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  • Thomas Fishel

Keeping The Tribe Together

Rain, rain, rain, hot chocolate and more RAIN. For about the first 6 hours of today’s run, the riders took on water, lots of water! The temperature at lunch was 57 degrees and with all the rain, they were chilled to the bone when the sun finally came out for the last leg of the trip into Murdo, South Dakota. They ran 326 miles today, the longest of the event and about 200 of it was in the pouring down rain. They drank plenty of hot chocolate, but were wishing for some brandy to take the chill out!

Steve thanked me for the neoprene fishing gloves I made him take as his hands stayed DRY today. He has orders for more out of the gun shop. (Every now and then I do come up with a brilliant idea.) He described Josh to me as looking like a “wet poodle” today. He only has a half helmet and wasn’t wearing waterproof boots, so his wet mustache curled up and his feet and hands were soaking wet. Steve gave him a pair of his extra leather gloves. Steve’s only complaint was that the rain ran down the back his helmet and down his neck, so he apparently needs a duck tail on the back of his helmet.

Steve was also thankful for the curtains I sewed him to snap onto his crash bars. He snapped them on and they helped keep his magneto dry and the wet road grime from the front tire from splashing up onto his legs and feet and the motor. (Score 2 for Dee today)

The 101 tribe had a new game plan for today. George Yarocki & Tim (haven’t caught his last name yet) – which are Jeff Alperin’s pit crew told Jeff he was running too hard at 50-55 mph and they feared the bike wouldn’t hold up for the whole race, so he stepped it down to ride with the rest of the 101 crew. Josh was made to step it up at pit stops today. Steve says when they’re stopped he can always find Josh flat out on the ground tinkering with his bike. So, in summary, calm Jeff down, speed Josh up! Actually, today it was Marcin’s job. He’s still in charge of pace the 101 crew and keeping them moving. Steve said when they would stop for gas, you could always hear Marcin telling them “Hurry, we must hurry” or “We’ve got to go, we’ve got to go now.” Marcin is still riding the “Indian drifter.” He hopes his parts will be in Sturgis that will work.

I felt like I was in charge of making a grocery list today when talking with Steve – actually it was a list of parts that he needed to remember to get when in the trailer tonight for Josh – a pitcock, a bolt for his fender, and a bolt for his exhaust. He’s actually needed these items for the last two days, so I was to send a text this evening reminding them to get them out.

Ian didn’t run yesterday as his steering was too unsafe to run and they hadn’t seen him as of 2 pm today so they’re assuming that he’s not on the road again today. Like I said yesterday, they’ve got neck bearings and races coming to Sturgis to fix his front end steering problem.

Doug found the a set of cylinders and pistons from Kent Thompson in New Hampshire and Kent is shipping them to Sturgis. Way to go, Kent!

The pace today was between 45-47 mph during the rain, but they had to slow it down a little for the last third of the ride when the rain stopped due to being too hard on the bikes with the heat.

They were to enjoy a dinner hosted by the Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo, South Dakota this evening with a Parc Ferme’ until 7 pm. I called Steve at 9 pm EST so it was just 8 pm out there and he couldn’t talk as they were servicing bikes. But, I do know that Steve, Jeff, Josh & Marcin finished out the last 100 miles today with no problems. I’m sure that magneto cleaning and drying out was at the top of the service list tonight!

Tomorrow’s ride will finish in Sturgis, South Dakota after a run through the Badlands, a visit to Mt. Rushmore and a ride through the famous pioneer town of Deadwood for a total of 278 miles. They will finish the day with a barbeque at Glencoe Campground followed by a day of much needed rest in Sturgis, SD. However, with all the parts being sent to Sturgis, it will be a day of repairs. Steve’s talking about taking his heads off and replacing head gaskets and checking everything out before they start into the mountains for the last half of the trip. We will see!

Go Indians!


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