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+2

Seems a bit brutal that experienced riders are dropping their scoots. This years seems that it would have been better suited to dirt bikes. I get that it should be tough but always thought it came down more to endurance and route planning. If there was dirt that was a shortcut but also a reasonable road the riders could choose that may take longer then at least there is risk/reward.
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UTC quote
Harbinger wrote:
+2

Seems a bit brutal that experienced riders are dropping their scoots. This years seems that it would have been better suited to dirt bikes. I get that it should be tough but always thought it came down more to endurance and route planning. If there was dirt that was a shortcut but also a reasonable road the riders could choose that may take longer then at least there is risk/reward.
Some of the dirt could be avoided sometimes by doubling back a bit after getting a checkpoint other times by choosing not to go for the bonus photo points like on the Burr Trail. Had I been riding it this year I'd have passed on that optional bonus picture since dirt isn't my thing. The dirt to the first checkpoint on day 4 looked like good Colorado dirt, aka hard pack on top of granite. That I'd have ridden same with checkpoint 3 that day if I had been on a cannonball scoot. I chose not to do so since I was on my new GTS.

At least one stretch of dirt was totally unexpected by the route planners. I know because Scott and Dave were talking about it especially since ddenis668 said he had bypassed that dirt because he saw it was dirt when he did an inch by inch review on Google Maps.

Having said that this year does seem to have more burtal dirt and more of it than any other cannonball. Though 2010 with the logging road had some pretty brutal dirt as well. At least this year non of the dirt was wet like it was in 2010.
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UTC quote
+3

Thanks cdwise for filling us in.

I'd be interested in 2020, but this year just seems brutal. Or maybe it is because Dave is in the middle of it all and I've been watching his videos on Facebook.
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UTC quote
kimbered wrote:
+3

Thanks cdwise for filling us in.

I'd be interested in 2020, but this year just seems brutal. Or maybe it is because Dave is in the middle of it all and I've been watching his videos on Facebook.
I think the dirt was tougher than the route organizers expected but that's just my opinion. After all there were tales of minivans going on the Burr Trail and you'd think a scooter wouldn't have any problem on a road a minivan could traverse.

The section of dirt in Dave's video where OAD blew past him is more typical of the type of dirt we had in previous years. After all even I who am not a fan of dirt was going 50+ mph in 2014 on the Colorado road from Wyoming to Steamboat. I had reserved my options that day with my support driver that if when I got to the checkpoint the road hadn't been graded since it the snow left it or if it had been muddy - I will not ride in mud after breaking my leg in it years ago, I'd have double backed and taken minimum points for that leg even if it meant an extra hundred miles. Worse dirt that year wasn't known or planned but due to road construction scraping off all the old road bed in prep for laying a new road.

If you are prepared to blow off a checkpoint and get a DNF for 2 legs or minimum points for at least one you can avoid dirt. So it rather depends on how competitive you intend to be. Given the caliber of riders this year had I gone I'd have probably tried to be a tourist since it is highly unlikely I'd better my sixth place finish from 2016. I say "try" because something about the cannonball tends to bring out the competitor in me.
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List
Cracking job cdwise.

Keep it up.

Bill x
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UTC quote
BTW, some of the riders have now reached the finish line. Hammy posted photos on facebook with 4in6iscool, feb31st and OAD.
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Must
Well done to all 3 of them.

Any news on Pam ?

Bill x
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Not that I've seen but I'm sure she'll be there soon enough. Looking at the tracking site some of the late hotel leavers still have at least 2 hours to go.
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Say
Excellent.

Thank you.

Bill x
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Any reason given for Motovista dropping out?
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UTC quote
Pam well done my friend well done. To all riders actually!

Pam was riding with a little pressure from VSO, Pam, how's our streak?

