 2.
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Old 07-13-2007, 02:14 PM   #359
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I got bored and cut and paste everything and tried to edit out the page #'s.

The story of the tripfrom Montgomery,Ala -to-Abington,Va. -via- Atlanta ,Ga Spartanburg,SC Charlotte, NC Winston-Salem,NC Roanoke,Va 859 milesin 43hr.35 min Ona 1916 Indian motorcycle By Chas K.Findlay Thur.June 8th 1916 After looking over the motor,filling the tanks and strapping on the baggage the nite before.
Baggage consisted of rain coat and gal. of oil I was ready to go as soon as i was dressed. Iput on my riding suit was was already dirtyand greasy so you can imagin what I will look likeat the end of the859 miles. I cranked off at 5:20am I wasleaving Montgomery behind me. 5:45I almost froze! I didn't know a june moring could be so cold espesialy in Ala. I found some of yesterdaysnewspapersby the road Looked clean so I stuffed them under my coat and then rode on more comfortable.6:00Baggage shook loose but I've got it strapped on now so it won't give me any more trouble.7:00am passed thru Tuskegee,Ala. This is where the big Booker T. Washington negro college is .7:40am Auburn,ala. Had breakfast. This is where big Mititary college is 8:15 am Opelika,Ala. The only thing that happen was i got a gal of gas. The morning was fine and the roads were fair
So I was rambling along to a townI stayed there just long enough to find out how to get out.Just a little while before I got to West Point Ga.I got on the finest road you ever saw. Just smooth as a carpet and wide enough for three auto to run abreast. I noticed a strange thing I didn't see a single track on it!I couldn't quite get idea why such a fine roadshould be unused All-of-a-sudden as I came around I came to the end!!There happen to be a man plowing in a field by the road and I asked him why this good road stopped right here and how to get to West PointGa.He said "That road aint finished yet. They run out of money and had to stop building it. You should have turned to the right 5 miles back,but you can take this wagon roadthru the woods and it will bring you to West Point road" . I did as he said andwas soon on the right road.
In a little while I was in West point,Ga. 9:40am I got gal. of gas.The road was very sandy out of here,the new roadis not finished yetThe drive chain to speedometerbroke!I took it apart and found broken piece,Took out my plairs and cliped out a piece of the barbed wirefence,made a chain link put it in placeof the broken one. Put speedometer back on then rode on everything all right. 12:00-Newman Ga.This was end of firstday's stopwhen I rode to New Yorkwith My father.
It happen to bewhere I had lunch.About 20 miles from Altanta the road was being fixed ,and that road was the biggest mess you eversaw!It was just likeridingthru a plowed up field.When Icame into CollegePark(about 10 miles from Altanta) The express train bound for Atlanta wasstanding at the station. We both pull out at the same time!( The road very good here to Atlanta ).We stayed side-by-side!When wehad gone a mile or more we reached the speed of about 55 or 60mph. Everybody in the train was staring out the windows at me and seemed much surprisedat the fact that a motorcycle could keep pase with the Atlanta express. Then something happened!I was watching the train too much and didn't see the bad place i was going into. The roadhad a kind of a wash out right straight across it, It was about 3-4ft deep and about 20ft wide with sloping bankson both sides. Well I dropped down in there about 58 mph and thenshot up the other side and into the air! Believe me it was some jump!I know my wheels cleared5ft or more and I covered about fifty feetin distance defore I came down!The second I came down I opened up and kept upwith the train. It surprised mevery much how easy I landed. About this time I thinkeverybodywas on one side of the train!About 2 miles further and I had to slow down. I was getting inti Atlanta and there was to muchdanger of running intoa wagon,auto or something. Well I keep up with that train for about 5 miles. I had a lot of funby running up to the engin and thenslowing down and drop backto the observation car,then open up to the engine again and stuff like that. 2:00pm I was in the heart of Atlanta,Ga. Which makes a run of nine hours from Montgonery,Ala. My back tirewas just about worn out and I knewit would be giving trouble so I decided tobuy a new one. I likedthat "KellySpringfield" tire and I knew they had a branch place here so I tried to find it. Atlanta Ga. is the hardest place to find your way aroundthan any otherplace of it's size I have ever seen. After looking for the "Kelly Springfield"tire co. for ONE whole hour at last I found it.and then after a long continueation of delays I at last got the new back tire on the wheel. It was untill 6:00pm that I was leaving Altanta. I stoped on way out for gal.of gas.and gal. of oil.
