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  • Thomas Fishel

Oregon, Oregon, Oregon…..Will We Ever See California

Sorry for the down time yesterday, but with time difference now being 3 hours and the Wednesday night class I’m taking, Steve & I didn’t connect in time for a blog report yesterday. So, here goes for two days, starting with Wednesday…

The guys started out the day with Jeff and Josh running strong, Steve thinking that he may have to change out to the original motor tonight, Doug still running and doing his own thing, Marcin’s bike up and running again and Ian back to riding the Indian Drifter.

Now to explain, Steve’s bike started cracking and popping before lunch, but he continued to fool with it and thought it was running better, but said he might have to change out the motor that evening since he feels that a valve stuck open which could present a problem. However, after lunch Ginger had straightened up and was running ok. So, he’s going to stick with it.

Doug kinda does his own thing throughout the day, exploring and enjoying his ride, trading up partners and taking side roads when the notion strikes. For those of you who don’t know, Doug holds the world record for riding an Indian around the world (and if I remember correctly, 3 times on a Chief). Check out his website!

Onto Marcin….while he got his bike running after his early dropout the day before, the engine continues to make a noise, lose power and then shuts off. He doesn’t know what it is and can’t explain it to the guys in order for any of them to understand what it may be, so they’re dealing with it.

Ian is back on the Indian Drifter as he thinks that his pistons are hitting the bottom of the engine cases.

Thank heavens that Steve brought the Drifter. It was originally intended for his dad, Buck and Dick Jones, who are his support crew, to take turns riding, but I think that Marcin and Ian are having a blast on it! With Marcin from Poland and Ian from England, it’s great that they get to ride and experience the run, even if it’s not always on their own Indians.

Brett Johnson, who’s been riding with the guys, recovered from a primary chain problem yesterday and continues to ride with the crew as well. At the end of Wednesday’s ride, which took them 251 miles to Burns, Oregon – Steve, Josh, Marcin, Doug, Brett and Jeff all secured a perfect 251 score for Wednesday.

Steve said that he thinks they discovered the problem with his original motor, it had a burnt exhaust valve and they have lapped the valves out and are putting it back together as time allows to have for a backup if the race motor goes down.

Today’s ride – Thursday, which went from Burns, Oregon to Klamath Falls, Oregon for a total of 230 miles took the guys across the high desert country all the way to the Cascades, a forest of huge, reach to the sky pines. The first part of today’s ride was hot, dry and pretty boring, but ended with the awesome ride through the Cascades and the winding, mountainous roads. Steve said it was some gorgeous country.

This ride also stretched the 101’s to their limits….of fuel. The longest distance of 115 miles between fuel stops had the guys carrying extra, extra fuel with them. Doug, Steve and Josh had 2 gallons extra with each of them. I know from the practice rides that Steve and I took before he left that he runs slap out of gas at 90 miles. Steve said that Doug and Josh couldn’t stretch their bikes that far, so they stopped and made sure that none of them ran out of gas. Jeff and Brett rode together today.

Marcin and Ian didn’t get to experience the ride today. Last night during service and bike repair, when trying to figure out the knocking sound in Ian’s bike they discovered that the front rod is loose and there is alot of play in the flywheels. Tim had taken the front cylinder off to check the wrist pin and they discovered these other issues. Ian has made the decision not to run it and tear it up completely. Marcin, too, was out today as his bike this morning was locked up and seized tight. One of his main issues is that he has a stoker motor in his 101 with chief flywheels and rods and Honda pistons and two different type of rings. So, he’s out as of today unless they can figure out and solve his issues, since it’s not just a 101 “normal” motor.

Steve says that he and Josh continue to ride together. Josh’s bike is still smoking just as bad as the first day, but they are assuming that it’s a good thing since he continues to ride every day. They are not going to worry or work on that. However, Josh’s taillight broke off two days ago and they have wire tied the light and his license plate to the wooden box he is carrying with stuff on his luggage rack. Steve’s bike is running better this afternoon, but this morning they had to stop and goop the back cylinder with silicone along the road since it was sucking air. I can only imagine what these two bikes look like with all the wired on, gooped up, burnt and fire extinguished parts, pieces and whipped riders aboard. Are we having fun yet? A BIG RESOUNDING, HELL YES!

Steve, Josh, Jeff, Doug and Brett made it in this evening, a total of 230 miles. Tomorrow’s ride will take them from Klamath Falls, Oregon down to Fortuna, Oregon for a total of 285 miles. They are on the home stretch now!

Good Luck Guys! Let’s take the 101’s all the way in to San Francisco!


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