😍

SDG
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UTC quote
duane1 wrote:
Any reason given for Motovista dropping out?
Nope you will have to ask him. I heard he was in Bluff night of day3 or at least his scooter was bit I didn't set him and the next day he was gone.
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UTC quote
Jet Peddler wrote:
Was the route this year designed to grind out bikes and riders the 1st 2 days? I have always assumed a degree of difficulty but this one seems to be a bit over the top?

I had considered running it in 2 years but if the routes are being designed that are intended to break bikes and bones; I will have to reconsider

+1.

Am curious about the same exact thing.
In designing this years route we (Dave/Mark/Matt) tried to bring back some of the "flavor" of the 2008 and 2010 Cannonballs of paved/unpaved roads, increase the daily mileage and used bonus photos as a way to "force" more technical riding conditions from start to finish each day.
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UTC quote
Re Motovisa: He father took very ill in California and he turned back to visit him. After the multi-day visit he came east to pick up his MP3 in Elk City, OK.
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UTC quote
To this year's route planners, I say you did a stellar job, with options for those who did not wish to go on so much off-road to do that.

I regret not being able to finish this year, but look forward to 2020.
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According to the live map, GoPam and SwissMiss Made it home just a few minutes ago. Good work all!
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Hats off to all those that entered and made it to the start line (better than I did), and hats off with a bow to those that made it to the finish! Well done!!
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Damn fine lil pony.
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UTC quote
Congrats to all the participates and finishers. Looking at the top 10 finishers, it appears that Vespa's did not fare too well. Is that normal or is it a matter more of the rider than the bike.

Of the top 10.
3 Piaggio's
3 Honda's
2 Yamaha's
1 Aprilla
1 Vespa
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Travman wrote:
Congrats to all the participates and finishers. Looking at the top 10 finishers, it appears that Vespa's did not fare too well.
Considering that Vespas, Piaggios, and Aprilias are all built by the same company - I'd say that Gruppo Piaggio took half of the top ten. Followed by Honda, and then Yamaha.
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Way to go tdrake! Was it what you expected?
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Here are the official 2018 Scooter Cannonball results per the official website. Congratulations everyone!
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Molto Verboso
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SDG wrote:
Pam well done my friend well done. To all riders actually!

Pam was riding with a little pressure from VSO, Pam, how's our streak?

😍

SDG
Your streak is good!! VESPASO CAnnonball prepped scooters make it start to finish. I had them put on Michelin city grips front rear new tires. I never changed oil. Never had to top off oil. Only issues were left loose mirror after dirt dump- rider error. Electrical gremlin on seat open button - which fixed itself same day. And dim bulb tail light - might be out now. Both vespa and gopam were riding with dim bulbs but we made it !!!!!!! Epic.
Now packing all my junk i road to Morro Bay with....that's been in support truck...now I have to figure out how to get it back on Scoot.
And the military stealth jets (not sure what they are) are flying overhead. Steve Hess says he loves that sound of freedom.
CANNONBALLL !!!!
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Price
Well done Pam.

I'm so proud of you.

Shucks.

Bill x
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
Time to pack to get to Amerivespa. How can I manage this puzzle. Will do!! That's Binh, DaBinChe, my roommate behind me bike. He won a cannonball trophy.

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UTC quote
Hey goPam!
Quote:
Your streak is good!! VESPASO CAnnonball prepped scooters make it start to finish. I had them put on Michelin city grips front rear new tires. I never changed oil. Never had to top off oil.
The fact that you made it though safely, with little maintenance issues, your positive experience & positive attitude gives me motivation & encouragement for 2020.

Congrats on completing the Cannonball Run!
⚠️ Last edited by kimbered on UTC; edited 1 time
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
Richmond bound
Richmond bound. gopam Packed up and ready to go
I was ready sooner but talking with other cannonballers. And mike LM15 just called me to see how I was doing and said the kindest words I started to cry a bit with joy. But quickly stopped because I can't afford to lose any water weight on this dehydrating hot journey Haha.
Love all of you cannonballers.

