My Cannonball adventure

My Cannonball adventure
Meet "Effie" our 1915 Harley-Davidson Twin 3 speed

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 12 Alburqueque MN to Gallup, NM

Today was a mixture of ups and downs. Truly. Got off to a nice start. My brother Mark drove down from Boulder and rented a bike for the day so he could ride along for a bit. How cool is that? Too bad it started raining as soon as we got out of the morning traffic.

As we rode along, the road turned into a postcard. Beautiful orange colored Mesas filled the landscape. We rode for quite a while on old Route 66. What a great ride! I love seeing the old motel signs and old gas pumps. Fun stuff. It made me wonder what it would have been like to drive this road when it was in it's heyday. I'm sure I did when I was a kid. Very cool part of the country and history of being "On the Road".

As the skies ahead of us darkened with rain clouds, the group I was riding with pulled over and donned rain gear. I was glad they did a few miles later as it started raining steadily. Normally I just get wet... but glad I had my Harley rain suit, as it rained ALL day.

My bike was running weird, mainly from the elevation... we are up around 6,000 feet. It was running very lean too. Starved for air up here!

We stopped for lunch as it continued to rain. And rain... and rain. I got separated from my group after lunch. We were told that the route we were supposed to take had a road washed out and they gave us directions for a new route to Gallup. Apparently, we were to jump back on Highway 40... WOW. 70 mph trsffic in the pouring rain! At the next gas stop I hooked up with my old riding buddy Jim Petty from SC. Jim had had some major engine repairs and had missed a few days of riding, so that's why I rode with the CA guys the past few days. Jim is such a cool guy. Very nice. We gassed up and went inside to look for some clear glasses. All we both had on were sunglasses, which aren't great in the rain... we needed to see better! While buying the glasses, I asked the women behind the counter if she thought the rain would let up. She said it would probably rain all day. I told Jim I thought I would just go for it. I was dry under my rain suit, but my feet and hands were wet and I was getting cold. (It was a COLD rain too!) He agreed, though there were at least 10 other riders hunkered down waiting out the rain. we didn't see any reason to stand there and freeze, so off we Jim and I went. We got on Highway 40 and of course there was road construction... plus lots of cars and semi trucks zipping by at 70 mph. Our friend Artist Scott Jacobs had been riding along with one of the sweeper "Side car Dudes" all day. They got behind us with their flashers on so people would see us better. I;m not sure why Jim was riding on the shoulder ( I was taught NOT to... can cause flat tires, due to all the junk that gathers on the side of the road. ) I was in the right lane plugging along at 40 mph... when I see Jim start to wobble and slide sideways. Looked a lot like I flat tire that I had the other day. To his credit, he held on to her and got his bike safely to the side of the road. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the Side Car Dude had pulled over to help him. I wasn't sure what to do... Should I pull over too? I only had a second to make a decision... then, I looked in my mirror and saw a truck behind me.. I guess I should just keep going. I couldn't help him change it and if I stopped I would never be able to get up enough steam to merge back into this traffic. I kept going and in a few miles the sidecar guy with Scott in the sidecar pulled in behind me and followed me the 25 miles left into Gallup and to the hotel.

I was a happy girl to make it! Yeah... a hot bath and a little laundry. Worked on the bike for tomorrow. My wonderful husband Pat adjusted my push rods again... the girls adjusted my chains and topped off my oil and gas. Ready for tomorrow's ride to Flagstaff!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chris! After watching you kick Effie to life and take off from Kitty Hawk I haven't been able to quit thinking about you and your heroic journey. Terri and I passed you twice that day, once when you were having a little trouble getting her started at a stop sign. Those old bikes sometimes just quit when you stop! And then later just "Rockin down the highway"! My ride home was very pleasant and then the next weekend spending with the MM in Ohio, "Maids in the Woods" getting to know more of these great ladies. I've ridden parts of Rt. 66 on my ol'pan Stella and your writings reminded me of that ride. It was hard to stay on 66 as it keep ending! Awesome girl! I can only imagine you and Effie feeling a little sad that this "natural high" will soon come to an end in CA. I wish I was there watching you roll in! Ride safe! Debbie