Cannonball: it was the best of times, it was the blurst of times?

2010 September 11
by Oz

One of the many things that goes into Cannonball planning is the booking of hotels.  That might not be totally obvious at first, but remember, Cannonball is set up into stages that have a distinct start and end points.  These points might as well be your hotels since in all realism, it’s the first place you wake up to, and the place you want to end your day; decompress, strip down from your gear, and either find some beer or food or some combination there of.

So it stands to reason that if these items were determined in advance as part of route planning, that you should actually go ahead and book those as soon as they’re available to ensure you get a room with the rest of the group.

Aaron and I are about a mile or so from the rest of the team, which isn’t bad per se, but our support truck is at the designated hotel, and we are not.  Our steeds are not only our transport, but our pack mules now, shuttling bags of clothing and gear back and forth.

But enough about the end of the day, how’d did Day 2 go?

Today was a long day.  Hills were just as bad as yesterday, only more plentiful.  And to higher passes.  In fact, I would hardly call them “hills” and instead, mountain passes.  Above 6000 feet, I presumed that the Battlescooter Cannonball Ruckus (BCR from here on out) would languish.  I had actually cut open an inch hole in the airbox and put some tape over it, with the assumption that at altitude I’d open up the hole to help out my mix.  Turns out it was not needed.  The Ruckus pulled almost exactly as consistently as it would at any other altitude up a hill, which is to say at least for the time being, better than Aaron’s C3.  This made me sad, and Aaron annoyed.  At this moment (nearly 11pm), he’s reassembling his bike after mucking with his air filter.  A risky proposition, but 17 MPH up a hill is soul crushing to say the least.

We’ve already had folly:

  • two people went down, Jim T. and Lawson.  Jim T. was avoiding a deer.  Lawson was avoiding staying upright.
  • two people dropped their bike in an attempt to spite their bike’s good looks.
  • Bill (on the Zuma) managed to have his support truck stolen (of all things) on the first night.  Suffice it to say, Aaron and I are locking our hunks of junk to the biggest, most solid material ever.

I may have neglected to mention that at some point in time yesterday, Aaron and I could have sworn we saw something in a lake; a bear, a moose, nekkid people.  Not sure which.  Nonetheless, we got to see some bears crossing the road, which was super cool.  Two black bears – a mom and a cub.  It was awe inspiring until we remembered that we were going up hill and the bears could easily outrun us were they to take interest in something in our possession.

We did in fact get chased by 2 dogs.

This day was almost exactly 12 hours on our bikes, and tomorrow promises to be longer.  Hopefully with less hills, but I doubt it.

On a side note, I need to state that, at least for the time being, I’m very impressed with the Ruckus.  The modifications I’ve made have proven to be, at least for me, the right ones.  The bike rides as if it were on rails; the Yaak River Road, NF-92 and NF-97 were a pleasure.  At the border, Aaron had mentioned to me off-handedly that my bike looked like a weapon – he is correct.  Down those roads I was hitting the rev limiter hard, and was impressed with the way the bike handled while descending.  The foot pegs, the shocks, the disc, the wheels, the tires, it all came down to those choices and I believe it’s all paid off at this point.  Even the positioning of the spare tank has proven good.  I am pleased, over-all.

Meanwhile, I spent most of our first 3 hours riding on day 2 screaming, “I HATE YOUR BIKE” at Aaron.  I suspect he didn’t hear.

Speaking of crossing the border into the US, I was hassled at the border for about 8 minutes.  Apparently, the fact that I have a sticker on my bike that says “Rehab is for QUITTERS” means that I’m smuggling illegal drugs in from Canada (ironic, given I’ve never once used a controlled substance ever, even weed. Yes I know it’s weird, and no you can’t convince me to try).  There’s more to this story but it’s best told over beers.

C’est la vie, as they say in parts of that country I just left.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 September 12
    kory permalink

    I’m very impressed that a Ruckus could transgress the Rockies, and more so impressed that it could cross the border

  2. 2010 September 12
    Eric S permalink

    Here I was thinking I was just joking about not letting the coyotes catch you.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. jesse

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS