A brief update….

September 18, 2008

Delia here…

Roy just called and he didnt have much time to talk because it was a very long day of riding and it’s late (more on that later) and they are very hungry and still have to program the maps on the GPS etc.

Roys scooter held up today, but still no knowing for how long. Worse is that his oil seal is toast which is causing more problems and to fix that requires splitting the engine which at this point is not an option. His poor scooter is labouring and it is difficult riding as the bike does not want to idle and having to stop means either stalling it or throwing it into a different gear.

Today they travelled a while on the Interstate and the minimum speed is 45 mph, so the Roys decided to stay with Keiren aka the energizer bunny on the Lambretta because his top speed is about 50 mph and it is certain death to do the interstate by yourself with those statistics. The Roys knew this would mean getting in even later than normal, so they may not be able to post on the blog later with the other things they still have to do.

Roy is going to try to call later (if any of us are still awake) and if I have any more info, I will post it.

Waiting as always to hear more!

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Some bad news but awaiting an update

September 18, 2008

Delia here….

I quickly called Roy last night when I got a text message from him saying that his scooter was not running and the clutch was broken and he was hoping they could fix it last night, but it wasnt looking good because (and I am not mechanical at all) a spring associated with the clutch somehow got loose and got shredded up and caused some other damage. He couldnt talk after he got that information out because some help arrived and he had to go….and I was on my way out.

A couple hours later, I got another text msg from Roy saying that he made it back to the hotel on his own scooter, but he was not sure how long it would last. Roy says he owes Robert Carver in St. Louis a huge sign of appreciation.

While I could hear in Roys voice how disappointed and bummed he was, his voice totally changed and he was obviousy uplifted when he told me how everyone was jumping in to help and he was really touched. I have not heard anything more yet, so hopefully things went ok and he is riding.

He did say that if his scooter was out that he was already offered the opportunity to ride the new GST Joel H just bought! – pretty cool….and I cant wait to hear the rest of the story.

Good luck Roys – we are all wishing you well

Love Delia

ps….oh Yeah Roy….you are definately pushing your luck with the Christmas presents. We will talk

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”  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 like  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!

 

take care…Roy.

 

“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 at 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 on the vespa it locked up almost instantly it was so steep, if you put 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.

 

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, we  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 problem  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 changed in 11 minutes and has us riding asap, as we did not want to be in the mountains/devide in the dark……..Rocket

The ROY’s just called and gave us the news…..

September 13, 2008

Delia here posting as the Roys have no internet today……and I am told that today was like a Demolition Derby!

At least 6 bikes crashed and the worst was Jim T (who is 65 years old)- who did a face plant on his scooter and then it rolled over him. He ended up with a broken arm, shoulder and 2 ribs and completely totalled his bike which was dragged out of the ravine and dragged like a dead carcass into the back of the support vehicle. We are glad he was not hurt worse, and I am told he was hurt the worst of any of the crashers who are all apparently ok. 2 guys got speeding tickets. You may have seen on the cannonball site that there were 6 manual bikes registered, but only 3 are doing the Cannonball…..who are Roy & Rocket on their P200’s and Kieren on the Lambretta – so the race is on!

Roy is first on the phone and I put him on speaker…..and I asked him if he has killed Rocket yet, but says “not yet” and then Alison (who is here with Mark) asked Roy if he was still best friends with Rocket to which he replies “I dunno” hahahaa and as soon as Rocket found out that I was with Mark and Alison, he gets on the phone and says to me and I quote “Roy is a f*cking Prick – come and get him – he worries about everything!” hahahaha!