Ps if any good MV samaritan at Amerivespa wants to fix gopam's GT200 rider #89 easily spotted scoot's .....tail light ....I'll buy you a beer and chat about the cannonball.

And anyone riding behind me....my brake lights work but my tail light is out.

And since I lagged bagel just suggested we ride the interstate together and get lunch. Nice !!!!

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UTC quote
Sitting here in limbo, in VA Beach the day after, resting up and getting ready to head to Amerivespa...figure this will be the last chance to make sense of this trip before life happens again.

Been on the road for about three weeks, sort of on a journey to fall in love with America again, coming at this journey, and the CB, more from that perspective than as a "race-not-a-race" or event.

My biggest impressions:

The route was brilliantly designed to fulfill that purpose: we moved fast but saw most of the places so often overlooked, ignored or forgotten.

Aside from an occasional hour here and there, we crossed nothing but beautiful places. Granted, as not everyone probably felt that way, but I grew up in and now live in some places where you have to learn to see beauty or where you have to wait through long dry or cold spells for it to reappear (like the Central Valley, where we blasted through the places I spent the first ten years of my life -- it's ugly as sin out there but full of beautiful ghosts....)

I'm not a racer and don't have a competitive bone in my body that hasn't been broken by philosophy or meditation...but if I was a more competitive dude, I still would have had my ass handed to me. I tried riding fast the first two days but faded each day by hour six. Day three kicked the shit out of me (could write a novel about that day alone) and it took me a couple more days to catch my breath...then I had a bunch of stupid maintenance errors that cost me all kinds of time.

Anyway, what I mean is, I wanted to tour, not race, but if I had tried to race I still would have lost.

Outside of CA and N. North Carolina, the parts of Tennessee we saw, and a few other places, there's a grim sadness to what's left of rural America. I'd hoped that was only true up where I live but it's not: small down America is down and out. That breaks my heart.

The beauty of touring on a PTW is that you can't space out: each minute demands you get out of your own head and into your surroundings. Logging 4,000 miles and roughly 100 hours with nothing but the sound of the wind in your helmet is one hell of a disciplined meditation on your environment, taking you out of yourself and into the world.

That's a beautiful thing.

And really f----g exhausting.

Commence massive photo dump...which may take me awhile....
Day 1: the new and the old.
Day 1: the new and the old.
Day 1: my first meet up with Bill. We met up throughout the day, rode hard, and I was excited about getting to see him more. I guess that's my one disappointment with this trip.
Day 1: my first meet up with Bill. We met up throughout the day, rode hard, and I was excited about getting to see him more. I guess that's my one disappointment with this trip.
Day 1: Bill at 8,000 feet, Sherman Pass CA.
Day 1: Bill at 8,000 feet, Sherman Pass CA.
Day 1: East side of Sherman pass.
Day 1: East side of Sherman pass.
Day 1: Death Valley Sunset. Spent my whole life wanting to visit this place....
Day 1: Death Valley Sunset. Spent my whole life wanting to visit this place....
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UTC quote
Day 2: Hit the road by 4:30 cuz I was still so jacked.

Made the fatal mistake of downing one of those lil Starbucks cans of espresso about 11:00 AM, thus kicking down my five year run of coffee sobriety.

Was excited about being the first dude to make it into the second town...only to receive a text from my roommate, who'd left an hour after me, telling me he'd arrived an hour earlier....

Thus ended any half ass plans to compete.

Still, for about an hour and a half, it seemed I had Death Valley all to myself.
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Day 2: our first, 20 mile stretch of powder, which was to kill off a couple of our riders. I laughed this section off.  The next day, on the 47 mile stretch, I wasn't laughing.
Day 2: our first, 20 mile stretch of powder, which was to kill off a couple of our riders. I laughed this section off. The next day, on the 47 mile stretch, I wasn't laughing.
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UTC quote
Day 3...

...

I shudder. ...the air grows still, my vision blurs, these fingers quake upon the keyboard....

