Archive for the ‘Cannonball Updates’ Category

the beggining of the end

September 20, 2008

ok so as i sit here in the hotel, i cant believe its over! but lets go back to yesterday morning and figure out how we got here.

yesterday morning Roy and i woke up and knew what we had to do.

load up the scooters figure out what clothing to where depending on temperature, have breakfast load up the scooters and show up at the riders meeting,

leaving Cincinnati was kinda sad, as when we came into the city the night before we crossed the bridge and had a fantastic view of the skyline, then as our hotel was on the other side we had to drive through downtown, and it would have been nice to see a little more.

once we got to the first gas station and Roy and i knew that kieran was well on his way and on the right road we bid him farewell, as neither Roy nor i could stand another 45 mph day!

so we proceeded on our way, doing really well especially roy with his nice new clutch jb welded on!

so there’s really not much else to tell about yesterday, except that Dave on the 250gti caught up with us and road for most of the afternoon with us, the three of us having a good laugh riding along in the Virginia country side , at one piont we came across one of the vespa gt carburetter 200cc that was dead and would not go, i managed to get it going again, through luck and elimination.

roy and i really pressed on today as yesterdays 45mph nightmare was still fresh in our minds.

it was a relief to arrive in Oakland, early with plenty of day time left, Rolf and i had another look at the gt and seemed to get it going better.

everyone seemed in really good spirits as we knew that that the next day was to be the last.

ok in the morning on the last day it was foggy and cold, personally i hate fog with a passion, what use is it, nope give me the clean and tidy buggless , sterile Nevada desert any day.

so Roy and i set off in the freezing fog if Roy got more that 100ft in front i lost sight of him, i could not wait for the sun to come up, it was at this point that Dave on the buddy, who wanted to ride with us on the last day disappeared from my rear view, after turning around it was determined that he had broken a belt, personally i was gutted for Dave as his machine had done really well for a small no name brand 125, i personally was pretty impressed with it resilience.

so once he made the call and we knew he was fine Roy and i pressed on towards Washington dc, where on the out skirts we were to meet the locals who were to lead us into town for pizza at vespa Washington, once we had all arrived and our times noted, we all rode into this big us capitol city, at this point i should mention that Roy’s scooter did not like the city traffic at all and stalled at every light, of which there were many. seeing Roy having to run and bump his scooter at every light was pretty hard on the guy especially as we were still dressed for the fog only now it was very warm and sunny!

plus in order to get it going you really had to run fast!

so once we had pizza a large group, left for a tour of Washington’s famous spots ending up on the other side of town, where the race would be restarted for the last 105 miles to ocean beach, Roy and i skipped the tour and opted to go directly to the start line, keeping the lights to a minimum.

so once everyone arrived, we were off.

this was to be 100 miles of duel carriage way , and Roy was pretty frustrated by now, so i said hey go as fast as you can your machine loves freeway and this is your last chance!

well Roy took this and went like hell,his machine being pushed to it limits,we arrive in ocean city in quick order, Roy and i weaving in of traffic, like maniacs.

my gps clocked me at 69.8mph on the flat, but neither Roy nor i went below 110 kmh except when we gassed up, this part reminded me of my last cannonball as ashrat and i did this pretty much most of the time.

once in ocean city we received a congratulations and could not believe it was over.

ocean beach is like a mini vegas with an ocean front and a very nice beach.

as i sit here writing this Roy is fast asleep on his bed, glasses still on and a can of 7 up in one hand balanced on his tummy…lol.

oh well were riding to Toronto tomorrow 750 miles to get back into Canada, drop off our scoots for shipping home and try to get some stand by flights. Rocket

oh and there is now way on this planet i could have done this without our sponcers

CHISPA SCOOTERS OF BELLINGHAM

AND VESPA KELOWNA,

A VERY BIG THANKYOU TO THESE GUYS.

and look out for a cannonball bike on display at there shop if they so desire.

when i left my speedo read 54800, it now reads 62840…WOW

like my friend kieran said ” crazy times and crazy fun roy, crazy fun”

i couldn’t have put it better myself… Roy Cross…ocean beach.

