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Well..... here it is the Labor Day ride report.
I got up at 4am. All packed and ready from the night before. All fluids changed and full tank o' go-go juice. We rolled out at 5am it was obviously still dark and about 46 degrees. That was cccccold. At least until the sun came up and heated us up, but that wasn't until 10 ish. We went through NY and PA in no time. We got into OH around 11:30 or noon. When we got into INand IL I couldn't believe all the D-1 schools we were passing.... Notre Dame, Valparaiso, U of IL and on and on. We went down I-90 to something 271 then to I-80 to Davenport, IA. We passed 3 H-D trucks that all sounded off when we went by. One truck we passed was tagged with radioactive placards all over it. g'bye ... We arrived in Davenport about 7:30, found the fairgrounds and setup camp. Around 14 hours one-way. Not a bad trip.
We crashed out early as can be expected. The next morning we went looking for a nice restaurant. No fast food need apply. We found Reife's just down Locust St. If you're ever in Davenport this is a MUST STOP. The food was great and prices were cheap. We ate there twice a day and left full every time. The show was awesome. We saw bikes that were 100 years old and still running. We saw not one but two Flying Merkel’s, the guy had one single and one twin..... WOW. We saw Yale’s, Shaw, BMW, Indians were all over. BSA's, Triumphs, NGK (Russian), Excelsiors, Super X'x, Even homemade contraptions. One guy made a steam engine out of a 5hp Briggs. AND IT RUNS !!!! Another made a bike out of a Zephyr V-12. That was sweet; he put the radiators in the saddlebags with cooling fans. Some dude put a 5 hp Briggs on a shopping cart. This way he could buzz around the meet and not carry what he bought. Parts..were...everywhere.
Friday we went into Anamosa to see the museum. That was also awesome. It's sponsored by J&P.
They had some mint bikes in there. A '71 Superglide, I think was the first year, with 00000.4 miles on it!! They have Steve McQueen's '47 Indian Chief chopper !! A couple of hill climbers from the 30's. A Vincent Black Prince, I can't imagine what that's worth. J&P is right around the corner, but we didn't have tome to go in. We got back into Davenport just in time to see the vintage races. The vintage dirt racers were loud and fast. What I was most impressed with were the antique board track racers. They wound them up and let them go. Direct drive, no clutch, no shift. Some of them had no throttle. The grip controlled spark advance to in turn control speed. There is no sound to compare them to. If I could go back in time, I would want to go back into the teens and watch these guys fly around those old board tracks. Top speed back in the day was 120mph. That still brings a smile to my face.
Sat.we walked around and took more pictures. 8 rolls of 24 exp in all. In the afternoon we had planned to go to Springfield for the 1/2-mile nationals, but since we were camping there was no place to stay. We just hung around the meet. We met a bunch of great people and admired their bikes. At 3pm I got bored, went out for another tattoo. We turned in early for a morning trip to Springfield, IL for "The World's Fastest Mile!" We got into the Fairgrounds at 12:30, heats began at 1. What an event! There had to be a thousand bikes all over the place. Racing was great. 5 wide into the corners and 3-5 lead changes per lap. Cool as hell. After the race we decided to begin the trek home. WE got into Champaign at dark and decided to get a room for the night. We wanted to get up earlyish and finish the trip home. Coops we got up at 9. A quick stop for grub and we were off again.
Instead of running all interstate again, we went up 25 to 24 to I-80 to I-90 and home. I'd like to extend a big thank you to the guy in the green mercury for flashing his lights to let me know that there was a radar trap ahead. I was running around 90-100 when the posted limit was 55. Another thanks to the Ohio troopers for staying parked when we went by. When we were on 80 we averaged 85 mph. We never got stopped through radar and all at midnight, when we were the only traffic on that stretch of road.
We had no real trouble with the machines throughout the whole trip. My FXD is basically new. His BMW has 190,000 with out a rebuild. Yes it's true. My mirror came loose around IL, that's an easy fix. I put forwards on for the trip and left the mid pegs so I could move my feet around. The spring washer broke on of the mid pegs and wouldn't stay up. PITA !!! A stop at the dealer in Davenport for a washer and that was fixed. Sometime during the trip I put a small stone through my drive belt. I have no idea how long it was there. I pushed it out, and since it was in the center I'm not going to worry about it. AS for my buddy.........well........... when we made our last as stop, he went to put the bike up on the center stand...............and it split.......over went the bike!!! He just had it repainted over the winter. That Sucked !!! I pulled into my driveway at 1am. Just 35 miles short of 2000 !!! I'd do it again in a second.
If you're still with me here, that is the story. I know I'm leaving out a bunch of stuff, but I want to keep it kinda short. I have a ton of photos from the meet and museum. None are jpgs yet but when I get that far I'll make a post of the more rare bikes. Thanks for reading this.....enjoy
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