Stage 5 completed – all is good

We left Bowling Green in a dry overcast and cool temps but we knew it was going to warm up and dressed accordingly. Remember – there is no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing.

We made steady progress – through a checkerboard of straight roads and cornfields. Side note – there’s a LOT of corn in these parts. I wouldn’t recommend taking corn on the cob to a potluck in these parts.

The bikes did what they should – ran just great, with the metronomic beat of big singles. We had a significant delay due to a four mile stretch of roadworks but the organizers extended the finish time to compensate. It turned out that we (and many riders) did not need it.

On the side roads – we never saw a “Welcome to Indiana” sign so it’s a bit of a surprise to realise that we crossed an entire state today – especially at a cruising speed of 45.

The sag wagon did good business today – also know as the Grim Sweeper. One trailer was nearly filled and the second had one or two. So not a good day for breakdowns. Disheartening for Brit iron fans was that Arrie on his Triumph suffered a nail that went into the tyre and out the sidewall. So it wasn’t roadside repairable -meaning a loss of points – which in turn means the Class II 90 Division now only has four Brit bikes leading and not five.

More bad news is that the orange NeraCar (pictured below) took a tumble and bent the steering – not sure if it will run tomorrow or not. Worst – two riders went down on the roadwork section – father and son Mike and Buck Carson.  Word is that Mike has broken ribs and collarbone – looks like Buck completed the stage so presumably he is still in.

Over the day, the overcast changed to a Simpson’s Sky and then even the clouds melted away and we rode in 80F/27C. We had a stop at Kersting’s Cycle Centre and Museum. We’d had a slight hiatus with a roadside repair for a leaking tank so we only had time for a quick bite to eat – and didn’t get to check out the museum.

But what was really great is an old mate rode over from Indianapolis – Denny Henderson – whom I hadn’t seen in about 10 years! We used to ride to a lot of Triumph RAT Raids across the country and meet up. So we had about 20 minutes to shoot the breeze – then Team Norton mounted up and finished the ride to the end of the stage.

Side note:  it’s fascinating how all-consuming this event becomes.  Someone asked me from where we’d started this morning and I could not immediately answer.  If they’d asked me how we’d done, how I found the roads, where we keep the 50 weight oil, etc etc then I could have given chapter and verse.  But something as simple as “where did you start from?” or even “what day is it?” – nope, couldn’t do it.


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