I'm not ready to revisit day three. Must cross the street for supper and liquid virility....
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
kimbered wrote:
Hey goPam!
Quote:
Your streak is good!! VESPASO CAnnonball prepped scooters make it start to finish. I had them put on Michelin city grips front rear new tires. I never changed oil. Never had to top off oil.
The fact that you made it though safely, with little maintenance issues, your positive experience & positive attitude gives me motivation & encouragement for 2020.

Congrats on completing the Cannonball Run!
Thanks. I had fears that I pushed past to do cannonball. It was the hardest thing physically and mentally I've ever and the most rewarding.
I might of spoke too soon on the bike.
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
SDG wrote:
Pam well done my friend well done. To all riders actually!

Pam was riding with a little pressure from VSO, Pam, how's our streak?

😍

SDG
So I rode with Bagel to Richmond. Half way here after lunch, Bagel tells me he hears a rattle in my engine. I have my custom ear plugs in & helmet & don't hear it. We ride. I was hoping my engine doesn't seize. Started off carefully & then F it... just twisted throttle to 80mph to get here. I rallied to check in hotel & make it to MotoRichmond bike shop before they close at 6pm to have them check it out tomorrow---if they have time because of Amerivespa they are slammed. Rachel from the shop and I listen & with my head by the engine I now here something rattling around. Is it a piece of the bike or a rock....who knows? And who knows how long I've had an object rattling near my variator. Yikes-ees
So David they may not have time to loook at or fix it. I'm down to the rally rides & then it goes on a trailor. So I might just risk riding it but it's being trailered back to NORCAL for me to ride home to LA another time. so if they can't fix it here I'll have to take it to a shop in Sacramento.
Hey MV peeps....scooter shop Sacramento recommendations?
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GP: Alice will know of a Sacramento shop. Also, saw one near Taggart's (Roseville).
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Molto Verboso
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tdrake wrote:
GP: Alice will know of a Sacramento shop. Also, saw one near Taggart's (Roseville).
Ooh an excuse to visit the Legend !!!

Ps I messaged you my cell #
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
I'm literally following in the footsteps of Scott Taggart, the legend. Turns out he rode his MP3 to the same Shop this morning as me, MotoRichmond. (I've got something loose rattling in my engine yikes!!) Then Rachel at the shop tells me Scott Taggart, the Legend...while they worked on his Scoot....ate his lunch across the street at.....LEGEND brewery. My mind is blown. Universe. We're all connected. Serendipity. Mind blown. I sang his legend song. I've been telling his tale of greatness to the Virginia locals. I've literally followed in the footsteps of Scott Taggart the legend, eating here and chilling with my mind completely blown. Blown. Kablouie!!!!!!

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UTC quote
Ok, Day 3.

I'm not going to talk about Day 3.

Well, not a lot.

Suffice it to say it was 16 hours and 515 miles long. It involved roadside variator repair, begging for a 19mm socket for said repair, 47 miles of jeep trail, getting utterly soaked at 10,000 feet so that I could avoid the second, 19 mile Jeep trail...and then the highpoint of the trip: riding with Gopam and Scooterista through stunning Utah redrock canyonlands as the sunset (already posted those pics)...and then a harrowing night ride past multiple deer and "open range" signs....

Ate essentially nothing all day, came "home" to zero food to be had at 10:30, downed two Mormon-approved 3.2 beers for dinner, yelled at my roommate, and slept on the couch in my sweaty biking gear....

Woke at 5:00 to do it all again....

Oh, yeah, wait, also asked a complete random stranger for route advice, and it turned out to be a long lost close friend from graduate school, who I hadn't seen or heard from in 19 years. Last I'd really seen him we wuz playing music and getting so drunk he literally crawled home...after sleeping a couple hours in the park...only to have to defend his Masters thesis the next day. Anyway, too weird...and emblematic of the worst and best day I've experienced in decades.