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September 20, 2008

ok so as i sit here in the hotel, i cant believe its over! but lets go back to yesterday morning and figure out how we got here.

yesterday morning roy and i woke uo and knew what we had to do.

load up the scooters figure out what clothing to where depending on tempreture, have breakfast load up the scooters and show up at the riders meeting,

leaving cincinatti was kinda sad, as when we came into the city the night before we crossed the bridge and had a fantastic view of the skyline, then as our hotel was on the otherside we had to drive through downtown, and it would have been nice to see a little more.

once we got to the first gas station and roy and i knew that kieran was well on his way and on the right road we bid him fairwell, as neither roy nor i could stand another 45 mph day!

so we proceded on our way, doing really well especially roy with his nice new clutch jb welded on!

so theres really not much else to tell about testerday, except that dave on the 250gti caught up with us and road for most of the afternoon with us, the three of us having a good laugh riding along in the virginia country side , at one piont we came across one of the vespa gt carbatetta 200cc that was dead and would not go, i managed to get it going again, through luck and illimination.

roy and i really pressed on today as yesterdays 45mph nightmare was still fresh in our minds.

it was a relief to arrive in oakland, early with plenty of day time left, rolf and i had another look at the gt and seemed to get it going better.

everyone seemed in really good spirits as we knew that that the next day was to be the last.

ok in the morning on the last day it was foggy and cold, personally i hate fog with a passion, what use is it, nope give me the clean and tidy buggless , sterile navada desset any day.

so roy and i set off in the frezzin fog if roy got more that 100ft in front i lost sight of him, i could not wait for the sun to come up, it was at this point that dave on the buddy, who wanted to ride with us on the last day dessapeared from my rear view, after turning around it was determined that he had broken a belt, personally i was gutted for dave as his machine had done really well for a small no name brand 125, i personlly was pretty impressed with it resilience.

so once he made the call and we knew he was fine roy and i pressed on towards washington dc, where on the out skirts we were to meet the locals who were to lead us into town for pizza at vespa washington, once we had all arrived and our times noted, we all rode into this big us capitol city, at this point i should mention that roys scooter did not like the city traffic at all and stalled at every light, of which there were many. seeing roy having to run and bump his scooter at every light was pretty hard on the guy especially as we were still dressed for the fog only now it was very warm and sunny!

plus in order to get it going you really had to run fast!

so once we had pizza a large group, left for a tour of washingtons famous spots ending up on th other side of town, where the race would be restarted for the last 105 miles to ocean beach, roy and i skipped the tour and opted to go directly to the start line, keeping the lights to a minimum.

so once everyone arrived, we were off.

this was to be 100 miles of duel carriage way , and roy was pretty frustrated by now, so i said hey go as fast as you can your machine loves freeway and this is your last chance!

well roy took this and went like hell,his machine being pushed to it limits,we arrive in ocean city in quick order, roy and i weveing in of traffic, like maniacs.

my gps clocked me at 69.8mph on the flat, but neither roy nor i went below 110 kmh except when we gassed up, this part reminded me of my last cannonball as ashrat and i did this pretty much most of the time.

once in ocean city we reiceved a congratulations and could not believe it was over.

ocean beach is like a mini vegas with an ocean front and a very nice beach.

as i sit here writing this roy is fast asleep on his bed, glases still on and a can of 7 up in one hand balenced on his tummy…lol.

oh well were riding to toronto tomorrow 750 miles to get back into canada, drop off our scoots for shipping home and try to get some stand by flights. Rocket

oh and there is now way on this planet i could have done this without our sponcers

CHISPA SCOOTERS OF BELLINGHAM

AND VESPA KELOWNA,

A VERY BIG THANKYOU TO THESE GUYS.

and look out for a cannonball bike on display at there shop if they so desire.

when i left my speedo read 54800, it now reads 62840…WOW

like my friend kieran said ” crazy times and crazy fun roy, crazy fun”

i couldnt have put it better myself… Roy Cross…ocean beach.

