Saturday, November 5, 2016

Fall Giro

This year's USCRA Fall Giro was based in Brattleboro, Vt.  There were about 80 entrants and among them, three Moto Guzzi Airone Sports, including mine.
The Vermont Airone Sports

Laurence Deguilme and I had planned to go together and share a room but, at the last moment, something came up and he couldn't make it.  I called Tim Courts and offered him Laurence's entry.  Tim thought that sounded like a good idea and thought he could get his old 250 Ducati race bike shaken down for the Giro.  I thought Tim was a grizzled veteran of these events, but it turned out that he had never entered a Giro before.
Tim's ex-racebike 250 Ducati.  He was conserned about the seat, which is little more than a plank, but he got a gel pad from my brother and had a sheepskin and he was fine. 
Saturday started pretty cool and somewhat foggy as we headed north from Brattleboro to Dummerston, then west to Newfane and South Wardsboro.  I took a little detour and went to some land that my siblings and I own in West Wardsboro.  After a quick snoop around a tiny corner of the land, I returned to the Giro route on Rt. 100 south thru W. Dover and Wilmington. and into Ma.  We had lunch at Sayre Anthony's Nova Motorcycles in Turners Falls, after a 100 mile morning.  Sayre was working on a number of interesting bikes including a Gold Star an a Pre War DKW100.
A late '30s DKW 100 at Nova Cycles.  Rob Sigond photo
  Robert Fuller was having a hard time starting his Airone Sport as he wasn't quite reading what the motor wanted.  I got it started for him on the 2nd kick.  They're stone axe simple motors, but they can be particular.  The afternoon took us south through Deerfield, then northwest through Conway and Ashfield, east on Rt 2 through Shelburne Falls, than north through Colrain and Leyden back into Vt.   I caught up to Tim as we approached Brattleboro and his bike started running poorly as we got into town.  But, we made it back to the motel and Tim discovered that the problem was that he was running out of fuel.  He filled up the tank and it was better than new.  A total of 193 miles Saturday.
Jesse Morris' NSU Max had blown a head gasket (which he couldn't understand as he had replaced it, heat cycled it and retorqued the head) and Peg Preble had blown up her 175 Honda side car and I offered them each the use of my TC200 Suzuki for Sunday, but they both declined and decided to run a second sweep vehicle in addition to sister-in-law and Amy with Gayle Ellis.
The NSU Max of Jesse Morris and, yes, I'm a terrible photographer
The dealer sticker on Jesse's NSU, King Motorcycle, Brooklyn, N.Y.
A 65cc Yamaha
Sunday was like Sat., cool and sunny.  We headed across the Connecticut River into N.H., then north following the river more or less to Walpole, then east through Alstead Center.  Somewhere around here, I came upon a gaggle of Giroist and I passed a bunch of them down a steep hill just as I see the cop parked by the side of the road, but I guess he didn't see me, luckily.  Shortly after this, Bill Condon pulled up along side me pointing at my bike.  I pulled over and he pointed out that my kickstarter was hanging straight down.  I pulled it up and took off again, but the kickstarted fell down again and I realized that the return spring had broken.  Not a big deal as I had a bungee with me to hold it up and the bike is very easy to bump start.   After a bit, I stopped to see why Rich Hosley and Rick Bell, my nominal teammates in Team Paleo, were stopped.  Rich was securing his speedometer on his Ossa Wildfire after a small crash had knocked it ajar.  They followed me but almost immediately I went on reserve and I wondered if I'd make it to the next fuel stop.  But, I did and while there, Henry Syphers gave me what was left of some oil that he couldn't used, which eased my mind a big as the Airone was spewing it profusely.  We skirted south skirting around the east side of Keene and south some more through Swanzey and Richmond into Royalston,   Ma.  Lunch was at the Boiler Bar and Grill in Orange, a converted mill, 81 miles from our start.
The Boiler Bar & Grill, Sunday's lunch stop.  Rob Sigond photo
 The afternoon took us back up north into N.H.  about 20 miles from the finish, Tommy Cotter's 175 Bridgestone died and his brother Danny towed it back to Brattleboro and they still made their time check.
the scoring of the Giros is almost entirely based on the agility test when one is given a specific time to get through a slalom of cones where points are accumulated for time over or under or for knocking down a cone, dabbing or going out of bounds; low points wins.  I am consistently a high scorer, but this Giro I actually did fair.  I had a total of 7.7 points and beat my Team Paleo teammate Rick Bell's (250 H-D Sprint) 10.284, but we both dragged down Team Leader Rich Hosley's 4.842, good enough for 2nd 250 and 10th overall.
I love these Zundapp Super Sabres
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They do require pre-mixing
The owner found an NOS exhaust pipe for cheap
Jake Herzog's Grossa, an Ossa motor in a Greeves chassis

A YDS2 Yamaha

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