I made a big sprint for "winder Ga. Which is about 55.8 miles from atlanta . (this was my second stopwhen I was on my way to New York with my father,It happens to be my first this time)There were paved roads10 miles out of Atlanta and after thatwas in fair shape. It got dark and I had to use my light. I cameflying arounda corner and came to the cross roads, It happen right where the roads cross there was a big and very bad sand bed,my lightwasn't burning very extra bright just then so I didn't see it right away and went flying into itand down wentme and the motor before I knew what happen! I got up,picked up my motor,nothing was hurt. Now it happened that i was right inthe middle of the crossroads so I saw four roads leading four diffrent way,they all were the same build and lookedd alike,nowI didn't know whichone to take.I was glad the moon was shining good and bright. I set my motor on the stand and went backto the place I hit the ground,then followed my tracks back to the road! I had come from and I knew my routewas straight thru. Next littletownI lost three min. getting a gal. gas and then beat it on into "Winder Ga." A run of two hours from Atlanta. Stayed at a small hotel,same one my farther and myself stayed at,and got a good nights rest. The end of the first day's run. 250 miles.
Fri. June 9th 1916 I had my breakfast early so I could get a good start at the road. About 6:45. I left Winder, Ga. and was on my way to Athens, Ga. The road to Athensis a VERY GOOD road,broadand hard but you have to be careful becauseat placesit seems to jump right off a cliff right into a chasm! Down you go,aroundsteep and sharp curves and then shoot out across a bridge at bottom ,thenup again on the other side about the same way as going down. A little less than an hour riding put me in Athens Which is a very good size town. The roads from here on are not so good,It is very hilly and rough, It gets good at times and thenbad ,and then bad to worse and then good for a while and so on. Gee! The sun is hot! The handle bars of the motorare so hotI can't touch them anywhere except on the rubber grips. And the heat from that engine!Good Night! I had to ride with my feet on the handle bars to keep my legs from being burn't Couldn't hold myhand a foot away from it,It was so hot.It's a wonder it didn't melt.I didn'tstop, I just keep on going and that engine was running just a pretty as you please,but believe me I was giving it the oil ,I used two quarts in 20 miles!I left a trail of smoke behind melike a ocean liner!
I got off the motor at one town when I was having a gal. of gas put in the tank.When The sun had been warming up my leather seat!!I got back on I got right off again quick!! I said " Say! Do youall have this kind of weather always"? One fellow answered, Nope . Very unuasual, you may not believe it but it hailed last nite and the weather man says strange things for this after noon ,so keep your eyes open. I thanked him for the information then poured a bucket a water over the seat to cool it off then rode on. It had,I mean the weather had cooled off a bit and the sun was under a cloud so the riding was much better. There were two ferrys crossing to S.C.and theyhad up big signs along the road. One saying they had the best boat and route and the other would say they had the best road and quickest crossing.
As the distance grew shorter to the ferries the signs grew very large and the bull written on them had also grown very large. At the forks of the road where you were to decide which ferry you wanted were signs as big as a house with letters on then you could read a mile telling you which one was the best.Both ways went to Anderson,S.C. I looked at the signsa minute and then I decide that both were the best so I took out a coin and said heads-right tails -Left I pitched it up and it came down heads so i took the right road. It was a very good road, I rode along for about a mile then I saw the river down the gorge,very beautiful seanery but I wasn't interrested in it.The road went down and down- around sharp curves in and out of cliffs for about a half mile or more and then at the bottom. I came to the ferry landing.Everything looked like it was dead. There was a little ferry that looked to me if you didn't get right in the middle it would turn over.