CB Day 8 + 9 – The end is near!

September 19, 2008

Roy:

Riding my patched scooter is still a challenge at times, but I am very thankful just to be able to ride my scooters and hopefully making it to Ocean City without more problems.

Day 8 we rode with Kieran the entire day. We couldn’t let anything happen to the President of the Lambretta Club of USA. šŸ˜‰
Seriously though, as a single rider on a slower scooter, You don’t want to ride on the Interstate at 45-5-mph during rush hour. It ended up being a long day and we didn’t arrive in Cincinatti until 9:30 pm.

Day 9 was supposed to bring us to Maryland, the final state that we would ride across during this years Cannonball. I really enjoyed the route and the scenery. riding through the mountain region of West Virginia and Maryland was very cool. West Virginia reminded me a bit of the Black Forest region.

We started together with Kieran from the Hotel in Cincinatti.

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However, today we decided that we only wanted to ride together until we have some open road. We really wanted to arrive at our hotel as early as possible. So for a while it was Rocket and myself again making our way from checkpoint to checkpoint, however it wasn’t very long until we saw Dave.

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Dave wanted to ride with us today and the three of us rode most of the route together until we arrived at the hotel, however not before Rocket was helping Marcus on the side of the road.

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Marcus’ scooter would not run. Rocket got it to the point where Marcus at least could ride the scooter carefully and off we went.

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Rolf later on was able to help and improve the situation with Marcus’ scooter even more.

When we finally crossed the border to Maryland we were all cheering and we had to take a quick shot of the Welcome to Maryland sign.

Picture 175

One last day on Saturday…let’s hope my clutch and cruciform can survive the abuse they are receiving one last day.

CB Day 7 – The Day the clutch said bye bye

September 19, 2008

Roy:

What a day that was…Rocket summarized it pretty good. Everything was going well and we had a great ride with twisty turns on Road 42 in the Ozarks Mountain region in Missouri. After Kansas that was a welcome change. Although idling badly after getting some bad gas, our scooters were running great and on the twisty roads we were able to catch up to some of the smaller automatic scooters. Too bad that we had to pull over for gas. Rocket would have so liked to pass them on his scooter, which I am sure he would have been able to do if we would have had a few more miles of twisties.

I noticed that my clutch felt looser compared to previous day, but I was able to switch gears and therefore chose to ignore it until the end of the last leg of the day, but suddenly things go way worse and shifting became nearly impossible…the rest you probably already read in Rockets post. I managed to finish the last stretch to St. Louis either banging in gears or bump starting the bike when necessary.

Vespa St. Louis invited us to come to their shop and their mechanics helped getting work done getting the scooters again in shape for the remaining days. We really appreciated their hospitality and help. When we found out what the situation was with the clutch I was very frustrated knowing that this could have been the end for my scooter.

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We talked to the mechanics..in a town like St. Louis there must be a person who works on vintage scooters. Luckily there was Robert Craven. We persuaded the mechanics to get us in touch with Robert. I can’t thank him enough!!!

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He drove across the city a couple times for parts we were missing and he agreed to pull a matching clutch out of his running shop scooter. It always amazes me how much help scooterists offer to other scooterists they have never met when help is needed.

Rocket and Robert got my scooter patched up and going again and I was able to ride back to the hotel. Although the scooter doesn’t idle properly anymore and it is no longer on auto-lube, however the main thing is that this gave me the chance to complete the Cannonball.