Rocket was amongst one of the people that crashed today. Rockets tells the story like this: Ok his wrist was hurting already from holding the throttle all day long, so he decided to use a rubber glove to wrap around the throttle to keep it open so he didnt have to hold it. Trouble with this is when they hit the canyon of gravel. Todays ride was the most challenging and they said it was like riding through the Grand Canyon and Death Valley with not a soul in sight for 40 miles and only a very tiny gravel road with canyon on both sides! Rocket hit the gravel and was unable to release the rubber glove in time, so the Vespa was jumping around an his jerry can then covered the rear brake leaving him riding with throttle wide open and only the front brake available…..his tire went into a rut and there was little he could do, and then the bike did an “endo” and the rear came up and almost flipped. He broke his windshield and the air vent spoiler on the side of his cowel was acting like a dirt scoop/sand anchor! The bike took Rocket down on his side and Rocket hurt his shoulder (not broken, just very sore). Rocket says he can’t even lift his arm to comb his hair, but not likely anyone will notice the difference – hahaha….oops…inside thoughts!

Rocket got up and was totally ‘hyperfied” if you can imagine Rocket hyperfied omg hahahaha! and was saying he was fine – he was fine. (Not to mention that he is still coming down off his coffee high from yesterday)

Rocket then says to me that my old man is an idiot, because gasoline out there is like gold and gas was spilling out of his bike, and instead of attending to getting the bike upright, Roy was grabbing his camera for a picture ahahahahaha! Rocket said and I quote “I was so pissed that I wanted to grab Roy by the adams apple and shake him until his eyes popped out” omg hahahhaa! There was still 75 miles to the next services and only enough gas for 40 miles in his approximation.

Rocket said his aero-dynamic cheese wedge was facing east and his front mud guard was bent but nothing that could not be fixed by a “Dr Marten’s restoration”. All in all….pretty lucky that he isn’t badly hurt and his Vespa is still going!

Rocket said his way of doing laundry was to take a shower wearing his jeans lol…he said he was scrubbing them with soap while he had them on and the water was just BLACK. Then he hangs them to dry.

Rocket was supposed to change his tire before they started the Cannonball, at San Fran, but because he had not slept and practically arrived just in time for the start, it never happened until today. He said the tire went from a 1 inch smooth strip to a 3 inch smooth strip. Not surprisingly, he was amazed that he could take corners again after the new tire went on…omg.

With all of the mishaps up until now, Rocket was pretty frustrated…..losing Roy, losing keys, no GPS etc etc and it was most bothering that Kieren was ahead on the Lambretta. He has offered to kill himself if the Lambretta beats him hahaha. He said the bloody Lambretta was plotting along the gravel road at 15 km an hour like Farmer Joe and going and going like the energizer bunny.

We were laughing out loud that for 2 days the Lambretta was ahead, and Rocket completely changed the tone of his voice and quite seriously said “That isnt funny” which of course made us laugh harder! The energizer bunny was so annoying because Rocket and Roy would get quite a lead, and then stop for a bite….and all of a sudden the energizer bunny would then be seen plotting ahead again…..so they would get back on the scoots, get another lead, stop to change a cable and again the damn energizer bunny would be heard creeping up aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Everytime the Roys stopped, that energizer bunny would be heard catching up hahahaha. Apparently Kiran kept pressing on not stopping for anything. Rocket was re-named Royleen because the 2 Roys were stuck on the wrong side of Yosemite mountain like little girls while the Lambretta made it HAHAHA!

Roy said the hotel they stayed at on the wrong side of the mountain was very “interesting” and when he got back to his scooter, his peace sign sticker and his weed toking snoopy sticker (which has been on the scoot since Germany) had been peeled off his Vespa and he figures the old Mod guy they met must have done it lmao. (Alison interjecting here – peals of laughter and glee from Delia thanking the hillbilly mod guy for ripping off those stickers – we had just finished a conversation before the Roys rang about the outdated-ness of those stickers and how Roy would never remove them for fear of upsetting the finish or he wont admit how much he liked them) Of course the two Vespismo’s attracted attention, and some girls wanted to sit on their laps for “photo ops” but I figure it was more of a lapdance when I heard Rocket yell “Yeeeeaaaaahhhh!” in the background!

Roy was really surprised how cold it actually gets in the dessert in the morning and wanted me to say THANKS SO MUCH TO JAMES ET AL AT CHISPA – VESPA BELLINGHAM for the foresight to send out hand-warmers that they even shared with Kieren on the Lambretta!

