Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The weekend of 14-15 Sept. I went up to my brother's to shake down a couple of bikes for the Fall Giro the following weekend in Newry, Maine.  I had talked my friend, Phyllis, into entering the Giro on my brother's 175 Bridgestone Hurricane Scrambler.  That hadn't run this year and maybe not since I rode it in the MotoGeezer Kick Start Classic late July, 2012.  It took a million kicks and a few pushes to get started, but then it ran fine.  My Moto Guzzi Airone Sport hadn't run in over two months, but that started on the first kick.  I also took my sister-in-laws new acquisition, a R-65 BMW, for a ride.  I went about 20 miles on each of them and they were all good.  The next day, we went to the Italian Motorcycle Owners Club meeting in Sturbridge, Ma.  I rode the Airone the 68 miles on back roads;  Doug and Amy drove in the cage while Doug recovers for his latest total hip replacement.  It was a beautiful day and there were a bunch of interesting bikes there including Buzz Kanter's '47 Guzzi Astorino and a Bimota V-Due (which seemed to run fine).  I forgot my camera and so have no photos.
But, Josh Martin risked his life by taking this photo from the middle of the road on our return.
Paige Mazurek, yours truly, and Bill Burke with our Horizontals on the way back from the IMOC rally
The next Fri., I picked up the Airone and Bridgestone in my van and drove up to Newry, while Doug and Amy took the Subaru with trailer to run 'sweep'.
Sat. morning was foggy, but fairly warm.  Rich Hosley was #80, I was 81 and Phyllis 82, with the highest number  being 89, I think.
Before the start Sat. morn.  Ken Richardson photo
Rich's Ossa Wildfire didn't want to start until he put a new plug in it.  Then, after the agility test, he shut it off and it didn't want to start again. I pushed him with the Airone about a half mile down hill before it started again.  I realized a didn't have my earplugs in and Phyllis misinterpreted my hand signal to 'stop, wait for me' as 'go'.  So, she took off while I searched for my earplugs, convincing myself I'd left them back in the hotel room, only to find I had them on me all the time when I got back to the room.  So, we were all separated early and I rode by myself to the first checkpoint.  I was surprised to find that Phyllis wasn't there, but she showed up shortly after, having missed a turn and gone a distance the wrong way.
Rich Hosley's Ossa Wildfire with my brother 175 Bridgstone H.S behind it at the first checkpoint.

The morning fog that made navigating so hard had burned off and we rode together though Errol, N.H., to the lunch stop in Rangeley, Me.  At lunch, Phyllis and I admired the C110 Honda of Eli Kirtz.
A Honda C110, one of the few 50cc bikes in the Giro.  Eli is wearing a Swedish Army jumpsuit.
Eli's mascot

After lunch, Phyllis and I took off together and, after some miles, we are going down a fairly steep hill with a fairly sharp left turn just before a stop sign at a crossroad.  I crossed and started up the hill on the other side when I notice Phyllis isn't behind me.  I stopped and waited a minute, then turned around and went back.  There's a pickup stopped and someone waving frantically at me.  Phyllis has crashed and is off the side of the road.  A bunch of Giroist stop as she's getting up.  Her face is bloody despite having a full coverage Arai Corsair helmet on because evidently she scooped up a bunch of rocks in it as she crashed.  She was a bit dingy and confused.  We dragged the bike up the bank and called Amy in the Sweep Car.  Amy was taking a dead bike back to the hotel and would be a half hour before she got there and another hour before she could get to us.  The fellow with the pickup truck, a Harley rider, volunteered to take Phyllis and the bike back to the hotel.  So we humped the bike up into the bed and cinched it down.  By this time I was assured that she was beat up, but basically alright, so I carried on with the route.  Serious fun.
I made it to the afternoon checkpoint with a minute or two to spare.  In the final leg back to the hotel, my bike was backfiring on the overrun.  When I got back, (after  checking on Phyllis who had taken a shower and was feeling much better and was much more lucid),I discovered that one of the nuts that hold the exhaust head pipe into the head had come off.  It was 7 X 1.00M  and, incredibly, no one had a spare.  After checking with several people to no avail, I finally realize that the seat spring bolts were 7 X 1.0 and I stole the nut to use on the exhaust and replace the bolt with a 6mm one.  It started raining as I was finishing up and the forecast indicated Sun. was going to be a washout.
As promised, it was still raining Sun. morning and a lot of lightweights packed up and went home.  But, as the last bikes were leaving the morning agility test, it stop raining.  The day just got nicer and nicer.  The route was better Sunday, also, with more turns, tighter roads, and more dirt roads.   Mark Young on his 250 Ducati Scrambler, followed me much of the morning.  Late in the morning, I missed a turn, but Mark didn't.  I went about a mile before I realized what I had done and did a U-turn.  Now, I was following Mark.  The route went on a long dirt road.  My bike started backfiring again on the overrun.  I figured that nut had loosened and I'd deal with it at lunch as that was not far away at the Worlds Fair, N. Waterford, Me.
When I got there, I discovered that the hanger bracket had broken on the muffler, undoubtedly from being stressed the day before when the exhaust was flopping around, and the muffler had dragged along the dirt road, ripping the fishtail off.  If I hadn't missed that turn, Mark would have seen this and been able to stop me.  Alas.  I wired the hell out of it and tightened up the header nuts and it was quiet, if ugly for the afternoon.  After we got back to the hotel and punched in and before the awards presentation, I got my bi-annual haircut on the solstice  (4:44p).  Long time volunteer Barb Wood's son, Mike, was doing the Giro for the first time.  He's a professional barber and he volunteered to do the cut.  So, I had my first professional haircut since 15 April, 1970, the day I got out of the Army, in front of the assembled crew.  Ken Richardson documented this, and has a bunch of other great photos from the weekend at his blog:
Geoff Boughton put together a nice, short video:
Some other nice bikes from the event:
A Zundapp Super Sabre

A Second Ossa Wildfire

Mitch Fraizer's 175 CZ, like my brother's, but earlier

A nice Bultaco Metralla

I think the only bike there that would have be eligible for the original Giro d'Italia, a '56(?) 175 Gilera


  1. That sure looked like a LOT of FUN, but only Dave Roper could turn a haircut at a Motogiro into an EVENT! Thanks for the great report.

  2. Aye Dave,
    Thank you for the craic and grand images and links, have enjoyed reading it all. Sincerely hope Phyllis has mended, with no lasting injury and the bike can be servicable.
    Good health, Bill.