By the way…you may have seen pictures of Rocket’s scooter that show something yellow on his side panel…here is a close-up…the sign says”Hair Dryers are available at the Front Desk” šŸ™‚

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goodbye kansas

September 18, 2008

well on the last day crossing kansas i was hoping to see something a little more interesting but this was not the case, the scooters were running fine and it was all going well and another 300 miler was out of the way.

well the nest day saw us going into missouri and like night and day withing 50 miles of entering the scenery changed into rolling country sid, it was at about 3/4 the way through that roy said theres something wrong with my clutch, so we stopped and after i had a look i though that the clutch needed adjustment and that the cable had mearly slipped.

well were were only one hour from a scoot shop that was to be our destination at the end of the day, so after trying all external measure to reradjust roys clutch, it was decided to press on to there workshop and look there.

well to cut along story short, once we got to the scooter shop, lifted the scooter removed the clutch, it was there that we discoverd that the spring in the center of the pressure plate had somehow come lose and dissapeared completely, but not untill it had split the clutch hub center,which had then jammed, tearing the wodruff key from the slot and finally damaging roys auto lube gears!

oh and i could not find the spring!

so after much discussion with the others there in the know, plus seeing what parts were available for a vintage scooter at a modern scooter shop, which were slim to none, we needed a new clutch at the bare minimum. so we managed to locate one on a local home mechanic named robert , who said we could have one out of his shop lonerfor replacement value.

so off we went in search of roberts house, where he removed the clutch, talk about robbing peter to pay paul.

then it was back to the shop to jb weld[glue] in the woodruff key in the crankshaft, so after a lot of messing about it was finally glued in and set up enough to install the new clutch, which was half roys old one and half of the

new one. it went ok after a lont of persuading as the crank was a mess and no longer up for a nice new clutch.

the clutch was toqued up to its max plus some more so that the nut would take the load and not the woodruff key. this was good as it was going to get asit was now well past ten, i was falling asleep in vespa st louis shop , while robert was going back and forward to his house robbing all the bits we needed to get it roilling , in the end robert put in the clutch and got it all tightened up while i changed my oil.

which was well over due as i now have an aditional 7 thousand kilometers on my scooter from when we started and were were still no where near being there yet.

in the resturant i fell asleep, like really gone, waiting for my meal, after this finally i was in bed and roys scooter seemed to be going ok , even though the idle was a little high id rectify that in the morning.

well the next day was to be 412 miles in one day! and roy had a glued in clutch, when i tried to set the idle it was pretty obvious that there was some damage to the oil seal and that the idle was to be zero or about 2000 rpm…ouch.

so roy managed to nurse this scooter for 412 miles banging it into gear at the red light and working really hard to try not to destroy it some more.

it only has 2.5 more days to go to complete the cannonball.

on this day we decided to stay with kieran on the lambretta as roys bike would well to maintain the 45/50 mph that kieran was doing, also there was about 90 miles of freeway, to get us out of st louis missori and the two slower bikes would stand a much greater chance of survival if they stuck together, well talk about suiside, holy cow, it took all my strengh not to gun it off at 65 every time a semi truck came up behind us and finally slowed down to 45 mph, trust me they were not impressed, at one point , a car and a trailer/caravan pulled on to the freeway and managed to force his way between kieran and roy, so roy pulled over in to the shoulder and slowed down, kieran on the lambretta gunned it and tried to slowly overtake then, so they were moving in a circle around this old boy on the freeway and they couldnt see each other, then when kieran finally got in front roy was not there, roy finally realising what was going un gunned it to get bck to kieran and overtook the car/trailer on the shoulder, talk about comerdy of errors, i was laughing so had i could hardly ride.

once we got off the freeway and back on to the slowe road we soon started banging away the miles at 45 mph!

but i will say this there were quite a few streatchs of road where following cars simply could not get by as it was to twisty,on one point when we pulled over to faster vehicles go by, i counted 28 cars and at least 5 trucks, there were quite a few people that we pissed off today.

14 hours later and 4 states[misouri, illinio, indiana, ohio] we arrived in cincinatii!

so here we are, roys scotter does not sound well but is running fine, kierans scooter is very painfully slow, [your on your own tomoz m8] and my small end bearing is chattering under full loads, hardly suprising after 2 cannonballs!

