Well I am back to blogging again, mostly because I actually have something to write about. Earlier this year I opened my mouth to someone about my desire to do the Scooter Cannonball. This person, Ricky from J's market in Elk Park N.C. immediately jumped in and said he would sponsor/support me, so...I was in.
I am not the most patient person in the world so I did not do tons of prep on the scoot before I painted her. Just a quick sanding down so the paint would stick, and a bit of hammering on the lesser dents. I decided that the big dents could stay there to "add character"
I had also acquired a period (1968) windshield from Rob, one of the guys I work with at the golf course. He kindly gave it to me as it had been "settin in the apple house fer 40 years gathrin dust". I will say that riding with a windshield on a bike for long distances is a lot better on your body than going without one, so....Big Thanks Rob!
I needed a rear rack in order to carry tools and a tray on the footplate to hold a 2 gallon gas can! These I made at Bruce Dyacks welding shop in Pineola.
Did I mention I also made the seat for the trip? The original was way too uncomfortable for long rides and so I took it off and made a new one using plywood, foam, and leather. I made it quickly removable by using velcro. The seat has to be removable to get to the fuel tank and the carburettor. The American Tourister vanity case on the back rack is holding my tools and spare parts, I paid 5 dollars for it at a flea market and it proved to be tough as nails.
You can also see the tray I made for the gas can. Unfortunately, I discovered that when I would "tuck in" behind the windshield to get more speed I was breathing lots of fumes from the gas. Eventually I put the gas can on the back rack and the toolbox on the footplate. This gave me two added bonuses:-
1 The center of gravity was lower.
2 People seemed to back off a wee bit when they realised I was carrying a gas can in a position where, if they rear ended me, they might be involved in an explosive situation.
My wife Cheri also made stuff for the trip, in particular a leather pouch thingy that slid over the rear rack and gave me 2 more pocket spaces which I used for storing a raincoat, 2 inner tubes, and an assortment of granola bars. The pouch thingy also gave my scooter a tough biker look that I am sure intimidated many road warriors on the trip.
What else did I do to prepare for a 2500 mile trip? Oh, yes. I bought some new tires, 2 to be exact, and I went for a 250 mile round trip excursion to the Va. state line to see if "Sophia" could handle a long distance day. She did handle it, so all I had to do next was get to the starting line of the Rally on the 22nd of April. That little story will be in the next posting.