Roys ignition switch had an issue today too and the bike would run on even after turning off the key. He had to stall it everytime he wanted to come to a stop. When they checked into it, a wire had come loose or off and it was a fast fix.

The Roys since they left Vancouver have already put 4000 km on the speedo’s and their butts are hurting……bad

Today the Roys travelled a road actually called the Extraterrestrial Highway that runs by area 51 and there are NO services for 180 miles! Rocket describes it as follows and I quote:

“You could get a girl on the road, you could slowly take off her clothes, and then yours, and then you could have sex on the yellow line of the highway and NO car would come along without you spotting it at least 25 miles away and by the time it reached you, you’d be done anyway – you were like an ant” hahahahaha

Roy is concerned that they may ride into part of Hurricaine Ike in the next days. Rocket says that if it had rained today, the roads would have been creeks and they would have had to close them.

I am not sure how well some of you know Rocket, but he is a picky eater and will only eat food from the Old Country, junk food, plastic cheese and margerine. I opened his cupboards one day while I was at his house, and all I saw was soup, spam, beans in a can and various junk food. His fridge had the largest tub of margerine I have ever seen in my life, milk and some still un-consumed beer we gifted him a while back lol.

The boys have basically been living off Subway and the next time Rocket does the Cannonball, he says he is going to approach Subway and tell them he wants to be their new Jarrod and they should sponsor his Cannonball ride!

We laughed quite a lot as the stories came out via telephone and I was scribbling notes as fast as I could – so hopefully I got most of it.

More as I learn it 🙂

Ps….it is pretty hard for the boys to post from the Cannonball especially with no internet and mostly dead tired, so Roy is going to try to upload his pics to our hosting account and as soon as I see them, I will post them on the blog. I cant wait to see the pic of Rocket that could have cost Roy his life hahaha

Roy’s last 3 days…

September 13, 2008

Well, I guess Rocket already summarized it pretty well which is quite difficult to do because so much happened, it is already 12:45pm, we are dead tired and getting grumpier by the minute…but we wanted to catch up on our blog…

Overall I am really impressed how well my scooter runs…well I guess I should say how well it runs on the straights. The challenge these past days was that there were not many of them. I have not seen so many mountain passes and made so many elevation changes on my scooter before. Man I must have missed the part in high school about North American Geography…I had no idea how high these mountain passes would get. The highlight was for sure 10,000 feet above sea level riding through Yosemite Park. The scenery unbelievable and definitely worth the effort.

Back to my scooter though for a minute…Rocket already mentioned it…on the uphill parts I definitely fall behind and have not been able to keep in 4th gear most of the time. Darn. Well EVERY pound I carry with me counts which I have learned painfully…Since I can’t quickly lose 50+ pounds…I have to cut down on the stuff I am carrying along with me. So I guess the black cocktail dress and the Stiletto’s will have to get sent back 😉 …and I have to admit, as much as I wanted to carry the Lederhosen with me, I haven’t even packed them. I also noticed that above 5000 feet the scooter runs pretty crappy…not really a big surprise, we expected that the altitude would give us a bit of trouble but we chose to take it as it comes rather than spending time trying to re-jet…and honestly, I have no idea when we would have had the time. Today Rocket looked at other possible causes at the side of the road why my scooter has some issues in certain conditions…we thought the choke might be sticking and we changed the spark plug just in case as well…same result however. So the next time we have a chance we will look into it again…however I am still hoping that some of it might be because we have been riding most of today above 5000 feet.