CB – Day 6: Across Kansas

September 16, 2008

Roy:
Yesterday, our route ended in Garden City, Kansas, and we continued to make our way across Kansas today. I wasn’t too impressed with the Western part of Kansas, but making our way East I really enjoyed. The dry prairie landscape changed to a nice green scenery with thick green grass and nice trees along the way. Also the towns we came through today looked nicer.

Making our way through Dodge City I couldn’t help thinking about Western Movies and even the street names reminded us of some of the famous Western Characters. Kieran left as usual first and we knew that we would catch him at some point on the way. I enjoyed the fact that we didn’t have any hill climbs today and my scooter ran extremely well. No more bogging which was good to see. We caught up to Kieran very quickly and we joined him for a little way until the first gas stop. No disrespect to Kieran, I think this guy is awesome how persistent he rides his Lambretta, however we didn’t want to ride too long at Kieran’s speed and left him after a while…only to see him 75 miles later pull up at the gas station when we were about to leave after having a quick snack. Rocket calls him the Energizer bunny and he definitely has a point there.

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Not that it is in any way intended to impress anybody, but I thought I give you some information about our speed that I collected on this route which was just short of 400 miles today: My top speed was 68.8 mph and our moving average was about 54 mph. I think the moving average was pretty good today considering that we are not taking any Interstates and are going through towns with school zones, and had to go through several work zones as well today.

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At some point along the way we saw Ed on his Big Ruckus and he asked us whether he can ride the rest of the way with us. Of course he can, the more the merrier…if anything he would get bored at our speed, his Big Ruckus can move much quicker than we can. Ed however, just as we, seemed to enjoy the company and stayed with us until we arrived in Fort Scott.

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I learnt that the Big Ruckus is one of Rocket’s favourite automatic scooters, he was smiling like a kid in a toy store when Ed gave his OK to let him sit on his scooter.

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Ed’s scooter has a bit of an unusual shape…I think you know what I mean when you see the picture.

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Yes, there will be pictures from now on and I will also add some over time to the older posts. Don’t expect too much though…we rarely stop for long on the way and most of the time we either took them while we ride or stop for a brief moment.

When we arrived most of the riders were already at the hotel and we heard that Fort Scott’s Chamber of Commerce invited us to a party. How nice of them. A local reporter arrived also at the hotel parking lot and spoke to some of the guys. For me it was time to change my rear tire…I couldn’t believe how low the profile of the tire got over the past few days. When we left Vancouver I had about 100km on my new Heidenau tires and less than 3000km later it was time to change the rear tire…I was really disappointed and expected more after I read some tire reviews online. Good to have a spare wheel under the side panel! It is really cool hanging out as a group in the parking lot with the scooters and there is always somebody who bought some extra beers (sometimes a good thing to come late…beer is already waiting for us…LOL).

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There is always something you can pick up and learn when you talk to the guys and watch them service their bikes….and if you are extremely lucky you can see Rolf (Soltau) giving advice and helping people with their scooter troubles. I am so jealous, I missed when Rolf helped Bagel replace his Variator kit…The Polini kit was in a very bad shape and Rolf helped putting on a J Costa Variator kit. I think I already got all my Christmas presents for this year (and probably next year as well) after spending money to get the P200 engine built for the Cannonball…however the J Costa Variator would definitely be my next choice when I decide it is necessary to replace the Malossi. Only heard good things about this Variator on this trip. Another new toy would be a Leovinci pipe for the GT60…that seems to be the exhaust most of the GTS riders have chosen.

In case you haven’t heard the name Rolf Soltau mentioned before, Rolf is an amazing person with a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Piaggio scooters. He is the guy who trains the Piaggio mechanics and technicians and he was involved in some of the design work. Just an awesome experience to have him with us here driving the support truck being there when you need him.

