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A Great Ride with a Foolish Ending

26 Jul 2012 11:42 AM | Jeff Alperin (Administrator)

I set out early yesterday to put some serious miles on the engine.  I decided to simulate a day of Cannonball riding by traveling 80 miles, then stopping for gas and a snack.

Other than the constant oil leaks, The Beast ran flawlessly.  She got close to 45 miles per gallon on the first two legs.  That's a substantial improvement over the 34 or so she had been used to.  I saved measuring oil consumption and levels in the sump and primary for the end of the day's riding.

I  thought I would do four legs but realized at 3:30 that I would have to quit at three.  I was averaging a bit over 40 mph, and had accumulated six hours of ride time (calculated by Trail Tech only when moving).  I did not have enough time to ride for two more hours.

This worries me.  If I don't average more than 40 on the 'ball, it will mean eight hours of riding over ten full hours each 320 mile leg.  Not good.

Well, I must have been distracted (not to mention hot, thirsty, and tired).  With only two miles to complete my third leg I stalled the bike while waiting to make a U-turn.  From the saddle I could not start the bike (too much oil on my boot and/or pedal).  So, I dismounted and started her from the side.  When I proceeded to make my turn, I didn't.  When you leave the kickstand down, you don't go left.  You go straight -- right across the road and into the guard rail.

A Palm Beach County Deputy Sheriff watched it all, and immediately called Fire Rescue.  They arrived quickly and checked me out.  I was told to go to the ER to get a stitch in my right arm.

Deputy Wise and I righted the bike.  She had come to rest on her bars and tank with the wheels straight up.  There seemed to be no damage (I had maybe $1,000 of lights and electronics that survived unscathed).  With a lot of persuading, and the good fortune that The Beast started on the first kick, the deputy allowed me t ride the bike home, about two miles.

The handlebars and headlight look slightly out of line, and the luggage rack is bent toward the left.  Other than that, she looks good.  Time will tell.

As for me, I'm reminded of the Black Knight when he said "It's only a flesh wound."  I have two broken wrists, five stitches on my right elbow, cuts and bruises on my legs, a pulled groin muscle, and a swollen left ankle.  The deputy said I had flown about six feet into the guard rail head first.  Thank you HJC.  Thanks also for the guard rail, without which The Beast and the Fool would both have plunged into a canal.

The wrist breaks are both minor.  The Beast and I will be at the starting line on September 7.  That's in 42 days.

It'll be a few days before I can measure the oil consumption.

The Beast and The Fool


  • 26 Jul 2012 2:05 PM | Ralph Young
    Glad you weren't more badly hurt, and hope you heal well and quickly!
    At great risk of sounding uncaring and opportunistic.....well...I have 45 years of riding experience....First Buzz, now you, know.... I just thought I would offer!! Number available on request!
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  • 26 Jul 2012 8:46 PM | Flathead Jack
    Holy Crap, Jeff, Well this is lust another one of those things that you don't want to happen during the run, but it's not the best thing this close to the beginning of the run either! I admire your determination. Kelli and I are both pulling for you.

    Flathead Jack & Kelli
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  • 27 Jul 2012 10:54 PM | charlie101,my that was a close enough call! Glad you're standing after that, and hopefully heal without lasting harm. You are really not having it easy this riding season. Those injures probably annoy you enough on the 'ball. After a well deserved break it is high tide to really put a stop to that dangerous oil leak. I also hurt myself on that slippery kicker pin. Maybe if you still have it, put the bicycle pedal back on the kicker.
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    • 27 Jul 2012 10:58 PM | charlie101
      hurt myself on that slippery kicker pin on my bike.
      Link  •  Reply
      • 28 Jul 2012 8:22 PM | Paul V
        Daaaaaaannnnng! Adjust head swivel! Thanks and best wishes, Paul V Excelsior Racing.
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        • 11 Aug 2012 3:09 PM | Buzz Kanter
          I tore my Achilles tendon but believe it will be healed enough to let me ride. Hope you are with us Jeff. Hel well and soon.
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  • 11 Aug 2012 5:23 PM | Jimmy Allison
    Jeff, What a surprise. I've been off line for over a week and just saw your picture on Facebook so I came here to read the sad news. But I'm glad to hear that you're planning on being at Newburgh. Do you need any parts to get your bike going. You've got my number. Heal quick.
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  • 10 Sep 2012 1:56 PM | Jack Duggan
    I shouldn't laugh but it makes me feel better to know that surviving for all of us old fools is a lucky thing. Good luck on the Cannonball. Hopefully this note finds you in Anamosa, Iowa. If you get any time I hope you're able to post.
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