There was a little shed by the ferry that looked like it was about to fall to pieces. I sounded my horn to get somebody to take me across. I heard VERY STRONG voice "Well get in the boat"! I looked around quick and saw a white bush on the ferry! It was the voice in the bush!!Oh ,excuse me i'm a little bit wrong ,I took a nother lookand saw it was an old man with a beard!! He was about 4ft 5in high and hada GREAT MASS of white whiskers that nearly reached the ground.And covered his body from the chin down.I never saw such a beard in all my life.That old man could makea fortune in a circus side show with that beard.I got on the boatand we started across the river. I was very nervous, I didn't like his looks. He looked to me like he was just about to jump out from behind that beard on to my neck.He spoke! I nearly jumped in the river!
His voice was like thunder! He said, " we had hail storm here last night" I said "Yes I know and we are having a thunder storm right now" He said "WHAT!" I said "nothing". And at the same time put my hand in my pocket where my gun was. Well we got across and I was still alive. He made it very plain that the charge was 25 cents I gave it to him at arms length and jumped on my motorcycle and left, and the way I went up that hill!!
I know my engine must have thought a band of wild indians were right behind me. I don't know what made me such a fool to be afraid of that old man because I am much larger and stronger than he, but there was something about him I didn't like. About the only diffrence I could see in the two state Ga. and S.C. is that S.C. state had more bumps and holes in the road than in GA. I passes thur Annderson S.C.a good size town.Had lunch there. The roads were fair. Anderson S.C. was the third days stop when I was going to New Yorkwith my dad. I ate lunch a little before noon here this time. The roads were pretty bad just out of anderson but got better later on but there were still bad places every little ways . It's nothing but a plain old dirt road. About 2:00 pm I came to Greenville,S.C. I got gas and oil for my motor and a milk shake for myself and then left. The roads from here on are very good for a little ways and then then it gets back to the same old clay-dirt road as before. I got into Greenville. I meet another fellow on a motorcycle , we had a little race but it didn't last long . He gave up and let me by. I was bound for Spartanburg, S.C. I thought I would get in about 4:30 pm There is a rock road for the last ten miles just before Spartanburg.
The rock road is about 20ft wide and on each side it has a dirt road for wagons. I prefered to ride the dirt road,it was much better than the rock road. The rock road was very badly worn and full of deep holes.4:15pm I arrived at Spartanburg, I paid a hurried visit to the Clinkscales,some old friends,and then left for Charlotte, N.C. I had just got started out of Spartanburg when the trouble started!!I was riding along at a nice speed when I noticed the air was hot and stuffy I couldn't quite understand that because it was getting along late in the afternoon and it ought to be getting cool. Every now and then a little breeze would come and it would be as hot as if it came out of a blast furnance,and then I begain to hear strange sounds such as one thinks he hears in a graveyard at night,anyway I heard these and they grew louder and louder,then came a breeze so hot I thought I would roast and then came a breeze so cold I almost froze . I remembered the warning the fellow gave me in this morning about keeping my eyes open and watch out for strange things to happen. I looked around to see what it was all about ,I found out and it almost scared me green! The road was very sandy right along here and at places there was deep sandbeds but I didn't mind that. I opened up to get away! It was a funnel shaped whirl wind about 500 or 600 ft high , It might have been higher for all I know but it looked a mile hight to me.It was so powerful that it pulled up small trees, torn off limbs of big ones and took all the road signs with it.It was about 100 ft behind me when I saw it and it stayed at that direction till I came to a turn in the road and the whirlwind went straight.