Rocket’s Day 5 Update

September 15, 2008

well today some might have found it a little boring, leaving colorado and coming in to the flat lands of kansas, flat straight and uninspiring, but really i find that a welome change, all owing your thoughts to wander without the interuption of scenery or navigating corners or hills.

we arrived in good time today and i had enough time to find the local tyer shop that was open and get my extra spare put on my onboard spare, they didnt seem to keen , but i ” talked”Ā  then into it for a tenner, so today i shed another 8 or nine pounds from my scoot, how ironic that most of the huge climbes are behind us. still makes for easier passing.

also were now starting to for connection and true frendships with out cannonball friends, most of us waiting till the last riders are in then going off for dinner as a large group, the comaradery and one liners kill me.

afterward its allway hanging around as group, usually around the late night fixers, everyone sticking in there unwelcome opinions!

at one point or another in the last few days ive been having meatball subs or the likeĀ  an every time i have to leave an air buiscuit i call out ” rejetting” at first they didnt really know what to do, but now everyone cracks up, i actully do do it much, but it works really well for getting to the front of the line up….”rejetting” !

its hard to believe that we have all ready ridden our scooters washington. california,navada, utah,colorado, and tomorrow will se us on the other side of kansas, its gone so fast!

Ā 

take care…Roy.

Ā 

“rejetting”!

CB – Day 5: From Colorado to Kansas

September 15, 2008

Roy:

It has been a while since my last blog entry, but Rocket and Delia have kept things going which is great. Leaving Salida, Colorado this morning it was extremely cold and we put on all the layers we took with us. The roads had a bit of frost on them and we were more careful than usually going through corners. We tried to catch up with Kiran who left about half an hour before us and planned to ride with him for a while, however by the time we caught up to him he was at a gas station and we decided to continue at our speed. My scooter ran much better again coming down to 4000 feet and below which was very nice to see. I didn’t feel to good having the scooter bog and labour on the high mountain passes…plus it was nice being able to run at 60+ miles per hour again. The once we got out of the mountains the remaining ride was not very exciting to be honest and the scenery was nowhere near as impressive as the previous days. I guess I have to get used to hours and hours of crossing the prairie with no significant change in scenery. There were a few towns where we wondered why people would want to live there, but I guess they must have a reason.

We saw Joel waving us at the side of the road and stopped to see what had happened to him. Joel is the guy who crashed his GTS on Day One and is lucky that Bobo is lending him his GTV to continue on. Unfortunately the belt of his scooter broke and that is something we couldn’t help him with.
Rocket was concerned that Joel would be standing in the heat for hours waiting for the truck to come by with a spare belt for him…and indeed when we saw Joel this evening he had a nice tan putting it mildly. Hope his streak of bad luck will end. After a chat with him Joel told us to carry on and so we did making our way to Kansas.

We didn’t make friends with some truckers on Highway 50 today when we decided to pass them. It took us a bit at over 60 miles per hour to get past the trucks, but we made it and it seemed to piss one of the guys pretty much off. Oh well…
Another trucker had a crow flying into the front of the truck right in fron of us and Rocket said he was briefly riding through some feathers that the bird lost before ending like so much other roadkill we saw in the last days on the side of the road.

Our ride today ended just before 4 pm local time in Garden City, KS. Finally we have some time to enjoy a bit more time with the rest of the guys. While the rides are a lot of fun, I think what makes the CB special is also the company and having time to know each other and share some good scooter stories in the evening. I totally understand why Rocket was so pissed that we didn’t meet the group at the end of Day One. We definitely don’t want to let this happen again.

By the way, on the way from Vancouver down to SF I had some issues with my fuel tap. For some reason the bike would start overheating and bog extremely although there was still most of the reserve left. What can I say, I organized a fuel tap that I thought I would try to use if the situation continued…but then Day One of the CB came and I can burn my reserve now to the last drop…Who knows, maybe it was just temporarily plugged up somehow…anyhow don’t fix it if it ain’t broken, right?

We are lucky today, we have a router and Ethernet cable in our room and don’t need the wireless adapter we have lost…just in case, Delia confirmed that a spare wireless USB Adapter is on its way and I hope I can pick it up at the reception tomorrow when we arrive in Fort Scott.