Cannonball!
Zion NP.
Zion NP.
About to get drenched.  For a good 1/2hour, traffic, and I, slowed to 35 miles as the roads flooded and winds howled.
About to get drenched. For a good 1/2hour, traffic, and I, slowed to 35 miles as the roads flooded and winds howled.
"Wait, I know you!"
"Wait, I know you!"
Yeah, we're getting near the longest days of the year and yet we're riding at night.... 
 Cannonball!
Yeah, we're getting near the longest days of the year and yet we're riding at night.... Cannonball!
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
⚠️ Last edited by tdrake on UTC; edited 1 time
@jet_peddler avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
'07 LX150 (Sold), '17 GTS300, '16 BV350, '15 EN650, '09 FXDF (sold). '15 FLSTN
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5664
Location: Home of the Alamo
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@jet_peddler avatar
'07 LX150 (Sold), '17 GTS300, '16 BV350, '15 EN650, '09 FXDF (sold). '15 FLSTN
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5664
Location: Home of the Alamo
UTC quote
Bravo tdrake!

More!
@sdg avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
63 GS160 MK1 / GT60 / Sean Wotherspoon
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6544
Location: Thousand Oaks
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@sdg avatar
63 GS160 MK1 / GT60 / Sean Wotherspoon
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6544
Location: Thousand Oaks
UTC quote
gopam wrote:
kimbered wrote:
Hey goPam!
Quote:
Your streak is good!! VESPASO CAnnonball prepped scooters make it start to finish. I had them put on Michelin city grips front rear new tires. I never changed oil. Never had to top off oil.
The fact that you made it though safely, with little maintenance issues, your positive experience & positive attitude gives me motivation & encouragement for 2020.

Congrats on completing the Cannonball Run!
Thanks. I had fears that I pushed past to do cannonball. It was the hardest thing physically and mentally I've ever and the most rewarding.
I might of spoke too soon on the bike.
The bike is saying woah I did CB, can I get a checkup?

Maybe clutch / clutch drum issue? Have em take off the trans cover and look around.

Text me a video if you can.

SDG
UTC

Addicted
Joined: UTC
Posts: 816
 
Addicted
Joined: UTC
Posts: 816
UTC quote
Please! Keep the stories coming!!!!.
@tdrake avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2006 GT200
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2980
Location: Moscow, Idaho
 
Ossessionato
@tdrake avatar
2006 GT200
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2980
Location: Moscow, Idaho
UTC quote
Realize I'm being really self indulgent in this thread and am only at Day 4, so I'll try to move more quickly.

"Move more quickly"...yeah, hmm...guess I learned that's not in my nature.

Day 4: Colorado. I don't know what it is about Colorado but we seldom get along well. Maybe it's the fact that I have nearly 40-year-old bad tattoo from Denver. I mean a really bad tattoo. Maybe the lack of oxygen makes me go dark.

So I spent most of Day 4 trying to figure out how to get out of the CB and calculating whether I could ride home on my own.

Then I met up with Cheryl at 10k feet and we rode together briefly and my mood improved.

And then the last two hours offered up some of the most beautiful scenery and stunning riding of the trip and I was all "Oh yeah! Loves me some Cannonball!"

And then a great night of hanging out with CB peeps. Yeah, I'm back in....

Day 5: Hot and wide open. Like 102 degrees and Texas and OK wide open. Blew my exhaust gasket but savored the break from riding to calmly change it under a big shade tree. Felt like I could do this.

But I'd misinstalled the bushing/gasket (gotta shove it into the exhaust end, not onto the header) and I needed a new tire. So once again I needed help from other Cannonballers. I learned a lot watching Debinche use his spoons to swap the tire and Doug (Old As Dirt) graciously showed me how to treat exhaust with respect care. I had to steal another gasket from Bill's invaluable stash....

