It was really nice to hop on the little bike for the final day ride with Jim. I was concerned that we might break spokes but Jim said it would be fine. So, off we went – even earlier than normal as the folks at the start hotel were complaining about the noise of the bikes. So, as soon as we arrived, we were waved on for the day. A lovely ride through the hills and out to Route 1. Then a foggy ride along Tomales Bay (and along some others), over the mountains (also in fog) and into Sausalito. A cute little cafe on the water was calling to us even though we were two miles from the sync point. After a quick bite on to Fort Baker which was pretty cool. Down on the water almost under the Golden Gate Bridge. Very cool. I guess its part of the Presidio but on the north side of the Golden Gate. The military always has the coolest locations.
We hung there waiting for everyone to arrive, food available from the San Fran Motorcycle Club, then through the tunnel and across the bridge into San Francisco. Escorts by the cycle club and the local police.
People along the way waiting for us, others with no knowledge and incredulous looks on their faces and still others with their hands over their mouths or fingers in their ears. One bike can be a bit stinky and they are not all that quiet, but 50 or so all together and it is pretty noisy and stinky. The Hells Angels ride again.
Along the coast we ride and down to the final stop at another Harley dealer. Big crowd to greet us, and as Jim was first place in Class 1 and Jimmy was second place, they got special placement of their bikes in front of dealership and interviews with the local “talent”. They were both beaming. I bet no one believed that two little BSA’s and local New Mexico kids to sweep Class 1. Jim was only about 400 miles off the total miles and about 120 of those were miles he chose not to ride on the Cleveland Interstate and over one very steep mountain pass. The little bike was pretty impressive. Good job boys!
I knew my brother Chuck and niece Jennifer and her beau Johnny would be on the bridge to greet us, but was surprised that both my sisters Patty and Julia, Julia’s husband Greg, and Patty’s daughter Christina were also there with posters and cheers to bolster our ride. Very nice! They also came down to the dealership as did an old friend George. Once again, everywhere we go we have people we know to greet us and support us. Thanks to everyone along the way who came to see us and cheer on Team New Mexico.
It was great spending some time with my family as we have so few times to be together and so often when we have been lately it has been for funerals. A happy event to come together. We were off to the banquet that evening but the boys granted me the opportunity to have breakfast the next morning with my family before we began the forced march to Phoenix. Thanks guys!
The banquet was pretty much like all rubber chicken dinners (although the food they have had along the way has been pretty good). Lots of thanks to the staff for all their hard work (a ton of work by a few people! Truly a labor of love.) and acknowledgment to the various winners (but only one award to the overall winner – same guy as last time. He has it dialed in.). Would have likes at least a certificate for the class winners, but that’s OK. Jim has the memories and satisfaction! The place they did not provide thanks was to the support crews. These are the unsung heroes of the event. Although Jim and Jimmy did lots of work on the bikes, Marty and Gene did not get to join in the daily lunch stops and were expected to be at the finish each day ready to work on the bikes. They often barely got in before us and then typically had hours of work to keep, or get, the bikes running. Team New Mexico would have been out like so many other teams without our great support crew. My hats off the Marty and Gene and to their wives Patty and Barb for sending their husbands away for a month!
Whenever these challenges are over there is a big letdown. Never know quite how to close them out. The boys are tired as are all of us. Jim has always dreamed big. Wonder what the next one will be?
By the way, the little bike broke no more spokes with me on board!
One last video. Tunnels are a bit like trains. Not sure why they are so cool, but they are. When you get 50 bikes in one at the same time, it is extra cool.