Darryl.Richman's picture

Today turned out very well. The heay rains and subsequent really sticky weather went away and we had very pleasant riding weather: sunny but not hot or particularly humid.

There were two starts, the first at 7am at the Hilton Garden Inn hotel, the home base for registration and tech inspection. This hotel is immediately adjacent to a new, huge and very modern building for Orange County Choppers. Although I didn't have the opportunity or time to take a look, they were helping out riders in any way they could. Team HMS (1929 BMW R11) discovered that they didn't have a tool to remove the rather bizarre 8 sided jam nut that holds the left side rear wheel bearing to the frame. They went in and fellow at the counter had a correct sized hollow cut on their water jet, then welded to a backing plate with a 3/8s drive socket for a ratchet. (My bike has the same item, but I just use a big Crescent wrench. Now I'm envious of their special OCC tool!)

So, we were supposed to line up at the hotel for a sort of a parade start, each bike leaving at 15 second intervals beginning at 7:00:00. My time was actually supposed to be 7:01:30 (as compared to the 7:01:45) I reported earlier, but there was no official at the hotel to organize or oversee the event, and a few minutes after seven there was a general rush to the exits.

The second start was at 9am at the Motorcyclepedia Museum, about 4 miles away. In between was a hosted breakfast and time to view a bit of the enormous museum. They seemed to have one of every Indian and a heckuva lot of Harleys. I did see an R69S bunched together with some British and Japanese bikes in a corner.

The second start was only slightly more organized than the first, but eventually everyone got going. The route involved 12 pages of instructions, but was very clear and, other than missing a turn that occured 0.15 miles after the previous instruction, I had no difficulties.

The big bikes cruised along, although it was clear that some riders were more practiced with the arcane controls of their bike than others. Speaking of which, I must give a shout out to Peter Nettesheim, who explained to me how to double clutch my bike so that I didn't clash the gears everytime I shifted into second. With his clear explanation, it worked great, and I'm making a lot less noise and probably removing a lot less steel from the two second gears. (On these older BMW transmissions, 1st and 3rd are in constant mesh, but when you shift, you are actually moving second gear on the output shaft back and forth and forcing it into mesh with its counterpart on the input shaft.)

The R52 ran great and did the entire route with little drama. Maybe the biggest problem was that one of the knobs on my routebook holder came loose. Don Cameron successfully sealed the nose of the final drive, so that messy little leak is over with. Samantha followed me the entire day, and I really appreciate that. Even after she had drained her camera's battery, she was still back there running her flashers and keeping the regular traffic back a bit.

Tomorrow is a long day, 320 miles, and it also includes a 62 mile stretch of I-90 from the east side of Cleveland to Sandusky, OH, our destination. There is an option given to us by the organizers to declare tomorrow morning that we will end just before Cleveland, and our chase vehicles can then transport us to Sandusky; but it isn't a free ride, we lose the 60 points that represent those miles. I have decided to go for the full ride instead.

At the start, before 7am
At the start, before 7am81.77 KB
At the finish, after 3pm
At the finish, after 3pm104.29 KB


Day 1

Bengt Phorqs's picture

Well I'm sure that you are glad to finally be underway. I'm watching with interest and I'm also following Round The World Doug on his 1929 Indian Scout. Says he carrying everything with him and no support vehicles, but he has a huge following and I'm sure will have no shortage of help along the way. I'm confident that Airheads Rule! -Mike

Final Drive Sealing

David Brick's picture

What did Don do differently that this time successfully sealed the nose on the final drive?

Motorcycle Cannonball

Tony Greco's picture

Ride Hard, Ride Free, Ride very, very Fast!! Smile. Be safe!


lubbeth's picture

We'll be looking for you, in Monroe. If you need anything brought to you, from Madison, I can do that. We'll be there on a 1955 R50 and a 1975 R90/6. If you can post the route the night before I'd like to stand by the side of the road and take pics/videos as you go by. We're are the Tom and Terry of Tom, Terry and Daniel on the side of the Sprinter. Daniel is at Univ of Mn by now, with the R69US. I think he is likely the only freshman there that rode a R69US (or any vintage BMW) to get to college. It's garaged there now.


Thanks for the support, everyone!

Darryl.Richman's picture

Don thoroughly cleaned both cast surfaces and the aluminum gasket and then gooped them up MORE, including the bolts. Then we let the whole thing set for about 4 hours with the front of the bike jacked up a bit to keep the gear lube away.

Today's route looks like more US-6 in PA, then assorted side roads until we get on I-90. It's about 9 hours at a 35mph pace to get to the end.

--Darryl Richman
"Bling is not made in Germany" --OTL, 12/05

Cannonball Milwaukee to Anamosa

Bruce Pickering's picture

Nice to see that you are underway and pray that things are going well. I live just 30 miles from your Monday lunch stop here in Monroe WI and will see you there. It would be nice to know your route so we can see all the bikes underway. I hope you can post it here. If they got it right it would be Hwy 59. That starts in Milwaukee and ends in Monroe. It goes through the beautiful Kettle Moraine area and beyond with lots of gentle hills and big "sweeper" us riders love and no large cities to go through. We'll see you in Monroe.

Sprinter making it two to the finish

Monte Miller's picture

Very pleased to hear your "loaded" Sprinter is back among the living. That's one less iron butterfly in your belly. Remain Calm-Carry On. -Monte

Go, Darryl, Go

Jim Brown's picture


I'll be avidly following your progress westward, and looking forward to your posts. Looks like your side biz (Darryl's Dead Bike Storage Wink has proven to be a viable enterprise! Best of luck on your ride.


BTW, you REALLY should repaint that R90S Daytona Orange when you get back to Santa Cruz. Just sayin'

A good start after all

Guy's picture

Happy to see and read that overall, it was a good start. Great of Sam to be your 'bodyguard' for that part of the trip.
9 hours today though.... fingers crossed!


From you European fans

guest's picture

Good luck Darryl! Very successful start Smile Best wishes from Czech Republic

Jana & Peter

Ride steady, drink lots of

guest's picture

Ride steady, drink lots of water unless it's raining, and beware of lurking 101 Scouts.

Following With Interest

David Haley's picture

Atta boy Darryl.
David H.

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