Anyway, I will hand over the laptop now to Rocket and let him write his blog for today.

PS: I can’t believe we are at the halfway mark of the CB already. 5 more days to go. I am sure it will be fun.

A bit more info in from Roy

September 14, 2008

I spoke to Roy again tonight and he was glad that Rocket was able to post what he did. Since the thingamabob part that makes the laptop work wirelessly is gone, Roy cant use his computer until I Purolator him another (tomorrow). When Roy was explaining to me that we have an extra usb wireless thingamabob in the basement and that it was 5 inches long, 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick, Rocket of course wondered if his fly was down hahaha!

Roy was totally impressed that Rocket was able to change a cable in 11 minutes flat lol. Rocket says that if you go a steady 60 miles per hour and you stop 10 times for only one minute, that puts you behind by 60 miles and that is impossible to make up!

Roy says this is not a vacation ride…it really is tough as hell. Rocket got in in time to spend a few minutes in the hot tub tonight. Leave it to Rocket to be excited about a communal bath with men hahaha.

Roy informs us that Patrick accidentally went 76 miles in the wrong direction, and Jas, Mark and Keiren all used up valuable time too also missing intersections.

Someone got a ticket today for leaning too far over the yellow line on the road….the bike was on the right side, but their body wasnt and that cost him $111 but not as bad as the previous days tickets issued to other riders for $300 ea for speeding.

Roy tells me that Chispa – Vespa Bellingham sent Rocket a really awesome t-shirt which is white with both a modern and vintage vespa on it. It is Rockets new favorite t-shirt and he was showing it off. Roy of course is jelous hahaha. I better get online and buy one for Roys return lol.

Oh Yes….Rocket COULD NOT BELIEVE that a ferry would turn around to pick up a sole rider and his Lambretta hahaha. Roy says Rocket was saying “Nooooooooo he’s our competition!” hahahaha. That darn energizer bunny catches up again! I am sure BC Ferries would never turn back even if someone were drowning lol.

NOW FOR AN EDIT

While Rocket was telling us the stories yesterday at Rocket speed, I got a little bit mixed up with the crashes. Jim T does have a broken ribs and shoulder, but his scooter is fine.

It was Joel who totalled his GTS but everyone thus far is fine.

Bobo who unfortunately had to return home after day 1 let Joel take his scooter and Joel is riding that now!

Oh yes….I apparently missed Rocket saying that even after all….he still LOVES Roy hahaha.

Stay tuned for Rockets next post which I hear will be a story about British entertainment……think you can guess what that is? LOL

Day 3 & 4 Update from Rocket

September 14, 2008

finally i can borrow a laptop and blog as roy and i lost a bit that makes it all work, wadda i know cruxiform and vespa gear box no problem even in the dark, computers no chance.

anyway on day 3 we set off with everybody, determined to make good time. we were making good progress, keeping our gas stops to as short a time as we can,

roys navigating is pretty good, and we aint made any arrors yet although we did see one guy go flying by atĀ a junction as we gassed up , when he should have made a left..lol.

so the two things that needed to be taken into consederation today were the 37 miles of gravel road and the ferry[more on that later]

so were driving along when roy said we had to make a right turn, ok no big deal just another non descriptive road, but this road led to some of the most breathtaking scenery i have ever seen in my life, it started out pretty dramatic utah rock type geography that took your breath away, but then after about 20 miles it turned to gravel, with signs like impassable to rv’s, use extreme caution, well understatement of the century, once we had been on this gravel road for a mile or two we found ourselves at the top of a massive cliff with a very very narrow gravel road taking major switch backs, if you put the back brake onĀ the vespa it locked up almost instantly it was so steep, if you putĀ on any less it , took like 45 feet to stop, finally coming to a halt after a few seconds of a total feeling of lack of control, it took all your will power not to grab a hand full of front brake, because you simply werent stopping and go carreening over[and im serious] more than a 1000 foot of cliff bouncing off of boulders as you went, so roy and i perceeded down, really slowly, at the bottom i was sweating like crazy, from the sheer concentration of trying to stay alive, remain in control and take in as much of it as i could, but looking away for even a brief second was more than enough on this trail.it was so amazing i have to bring the people i care about here, i was in awe, really.

