Sunday, September 12, 2010

CANNONBALL UPDATE: UNDAUNTED



The latest from North Carolina: I'm enjoying vicarious motorcycle rally miracles...the sort of fortuitous meetings and helping hands which make touring on an old bike an unpredictable adventure...





"Sorry for the radio silence. Pete wanted to post the news first to his blog and he was too busy as you shall see.




We did 65 miles on Day1 and snapped the crankshaft in half. We skipped dinner and worked into the wee hours doing a full disassembly and diagnosis. While working in Greenville, NC, two local moto cops came by to check out the bikes. We were chatting about our failure and discussing our need for a good machinist the next day. Five minutes later, the cop hands Pete his cellphone and says 'here's your machinist'. He knew a guy a few towns away and had gotten him out of bed to talk to us!




Day2 we skipped the start and ventured off to find this machinist. Turns out his is a vintage moto collector in his own right and has 100 bikes. His business is industrial repair and he has a HUUUUUUGE complex with all the equipment you would ever want. Business is closed on Saturdays. He calls his best journeyman machinist and tells him to get to work. Four hours later we have toured his personal museum and we have our precision parts in hand. Won't take any money except for us to give a good tip to the guy who came in on his day off.





Four hour drive to the next destination, skip that dinner and begin the delicate reassembly. 0100 this morning it made noise and we headed to bed. Up again at 0600 for final connections and adjustments and Pete started Day3 on time. The lead riders have like 350 points and we have 60. Today is flat in the morning but very hilly in the afternoon. Riders have an option to drop out and avoid the hills without penalty. We need the points, so Pete is planning the full day.




BTW, there were at least 7 engines in full disassembly last night and some who worked all night without ever going into the hotel that they had paid for.





Ain't this fun?

Patrick"

Thanks Patrick! Keep the reports coming!

3 comments:

Mason Apostol said...

I thought the story of making a new crankshaft was fantastic. I imagine that kind of thing is part of the fun of this rally. Keep the posts coming, and I hope the hills treated Patrick well.

Mason said...

Thanks for this post.

The story of having a new crankshaft machined was fantastic. I imagine that is part of the fun of this rally.

I hope Patrick was treated well by the hilly stages and earned some well-deserved points.

Anonymous said...

Stories like this give me renewed pride in my fellow man. Just think, some curious and considerate cops, a generous shop owner, a selfless machinist - all complete strangers and none accepting any payment. And knowing Pete, he'd do the same thing. What a truly great story! -Jz