Cannonball Stage 3
The Premier fired up after midnight last night. After a few hours of sleep I was able to get finish everything, got off to a late start on Stage 3. Patrick has been a great help, including bringing me food when I get so busy that I forget to eat. In the last few days I’ve slept a couple hours each night and eaten about 1 meal per day. This is hard work, even more than I expected. Hopefully I’ll have no more broken cranks on the rest of the Cannonball.
Tailgate motor rebuild. Crank truing using the old ‘straightedge’ method.
Stages 3 and 4 are in hill country, and the Cannonball team has advised the single cylinder bikes and the 1 speed twins to truck their bikes for half days Sunday and Monday. It isn’t ideal, but the steep hills are tough on those bikes, both uphill and the downhill sections.
Today I rode the Premier for about 100 miles or so, into the hill country and the Blue Ridge area of North Carolina. The bike ran pretty well, but I had to stop to tighten a few things that didn’t get enough wrenching in my sleep deprived state. The only real issue was overheating, with gas boiling in the float chamber. Flooding the carb cools it down, so I rode for a short while with my right index finger on the tickler, and used my left hand to steer, adjust the throttle, timing and shifter until I made it into the lunch stop. I’ll check the timing tomorrow and adjust as needed. With the Cannonball Chase trailer right behind me, I had to quickly load the Premier and get on the X for the last 100 miles of the day. What a change! The X has twice the cylinders, twice the power and almost twice the speed. I’ve always said that I’m doing this ride for the ride and for the fun, not for any award points or trophies. So I didn’t hesitate to bring along the (non-Cannonball eligible) 1916 Excelsior to ride on some days. I’ll continue to swap back and forth throughout the rally. That isn’t the way to earn points & trophies, but it should be fun!
Damage to other bikes:
Several bikes have sustained some damage. Another one broke a rod and cast iron piston on day 2 (I’ll leave his name out of my report), but he was also up and running for day 3.
At least a half dozen bikes are currently off the road being repaired, lots of little things, but a few big fixes too. Too many to post here actually. But things are moving forward and people are having some fun.
More ride info and photos next time.