I watched it for a little while,tearing up thing it went and finaly died away in the distance. About 30 minutes laterI had a race with a Hudson Super "six" up kings mountain S.C.It was a beautiful road winding in and out the cliffs of the mountains and about 30% grade. The car had a head start on me but about half way up I passed it, I was in high about 30 and the Hudson must have been in second for it was only making about 10 mph. I reached the top, went down ,passed about a dozen little towns and then looked back to see if anymore whirl-winds were behind me,there wasn't any but there was a rain storm about 3 miles behind me so I increased speed about 5 mph and rode about 40 miles and then I noticed that the storm was closing in on me from all sides. It was getting very dark and I had to use my light. I could tell storm was closing in because lightning flashes were thick and fast on all sides , and the air was very cold!The road was good and my light was bright so I speeded up for a sprint into Charlotte,N.C. which is about 5 miles away. I reached there just as it begain to -not rain but hail! It was SOME hail believe me! I'd just as soon somebody would throw gravel at me. I went flying into the first garage I saw and nearly ran over everybody and everything in there. That hail came down so hard on my motor I thought were it would crack all the enamal off and put little dents in the tank, But it didn't hurt it. I looked it over good. I left my motor at the garage and went to the nearest hotel, cleaned up a bit, (you should have seen the water when I got done) and then went out to a resturant and had supper, and right back to the hotel I went! And to bed! So ended my second day's adventure,I had come from- Winder,Ga. to Charlotte, N.C. thu ALL of S.C. and 55 miles of S.C. a total of 241 miles the day. I got into Charlotte at 7 P.M. The morning of the third day I started out with the idea of crossing the Blue Ridges Mountains into Roanoke V.A.before sun down .I left Charlotte N.C. at 7:00AM The road was good at times and very bad at other times and generally fair. Nothing happened worth writing about until 11:00AM I stoped in Winston-Salem N.C. and got something to eat. I had come 84 miles from Charlotte. The road out of Winston-Salem is a extra good hard road , so I was just flying along. I came over a hill about 45MPH and right there in the road just a little ahead of me I saw two of the largest Hounds I ever saw. And they stood right there in front of me and wagged thier tails. I was on them in a second! I missed one but it was to late to miss the other! I held the handle bars firm and crashed right into his broadside, it seems as if I could hear his back bone twist and his ribs snap!! I next thing I knew I was wabbling down the road and it was all I could do to keep it up. The dog was so big that the wheel would not go over him so I just knocked him out of the way and at the same time crushing his breast for you know it a pretty hard hit to into anything going 45 mph. All went well after that tillI came within 15 miles of Martinville VA.where I came to a VERY LARGE healthy mud hole which lasted for about200 yds A Ford was stuck right in the middle of it but my old motor pulled me thru. The fellows in the Ford told me to go back to the last town I left because the roads ahead were impassable . I told them I didn't mind a small matter like that and then rode on. From there on I had a great deal of mud all the way into Martinsville ,Va. Where I stopped and had some ham and eggs . I asked about the road from there to Roanoke Va. They said that this was the first day in two weeks it had not rained , and the road were just about impassable even with a wagon. I made up my mind to try it any way. Everybody there said "nobody home "! I left and rode on about 3 miles in the slippery slopy mud and then I came to a place where the wheels begain to sink in deep ,and kept on sinking down untill the footboards rested on the ground! But the old indian pulled out !A little further on I came to some real softmud and as I got into it I begain to sink again ! This time I closed the muffler right quick before it went under so it wouldn't get full of mud. The hubs went under!The footboards went under! The magneto went under! I knew if the mud would get to the carberater it would be a case of good night! I was getting ready to leave the thing when it stoped sinking , I suppose it was on rock hard bottom. I tried to start the motor but found it rather hard to operate the starter under the mud! Atlast I succeeded, it was good thing I remembered to close the cut out before going in because it was a great deal of back presure as it was ,But I gave it the gas and it pulled out! A little further on I came on to another mud hole that looked like it would be impossible to go thru and I thought I would have to ride back thru the mud about 20 miles back. I got off my motor and looked around to see if there was any possible chance of getting thru or chance of getting thru or............around it. I would hate like everything to have to go back to Martinville and let those fellow laugh at me and say " I told you so" I found a little foot path that went out into the woods on the left hand side of the road. I figured that maybe this path was use by people walking to, get around the mud hole. I thought well it won't hurt to try it. I got on the motor and started out on the path. It zizzaged around in the woods a little and then I was on the road again! I was very pleasantly supprised!I look back and I saw the awful mud hole. Sure enough ,I had gone around it. Aftera few more little things like that I arrived at Rocky Mount,Va.( a town of about 500-1,000people , 28 miles from Roanoke,Va.) I stopped at the town grocery store and made a lot of fuss with my engine. It looked like everybody in town came out to meet me,and they all stood around and looked at me. Just like they would stand when a circus would come to town. One fellow steped up to me and said "where in the hell did you come from!?" I said "oh i just poped up out of the ground". Silence! Then he said "well you look like it." Then more silince! Then another fellow came up to me and said," I am asking you like a gentleman. Would you be so kind to inform us as to the place you have come from. I said " I will do so with great pleasure, I came from Charlotte N.C. this morning, but I have had the most delightful ride from Martinsville here,the country was beautiful, the seanery was magnificent and there was no dust on the road"..........