I knew this trip would be an exercise in humility and ten days of learning, but still I underestimated my own inexperience and dependency on others. Over and over again I had to go begging and everyone was so consistently generous. ...long fucking days, hot fucking parking lots, and people like Doug were still always willing to crawl around in the dirt turning wrenches to save me from myself. I can't express my gratitude adequately.

Day 6: Shoulda been a cakewalk but my GPS lost its signal one block from the hotel. Well, we were headed East, weren't we, and OK is a big ol grid, so I stared into the sun and rode on. Picked up the satellites after about an hour, met up with some other riders and tried to keep up...lil GT did pretty well against the 250 Helixes.... Lost the signal again in the eve and got lost...which only "forced" me to have a nice lil talk with a local as we looked at the map.

Day 7: Into the South. Arkansas and Mississippi. I'd spent time in both of these states as a kid and fell in love with them all over again. The last 35 years, however, have not treated them so well, and again I was struck by the gutting of our small towns. Lots of personal ghosts to acknowledge on this day but I won't go there. For all this, so lush and beautiful and a big part of me wishes I'd spent more years down there. Next life, I guess.
CO.
CO.
CO. Heading into two hours of brilliant riding on the way to Trinidad.
CO. Heading into two hours of brilliant riding on the way to Trinidad.
Trinidad. Helixes...Helixi?
Trinidad. Helixes...Helixi?
My roommate, the Legedary Scott Taggart. Dude helped me more times than I can count and was generous beyond description. Hella determined to win, as well!
My roommate, the Legedary Scott Taggart. Dude helped me more times than I can count and was generous beyond description. Hella determined to win, as well!
Speaking of Legends: meeting CDwise really lifted my spirits.
Speaking of Legends: meeting CDwise really lifted my spirits.
Day 5 started with meeting Jim broke down on the side of the road.  Gave him a lift into the nearest "town" where he had his own adventure hanging with the locals.  Unfortunately his MP3 was down for the count and he rode shotgun in the support
Day 5 started with meeting Jim broke down on the side of the road. Gave him a lift into the nearest "town" where he had his own adventure hanging with the locals. Unfortunately his MP3 was down for the count and he rode shotgun in the support
Dabinche...we need a whole new thread to discuss this guy.
Dabinche...we need a whole new thread to discuss this guy.
Day 7: Lost Boater, his brother and Brian (?). As with Bill, Cheryl and Doug, a chance to meet Ken drove much of my motivation for this trip. Ken's attitude really kept me afloat through much of this.
Day 7: Lost Boater, his brother and Brian (?). As with Bill, Cheryl and Doug, a chance to meet Ken drove much of my motivation for this trip. Ken's attitude really kept me afloat through much of this.
Watch yer step when you pull off to piss....
Watch yer step when you pull off to piss....
Hello old friend. It's been 35 years since I last saw you.
Hello old friend. It's been 35 years since I last saw you.
What much of rural America now looks like.
What much of rural America now looks like.
Beat down ole Miss.
Beat down ole Miss.
Natchez Trace, Miss. My dad lived a mile off of the Trace back in the early 80s and I spent two summers logging 20,000 miles on the backroads of rural Mississippi...lots of deep memories here.
Natchez Trace, Miss. My dad lived a mile off of the Trace back in the early 80s and I spent two summers logging 20,000 miles on the backroads of rural Mississippi...lots of deep memories here.
Into 'bama.
Into 'bama.
Etowah TN.
Etowah TN.
Charlie and Pam, competing for the "Most Ebullient" prize.
Charlie and Pam, competing for the "Most Ebullient" prize.
The Helix dudes, a breed apart.  Just cruisssssing along...at breakneck speed, all chillaxed and mellow....
The Helix dudes, a breed apart. Just cruisssssing along...at breakneck speed, all chillaxed and mellow....
Legends: Taggart and Bagel
Legends: Taggart and Bagel
Legend: Scooterista's Sloppy Joe.
Legend: Scooterista's Sloppy Joe.
⚠️ Last edited by tdrake on UTC; edited 1 time
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