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  • Thomas Fishel

The Tribal Council

…..that’s what the 3 remaining 101’s are calling themselves…. The Tribal Council.

The race started with 70 overall cannonball racers and 6 of them were the Indian 101 riders – Steve Rinker #7 of WV, Josh Wilson #89 of VA, Jeff Alperin #101 of FL, Ian Patton #22 from England, Marcin Grela #98 from Poland, and Doug Wothe #88 of Alabama. Now, as of their arrival in Sturgis, they are down to just three. Hopefully, after the rest day (aka Work Your Ass Off Day) in Sturgis, they will be back up to the starting 6. Steve says they did allow Brent Johnson to ride his HD with them today only because he races Indians outside of the Cannonball.

I’m told they are all missing the smell of a home-cooked meal as whenever you walk into a hosted meal or especially at the hotel breakfast in the mornings, the only smell you recognize is bengay. Someone should have taken stock out in it before the race began from the amount that’s being used by these guys!!!! Must be working or else the strong smell makes them think it is.

Today’s ride through the badlands was pretty cool. Steve and Jazzy Jeff (as Steve has now nicknamed him) left Josh along the route working on his carbureator. They took pictures of each other and their bikes while they enjoyed the scenic overlooks and beauty of the badlands (and I’m sure if you look hard enough at the pictures when they get back, you will find Josh off in the distance laying on the ground working on his carb!) Needless to say, Josh caught up with them by early afternoon, and they rode into Sturgis with smiles on their faces!

They skipped the scenic Mt. Rushmore as they had all seen it before, except for Marcin and he wasn’t too concerned to miss seeing the US Presidents since he hails from Poland. I think they got him a postcard at one of the gas stops. Ha!

Steve says at this point the bike is riding him as his neck and back are starting to wear out and yes, he’s being coated in bengay as well. During the gas stops today they decided to start putting high octane in their tanks in prep for the mountain riding. I’m told that the higher octane creates a slower burn allowing their engines to run cooler which they’ll need for the long uphill grades they are about to take on over the next few days.

The guys must be getting lonely at this point for female company as they are talking about how the film crew in high heels ride backwards on bikes when they go by them filming. Either there are women filming, or else they are starting to hallucinate.

Sturgis Day of Rest Schedule of Events is as follows:

Steve – Has to replace the seal behind the mag as it’s blowing oil on the back of the front fender and all over his leg. He will have to pull the cam cover and everything to do this. He’s also going to replace the head gaskets on his bike with new ones that were made especially for this group of 101 riders by Tom Fickow when they stopped in Milwaukee. (hopefully, I correctly spelled his last name, if not I apologize) Tom showed up in Milwaukee and after talking to the 101 riders and pit crews he learned of their head gaskets troubles. He then went home and stamped out 8 sets of head gaskets and brought them back at midnight, left them at George Yarocki’s trailer and on Steve’s bike, and then was worried whether or not they would still be there in the morning. So, he handstamped more and came back the next morning to make sure they had them with the second batch. AWESOME TOM!!! THANK YOU!!!!

Josh – Has to rebuild his carbureator and general overall maintenance.

Ian – Started tonight as his neck bearing were in Sturgis when he arrived and should be done by tomorrow evening.

Marcin – His piston was also in Sturgis and he is at a machine shop honing the front cylinder and hopes to install the piston tonight depending on how much he tore up the cylinder. There’s a good chance that he no longer will be a “Indian drifter” rider but a 101 rider by the time they leave Sturgis! Yay!

Doug – His pistons came in but I don’t know anything about his cylinders, so I’m assuming he is still waiting on parts and won’t leave until they come in and he gets repaired.

Jeff – Well, Jeff just rides, and then tells Tim (his mechanic) and George what he thinks is wrong at the end of the day. Tim takes it for a test ride and then starts repairing Jeff’s bike no matter if it takes all night, all while Jeff is showering, eating and sleeping. Steve did say that George and Tim are talking about doing a complete top end overhaul tomorrow as well.

So, hopefully after a good night’s rest and a big breakfast in the morning, they will set about accomplishing all of the above. Good Luck!

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