to have heard........those country fellowslaugh. They slaped each otheron the back and roared. One fellowasked meif I saw any trackson the road.I said._"come to thinkof it I didn'tsee any tracks excepta lot of old ruts". He said "well,the roadfor the last two weekshas been concidered impassable for any thingexcept horseback riders.We sent word into Martinsville for them to tell everybody that tried to get thru" I said,"yes,they told me that but I told them thatI didn'tmind a small mater like that".He said ,"now I'm going to tell you something and Iam going to empress it on you. You'll have to stop here,you can't go on ,on a motorcycle. The train is the only thing that leaves this town now . If you want it impressed I'll tell you you have got to ford "BIG CREEK", and it TEN FEET HIGH so you would find it rather hard to ford. I said "you win" I put my motor in a fellows barn and I went to the Hotel.It was now dark and raining. It was SOME hotel. AfterI got my room the landlady said "now if you want to cleanup a bit we have a pick and shovel and the hosein the back yard". Her advice was good si I went out in the back yard and had a fellowturn the hose on me while another was going over me with a stick scraping the mud off,everybody else was standing around laughing. I didn't mind the hosebecause I was wet already and happy becauseI had showed that a motorcycle could travel over impassable road when everything else had given up. I went to my room and went to bed leaving my clothes hanging before the fire before the fire to dry. So ends my third day's ride. I had come within 28 miles of where I said I would be at the end of the third and I would have gone on if BIG creekhad not been to deep to ford For the days ride I had come from Charlotte,N.c> to Rocky Mount . Va.a distance of 178 miles. For the three day I had come 669miles. The next morning it was raining hard and I saw there wasno chance to get away from here on a motorcycle , so I left it in rocky Mount Va. and took the train for Wythville Va. via Roenoke Va. My father and step mother are staying in Wytheville with my aunt and uncle, they came up from Montgomery,Ala. on the train via Birmingham, Ala. Chattanooga and Knoxville ,Tenn.When I arrived in Wytheville my father asked me where was the motor. ? Told him how everything happened and said that I would wait till the roads dry enough for travel and then I would go back and get it. I waited about ten days and the weather was good so I went back to get the motor.When I arrived in RockyMount I looked up the man that was keeping my motor in his barn for me. He unlocked the barn and said " you'll find your motor just as you left it, nobody has touched since you left it". I rolled it out and looked it over ,everything was ok. The tires hadn't even gone down a bit. I offered to pay him something but he wouldn't take anything so all I could do was to thank him.
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Old 07-13-2007, 02:15 PM   #360
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I loaded up with gas and oil and then started for the ride over the Blue Ridge Mountains of Va. I made good time but there were still a good deal of deep mud holes in the road. WhenI came ti "BIG creek it was still a little high and mudy so I couldn't see the bottom ,But I went right in . When I got about in the middle and the water about half way up on the engine I hit a big rock which started me up stream in deeper water,then I hit another rock!! I tried to hold it but some how I couldn't find any place to put my feet so down I went! Motor and everything ! I went under head and all! I got up and looked around to see where the motorcycle was! There was a country boy standing on the bank and he seemed to be enjoying my hard luck to a very great extent. I gave him 25 cents to come in an help me find the motor . He saw about 3 inches of the handlebar above the water., we went over to it and there it was.We fished out and then I spent some time in drying the running parts. I had to take the carberator all apart and dry each part seprate. The magneto wasn't hurt by the water at all, and none got in the gas and oil tanks, but it is a wonder it didn't crack the cyclinders. In a little while I got started up the mountain, I had to run in low for the mud,but along near the top it was dry so I put it in high, (this is not poetry) and went up that place, but not for long for as I came around one of those sharp turns I skidded over right close close to the edge of the cliff and then went the rest of the way up in second! Believe me it was some steep climb,about like going up the steps at times , If you consider the steps to be very eragular. I got up all right and then I stopped for a min to look around , I'am on a point 5,000-6,000 ft high . It's some sight from here believe me. The road here is right along by a cliff that makes a straight drop for about 800ft! It was the same cliff that I skidded over to! Just then a very strange feeling came over me, supposing I had skidded a little bit further!!!? I didn't think but when I went