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Everyone was up early and on the road. It was a great day for riding. Sunny and a little chilly but clear skies all around.
Talking about leaving
"Georgia girl" without her coffee
Outside of the first check point, Camden, I hit a railroad track with a mighty force but all seemed OK for awhile. Then I noticed a high frequency vibration. Not real severe and not constant. In Camden I stopped to inspect Big Red. A breather hose had come loose on the engine but that was all I could find. Across the street was a genuine hardware store. Not one of those chain things. It had everything and was quite large. I needed a hose clamp, which they had, and I went back across the street and installed it.
Stu checking to see if I am ok
Camden's great hardware store
The rest of the day was uneventful but I had slowed back because of the vibration. Outside of Butler "Capt Gary" and I teamed up to find our way through the back roads to the Mississippi state line, which was nothing other than a change of color in the pavement.
Capt Gary just across the Mississippi line trying to drop his scooter
I rolled into Hazlehurst way behind my planned time. After Big Red cooled off I decided to look for the vibration. The exhaust is a two piece unit and it had pulled apart and the gasket had fallen apart. I pulled the exhaust and could not quite get it back together and noticed a bolt missing on the swing arm. One of the Cannonball's most famous riders and more importantly, extremely knowledgeable Vespa experts from England was sitting around with one of the Empire's other knowledgeable mechanics, Doug, and they were doing nothing but drinking beer. I asked for a consult and he looked at me and said "it's buggered mate" and commenced telling me what I needed to do. Off I went to Advance Auto, which was just around the corner, to pick up the necessary items. Gerimo, who is support for another team loaned us a drill. Dave, who has a Vespa that goes like hell, just happened to have the two bolts. Not wanting to screw up the job I asked Jim to help who graciously drilled and extracted the two bolts. I reassembled most of it with him pitching in.
Jim and Doug doing nothing
Jim extracting the bolts
Me bowing to the empire
and an all round great job!
Several scooters went out today. Frank's Stella locked up and Rick ran off the road and wiped out the bike and his foot. Tens of stitches later, he is somewhat OK but his foot is unknown.
Frank discovering he is out of the race
The Stella goes "on the trailer"
There are so many great stories to tell. My experience in the parking lot is an example of what the Cannonball is all about, everyone pitching in, but blowing you off the road at every chance. Sadly, after a long day on the road some stories will be missed due to time constraints.
I am in 2nd place along with a couple of dozen other riders. It is a long story I will tell later.