If anybody thought the Cannonball is just a series of loooong rides, let me tell you it is much more than that and you can tell at the starting line when the scooters take off and the adrenaline shoots in your blood…We started at Ocean Beach…and the beginning of the day was a good indication how the rest of the day would go. After the first mile my GPS froze completely and wasn’t even able to switch it off…the good news was that the group was relatively close together and we were joined by some of the local riders who came along for the first leg. I had no other choice than ripping the route for the day out of our riders booklet and used some duct tape to tape it to my wind screen. Not that I wouldn’t have been nervous enough without that additional issue. Luckily Rocket found the button combination to reset the GPS…by that time I saw however how valuable it is to have a low tech back-up solution. On the 2nd leg of the 1st Day we had some amazing hill climbs and some awesome views. The road was extremely narrow and I have not ever seen so many tight turns on any route…Our center stands kept scratching the pavement in the turns and I noticed Rocket having his foot out and he seemed to touch the ground at times. Although the speed was not high, it was still the limit (at least for me) given the road. A while later we lost the tires and the oil skins off Rocket’s back rack…and after that I was stupid enough losing my key. That was basically it…no chance of making up the time at that point, however we didn’t realize at that point that we wouldn’t be able to meet up with the rest of the group at the end of the day. We only realized that when John very strongly suggested we should find a room and head over the pass in the morning. That came as a shock and we first didn’t want to believe we would have to do it…When we reach Coulterville and spoke to some of the motorcycle riders in the area they also seemed to think we are crazy trying to cross the mountain passes at night which is what we were told would be another 3-4 hours of riding, mostly in the dark, on very twisty roads. I looked at Rocket who hasn’t slept for almost 30 hours and I know he wanted to go, but I have to admit from what I heard I decided to go with Johns suggestion as much as I wanted to finish the day with the rest of the group. We stayed in Coulterville for the night…without access to the laptop, cell phone not working…but at least getting a few hours of sleep at the local hotel which has quite a history.

Day 2 was long. We had extra riding to do…but the scenery made it an amazing experience. I think Rocket covered it pretty good already…When we arrived in Cedar City a 10:20 pm local time (did I mentioned we left Coulterville at around 6:30 am!!!) we were greeted by some fellow CB riders who brought us beers and were happy to see us. We exchanged a few stories…we heard that one rider unfortunately missed a turn and totalled his scooter – but the rider is not hurt thankfully. After a quick stop for a bite Rocket started doing the laundry and I set up the laptop so that we could transfer the map for the next day to the GPS and do our blog…so time to leave it at that for now. Tomorrow we are happy that we can start the day with the entire group…and it will for sure be another exciting day.

Rocket’s last 3 days…

September 13, 2008

well theses last couple of days have been pretty busy one way or another and we got seperated from each other and our lap top.

on the way down from vancouver roy and i stayed pretty close to each other all the way down, except on the hills when my scoot could pull away from roys , i think it was partially because roy and i are diffent body types

also roy seemed to have brought more stuff on his scooter, at 12 hp weight is crucail, so i could on most hills just manage to hold 4th but roy would be having to change between screaming in 3rd or slowing down in 4th, so usually id just wait for him at the top.

on this one particular hill i was a head of roy and he didnt come around the corner and as we were on a busy freeway driving back was not really a safe option, so i waited but he didnt show for about 10 minutes so i wen t to the next exit doubled back on the other side looking for him, unbeknown to me as i went over the bridge[the only point at which i could not see the freeway, roy had got going and had gone under me. so now i was heading north as fast as i could and roy was heading south!

when i could not see him on the way back i then went around again and drove slowly on the shoulder looking to see if he crashed /had ablow out and went over the edge. then i figured he might have gone on reserve and gone into weed for gas so now i went into weed to and checked all the gas station to see if he had gone to gas up, i didnt find him any where , so i used my credit card to make a call to him , no answer, but i told him on his message service to keep going once he got the message, then i used my card asgain to call him mrs , still no answer, but i basicly told her to tell him to keep going, after that i just kept going, but i was pretty worried as we had 200 miles to and i didnt know where he was so i carried on but driving through most of the gas station to see if i could find him, then at one point i waited at a rest stop for an hour watching the traffic go by cause i figured if he was behind me, he would come by , but all the while he was pressing on a head. so he rolled in to frisco at about 9 pm and i rolled in at about 1.45 am, then i went to fin d out where we were metting in the morning and to see if i could find the hotel so could crash for 3 hrs on someones sofe , but no joy. so i went to a star bucks grabbed some foor read the paper and showed up on the start line and there was roy…lol.