down the other side my greatest speed was 8 miles per hour! Untill I reached the bottom . I bet I slid the back wheel half way down that place trying to hold back. I got down alright, (by this time my wet clothes were feeling very uncomfortable) then a little latter I was in Roanoke ,Va. I stopped there for awhile and saw the Indian people there.They were very good to me , they showed me every attention they could. I got a few little parts for my motor that had worn out and shook loose. I filled up with gas and oil and then I asked them how much. He said ,"OH, nothing,we always do that for a traveler on a Indian" I thanked him very much and then I asked him how do I get on the road to Wytherville Va. He said "Wait just a minute ,I'll have one of my men escort you out of the city". He went back in the shop to get the man and I went out to crank up my motor.A fellow came out of the shop with a motorcycle , and the boss of the place right behind him. The boss said "this fellow (pointing to me) came from Montgomery Ala. and is going to Abington Va. He wants to stop in Wytherville over nite with some of his .people and go to Abington in the morning. You take him out of town about 3 miles on the Wytherville road ,give him directions and come back". He wished me luck and then we left. ( my clothes were about dry now) Gee! How that fellow did drive a motorcycle! We just FLEW out of that town! I don't know if he was trying to run away from me or not but I stayed right behind him. We got into the country and we still flew along . We took the left at the fork in the road about 58 mph and then he held out his hand, (a signal to stop) and we stopped , He said "now you are on the right road, ( and then gave directions that would fill a book). don't try to run fast like we have been going because the road from here on is not so good and it dangerous. If you don't know it by heart you are libel to kill yourself if you don't go slow". He then turned around and left wishing me good luck.
He was right about it when he said the roads were not so good from now on. It looked like rain very much and it did rain,but not very hard so I just keep on going . About a half hour later I was going up a big valley with good size mountains on each side. Well,right ahead of me was coming a big rain storm and it was a big one just as black as it could be .I said to myself ,"well ,I guess I might just as well go into it". I fixed my rain coat on me as close as I could so It would stand the storm and keep me dry. Just as it looks like I was going into that rain a funny thing happened, The rain parted right at the road and I went thru that storm without feeling a drop of that rain and it was just pouring down fifty feet on each side of me . When I got thru that storm it was raining the same as it was before. At last it stoped raining ,and I have come 58 miles in the rain.
Later on I came to a fork in the road ,One road was VERY good road and the other was not . Over the good road was a sign -4 miles to Puliske Va. and the other road didn't have any sign. Now the fellow that went out of Roanoke with me didn't say anything about going thru Puliske but I thought surely that must be the right road so I went that way. It was a road that went along the side of a mountain so there was a cliff on one side of the road and a mountainside on the other . The road was afine one so I was flying along > The road was always going up and right aboutthe top was a danger sign but I didn't slow down. I went up to it about 30m.p.h and found it was a right angle turn on the side of the cliff, there was a straight drop down about 300ft(I did't notice the exact distance down) Well as I say I came up to it about 30mph. and was very much supprised at the short turn . Now I'm pretty good at doing things at short notice and I would have made it alright but just on the other side of the turn was a wagon with a mule team right in my way! I naturaly turned out a bit when I first saw the wagon and then it was too late to turn back in and hold the road! The motor sliped out from under me and we slid for the cliff!! I grabed on to a bush on the edge of the cliff and held on. I got my toes under the handlebars and held the motor , The back wheel was hanging about a foot over the cliff. I saw what a place I was in. I said,"motor-cycle, I'm going to hold you up if I can,But if I feel this bush slipping I going to let you go !" The fellows in thewagon helped me up with a rope . They were scared to go so near the edge themselfs. WhenI got up I thanked them and jumped on the motor and left. Now I couldn't go slow because that would show that I was very scared so I went flying down the road as if nothing had happened . But believe me I watched the turns. Now the reason I had ignored the danger sign is the last 100 miles I have seenabout 200 danger signs and all the danger signs seen to be put up at the wrong place -where there is no danger, But this time there was . It seems to me they ough not allow that,it's like calling "wolf". I got into Puliski,Va. only to find that I was on the wrong.
The road to Wytherville does not go thru Puliske but turns to the left at the forks I had passed . Well I had to go back,--I got around the dangerous turn O.K. and then just before I came to the forks I passed the same wagon that caused me trouble. I told them that we had our little trouble for nothing , that I was on the wrong road. I got on the right road. It was very bad, rough-muddy-sandy-rocky and lots of creeks to ford. I got along alright on it and a little way before I got into WythervilleI opened up for several miles ,The road was very good . My motor was so full of carbon the best it would do was about 45m.p.h. On a level. I got into Wytheville O.K. I went around to my uncle's house where I had a nice supper and stayed over night. This end's my shortest day's ride . I had come from Rocky Mount Va.to Wytherville Va. by Roanoke Va. A distance of 119 miles ,riding was 7 hours. Next morning after breakfast I left for Abington Va. My home town. I had very good road a little way out of Wytherville which I road wide open until I came to the old stare road. Now this road is nearly a hundred years old . Built when this part of Va.had only a few settlements . Now by the looks of this road I don't believe it has had any work on it since it was built It is a linestone rock road and the rocks are sticking out of the road six to 8 inch high and are fixedin the road so it is impossible to miss them. After a little way I was on a clay road which was worse than ever. After a few miles of that I got on a good,very good road, and open up again .I went thru Marion Va.and just as soon as I got out I opened up again and flew along. This road lasted for about ten miles and then hit the plain dirt road again . When I got within 10 or 14 miles of Abington I got on the good hard road and flew
along . I came over a hill and was flying down into the bottom and all at once crack! snap! and then a loud grind ! The bearings in the front wheels had broken . I was going about 40mph and it was all I could do to keep it from falling. Believe me it did the Solome dance! I just did get it stoped in time. Everything in the front hub had broken up and locked the wheel. Now something told me that was going to happen so I was prepared for it when I left Montgomery,Al. I got a big rock and out it under the engine base to raise the front wheel off the ground, then I took the front wheel off. I opened up a small package I had in the tool box which had a whole new set of front wheel bearings . I put them in the hub and put the wheel on and was going again,- only lost twenty minutes. Six miles before I got to Albington I came to dirt road again ,It was very bad . My engine was so full of carbon I could ride it wide open in most any kind of road , it would hardly do 35 mph I came to a big mud hole in the road that looked like one I had come thru before I got to Rocky Mount. It was clear across.......78....the road and looked deep. I didn't see anyway around it and the only way to the other side I could see was straight thru the middle. There was an old man plowing in the field right by the road . He looked like he was a hundred years old . I asked him "why don't they fix this mud hole here"? He laughed and said " son , that mud hole has been there for fifty year and has never been
dry yet". I didn't say anything more about it but went on thru If it has been there for fifty years I know they will never fix it. I arrived in Abington O.K. Three hour ride from Wytherville . It's 65 miles . Also 38 creeks to ford (I counted them). I was going thru town when my father and step-mother waved me down from the porch of Mrs Davidson's home . I stoped and greeted them. So ends the trip making my last day's ride the shortest . I have been on the road five day but my riding hours were short-First day I rode 11hrs (250miles) second day (250miles) 10 -1/2 hours (241miles) third day 11-1/2hrs (178 miles ) forth day 3 hrs (65miles) I went 18 miles further into Bristol,Tenn. just to run the trip into Tenn. Which make it 859miles in 43hrs 35 min. On the trip I used 16 gal. of gas. Which makes an average of 54miles to a gal. I also used 14 qts of oil which makes an average of 62 miles to a qt. There was no repair work (except the busted front wheel ) The motor came thru as smoothly as you please (except filling up with carbon ,any motor will do that)and didn't give any trouble at all,even when I fell in the creek it was alright after I dried it out ................THE END
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