Morning Glory, Then Stormy Weather
It was a ride that started with promise. The morning sun warmed the riders as they cruised through miles of rolling hills, gentle curves, and picturesque landscapes. The surrounding tobacco and cotton fields, accentuated by the vibrant colours of crepe myrtles, painted a peaceful setting. However, the foreboding signs of thunder and lightning soon overshadowed this serenity, warning riders of the impending rainstorms.
While the hopes were to stay ahead of the storm front, nature had its own plans. Heavy rains brought about challenges with flooding, ponding, and roads littered with debris from toppled trees. While many riders managed to don their raingear in time, some found sheltered spots to wait out the storms, which fortunately passed within a few hours.
Warm Welcome at Speedway Harley-Davidson
By the time the riders reached Concord, North Carolina, the weather had taken a turn for the better. The event hosted by Speedway Harley-Davidson was in full swing. The dealership welcomed everyone with open arms, providing dinner and even service lifts for those in need. Their H.O.G. chapter and the local riding community came out in full support, adding to the vibrancy of the event.
Ups and Downs of the Day
However, the day wasn’t without its challenges. 10 riders couldn’t kick-start their journey in the morning, with two being permanently out of the competition. The journey was gruelling for eight others whose bikes ended up on trailers and one who suffered a clutch breakdown just a mile from the finish line. The rainstorms also took a toll on the machines, leading to various mechanical problems.
While the number of riders with perfect scores declined from 68 to 58, the top three finishers remained unchanged from Stage 1. Todd Cameron, with his 1909 Indian single, led the pack, followed by Dave Currier on his 1911 Harley-Davidson single, and Alex Trepanier, who rides a 1912 Indian single.
Anticipation for Tomorrow’s Ride
Tomorrow promises to be an even tougher challenge. Covering 256 miles through treacherous mountain roads, riders will need to be on top of their game. The anticipated rain could add to the challenge, but if today was any indication, the spirit of camaraderie and determination will see them through.
Original Article and Images by Marjorie Kleiman