once we got to the bottom it leveled out but was still gravel, and still had significant enough drop offs to kill you, so we were piling along, if you wernt carefull your tyer would get stuck, or get channeled in to one of the many dirt bike ruts and steering out was not an option, but fallinig over from trying was.

if that wasnt enough the wash boarding on the gravel can only be described as driving over aload of 2 x 4s at about 30mph, the whole machine vibrating so badly that control was lost in an instant, this is where i crashed, my front tyer got stuck in a rut, and started bouncing violently, and as my throttle has been modified [by me] to not close on its own'[hey works really well every where else] as my grip was loosened the throttle open to half way and after that crashing was in inevitable, i got in involutarily routed off the trail and into the desert sand where the front wheel dug in , i did an endo half went over the handle bars, breaking the windsheild hurting my shoulder and smashing my front mud gaurd, well dr marten helped me put the mudgaurd back into shape, the windsheild was glued later that day, but my pride and shoulder were a little worse for wear.

trust me this was the part that really tested you.

we got to the ferry that crosses the huge man made lake[wierd seeing this MASSIVE LAKE] in the middle of the desert, once we got on the ferry i found out that my friend jim t had also gone down in the sand/gravel and broken his shoulder and 2 ribs, also rich glass went down in the desert as did someone else whose name evades me.

just as the ferry was aboy 200 feet from shore kieran on the lambretta showed up and missed the boat, which only sails on the odd hours, so he had a long wait, but this big ferry turned around to go back and get him!

after the events earlier in the day the rest seemed quite tame, thank god.

roy and i arrived in good time and ready to start planning for the next day.

Ā 

DAY 4, today we were going to cross the continental divide at 11200 feet, aaahh poor vespa , thin cold air /unforgiving rider.

so we set off in the morning and were making good time, weĀ  left utah behind and entered colorado without issue, amazing how the geography changes, now we had similar terain only more green, that doesnt suprise me as the day before i saw something i hadnt seen for quite a few days especially considering how big the sky was…a cloud.

so now the clouds were returning..bummer.. and the mountains were snow coverd with the trees doing the very best to conquer every spot posible, it was on this streatch on one of the down hills that a lady in an rv that was right up my backside tried to pass me and pulled immediately in front of me nearly knocking me off, i showed my displeasure with a single finger.

then at the top of the next hill i over took her and did the same to her and pulled in from of her. after that on the next up hill she just passed and that was that.

so we made it up to the top of 11 thousand feet and it was the biggest hill i have ever climbed on a vespa, at 11 thou idling was out of the question, the machine did not want to start, let alone idle.

after all the pictures and hand shakes we set off for the travel lodge in salider colorado, which we made in really good time, my vespa likes down hills it does.

ok got in got settled and joined about 10 of the other cannonballers for dinner who were already at the local eatery, so stories were told numbers and statistic compared, well after i told my story of the rv that cut me off everyone burst in to histerics[huh] well one of the other cannonballers had got stopped by the cops and got a warning for eratic riding[no ticket just a written warning] when the guy asked the cop what the problemĀ  was, the cop informed him that someone phoned in that that a scooter had over taken an rv on a down hill and cut in front of it and as he was the only scooter around so the cop followed him and pulled him over.!…lol.

now way did the cop realize that there were other scooters here in the middle of nowhere and presumed he had his man…

any way that seems to be if for now, roy and i are getting into a routine and are getting in quite early, despite roy breaking a clutch cable today which i changedĀ in 11 minutes and has us riding asap, as we did not want to be in the mountains/devide in the dark……..Rocket