Victory-Riders thought is would be cool to allow folks to track the progress of riders on the V2V Relay in real time as they make their way from NY to CA. We invested in a SPOT gps tracking device and set up a webpage
for all to view riders' progress.Since I would be on the first leg , I used the SPOT on my ride down to NJ to meet up with riders. Leaving my home (near Cape Cod) toward NJ.
I was immediately hit with rain that stayed with me the entire 6 hour trip. Mark Luz was waiting for me and was able to track my progress. Let no one tell you differently, I-95 from Boston to NYC is just no fun, especially in bad weather. I made it to Mark's just in time to order pizza for dinner. I can't remember the pizza joint, but it was to die for. I may have to endure that road again for more pizza.
V2V 10 started out rainy but that didn't dampen the spirits of the first leg. SPOT did a fine job of tracking our progress. Several of us also took photos with our smartphones and immediately uploaded them to the V2V page on Victory-riders.com. I also blogged along the way. Talk about instant updates for those following along!! All this was possible with the advanced and combined technologies available on Victory-Riders. We'll definitely be using this again!
Our second leg of the V2V took us to Cape may, NJ and aboard the Cape may ferry to Lewes, Delaware. This is always a fun and relaxing excursion. Occasionally we'll see dolphins swimming with the boat. We ended the day with a stop at the Victory dealer Chesapeake Cycles. All of the V2V riders went down to the waterfront for dinner and to watch people on a warm summer night. It was good to leave the roar of the road behind.
The next day was the start of Leg 3 with Dave Pearce as the road captain and keeper of SPOT. After a quick primer on it use, we were off and running. I planned on following for part of the leg but then would split off and heard north to explore Gettysburg,PA. By mid morning I had left the V2V riders, wishing them a safe and fun trip, and dropped down onto secondary roads heading north toward Gettysburg. Passing rolling hills of numerous fruit orchards, I stopped to sample the local fruit. Stopping as a small family run orchard, I browsed the wide range of apple offerings and was intrigued by a variety I hadn't heard of. I asked the saleswoman, an elderly lady with a welcoming but weather face, if it was possible to buy just one apple (they had only baskets for sale). She replied, "No sir, but If you tell me which apple you would like, I'll give it to you." Pleasantly surprised by this "old time" generosity, I told her and she happily handed me an apple. Free. I, of course, made sure I purchased something else from her store, a bag of homemade pretzels. I then made my way outside and found a comfortable patch of hillside next to the farmstand to lie in while I enjoyed the sweet crispness of the apple and the salty pretzels while looking across the valley of fruit trees.
Gettysburg is an overwhelming place. It was much bigger than I had imagined and the endless stone memorials and statues reinforced its importance as an American icon of sadness and courage. Many folk cannot speak of the site. They can only speak of the feeling they get as they stand where thousands fought & died. I will not do the injustice of description. You must feel it for yourself.
Upon leaving Gettysburg, I headed northeast picking up I-81 as I made my way back home. it was ten that I became aware of an ever-increasing vibration and occasional shimmy from my rear wheel. It would do "a dance" whenever I took turns, as if the tire was going flat. As I headed into New York, the problem got worse and it began to make a slight scraping sound. I repeatedly stopped and could not find any visible scraping of parts. I began to plan for an unscheduled visit with Lloyd at (Lloydz Motorworks
) in Pine Bush, NY, a wizard with Victorys.
As I neared the exit onto I-84 East, the sounds and shimmy became almost constant giving me a boost of adrenalin on a now weary ride. By the time I got off the highway, the scraping sound had escalated to metallic gnashing, approaching that of a fork in a garbage disposal. By then I was traveling at about 20mph, expecting the rear wheel to lock up at any instant. I made it to within a mile of lloyd's shop before I just could not drive any farther. The rear wheel was wobbling violently and it looked like the wheel hub was chewing itself up. I walked to Lloydz and they quickly came and picked up the bike. In the end, it turned out to be a bad rear bearing. It had disintegrated and had chewed up the brake pads and done serious wear to the tire. After spending a couple days on Lloyd's couch (thank you Lloyd), everything was replaced and running great. It pays to have wizards like Lloyd and Adam on your route home!