at this point i was on m y 24th hour without sleep and had a full days riding ahead of me…oh well..sleep later, besides i had a secret weapon..coffee , which i never have..ever..so the efect is pretty dramatic!

so off we went like a load of loonies, sowly climbing abouve to moning san fran fog into glorious sunshine on the mountains.. after that there to much to say about the morning xcept fantastic country riding in warm sunny weather with amazing views. now in the afternoon at some point one of my bungies must have come loose and i managed to loose both roy and my spare tyers and my $150 helly hansen waterproofs, so im like hey im up to 28hrs with no sleep whats a couple more and i kew that they were in the last 10 miles as roy and i stopped to put gas in his tank and all was well then, well we went back and found the waterproof pretty fast then a while later roy spotted his tyer in the verge hidden pretty good , but still noticable, the last tyer was proving to be a liitle more evasive, roy and i discussing out theroy as to the way we think it unfolder, well thios must have come off here and that came off next, but nope the tyer could not be found even though i though and was convinced i was standing within 20 ft of it. so we we leaving the area and had pretty much given up wheh hello there it was way way later in a place we wernt even looking when i spotted it, i was seriously happy , because im cheap and i didnt fancy trying to track down a tyer on the cb.

so off back to the gas station to fuel up and eat, which all went well, but then roy could not find his keys and we all really looked, in the end they were found in the subwaymain garbage can after they went in the washroom bin with the trash in roys hands and then subsiquently in the main garbage. thanks to john who waited with us and had the idea to look there!

but now i was really starting to push the envelope on lack of sleep and we lost alot of time, and the 150 lambtetta had come by us and that was enough to keep my moving, so we pressed on and were doing really well, in the end we simply did not get an early enough start on the 10,000 ft pass in yosimity park, even though i was game[but a bit of a mess from now 36hrs no sleep..whatever] but it was decided by the majority and a local who laughed when we told him we wanted to do the pass in the dark, whats he know about riding hair dryers anyway, so accomodion was found, phone callers were made food was sought and we bedded down for the night vowing to do the next days cannonball miles and the ones we did not get to today all in one day , catching up in the process, sounds like my kinda plan!

so we set off really early this morning really early heading for the pass , which i think i could have done in the dark easily had i not gone 36 hrs with no sleep, we arrived at that this days hotel at 10.30 ..3.5 hrs behing the other vintage bikes. so we refuled and pressed on, knowing at some point today we would have to cross the navada desert with 180 miles between gas stops!

so off we went making pretty good time, we bought gerry cans and strapped then to any solid bit of the scooter, regardles of how precarios they looked. on this day riding, i now realise how tired i was the night before!

what can i say about to day..go go go go, we ate as we moved drank as we moved and only stopped for the sortest time we could , i was amazing in the desert , i rode flat out for over 15 minutes and didnt turn the sterring one going over two miles without even the slightst loss of the road behind or in fromt of me, the road was so straith that you could not see it anymore, i was just a thin line disapearing in to infinity.

you fely like you could step off your machine and run along next to it!

imagine how patient john was to ride his 500cc honda scooter[he just came along for the ride and is not a participant in the c/b] which can do 100 mph at between 45 and 65mph all day in an area when you feel like your not moving all he has to do is turn the throttle and bye bye desert, but no he pttered along with us, helping me out when my throttle cable broke.

once we got out of the desert we climbed a couple more7 and 8 thousand foot mountains eventully ariving here, cedar city with the other cannonballers, i feel like a borg rejoyning the borg collective!

i imagine i can be pretty anoying sometimes, ” come on come on” , but these guys were awesome to ride with and today we did a cannonball and a third crossing the extra terrestial hiway, the answer may well be out there, but let me tell you, the location is way bigger and more barren and unforgiving than any you can ever imagine, so you aint gunna find it. today in the middle of nowhere, me on my vespa really brought home the act of man and macine working together in a perfect union of complete stupidity and i love it…rocket