Monday, December 21, 2015

On And Off The Road Again

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all and to all a good ride.

Back on the road again after repairing a broken strut on the side car and then breaking it again.
The lower front strut on the sidecar was broken during my coast to coast ride in October.
It was repaired in time for the Houston trip in November, but was re-broken in December.
Thanks to Ilidio and his friend Bill who brought his special welder to the house and repaired the strut with what appears to be an unbreakable fix. The strut looks great and should be ready to last through another 30,000 miles.
The Houston visit with Daughter Joni and family and with Brother-in-law Stan Smith was great and the ride home uneventful, just a nice thousand mile ride.
Returning to daughter Diana & Ilidio's house in Lake Mary I began planning for my first attempt at a BBG, the coveted Bun Burner Gold 1500 miles in 24 hours ride.
The plans were made.
Lake Mary to Jacksonville, Florida and then a straight shot to Lafayette, Louisiana on I-10 and back.
I began the ride at 11AM and expected to be back by 11AM the following day with BBG complete.
300 miles into the ride my speedometer stopped working, along with the odometer and all other instruments.
The Iron Butt Association always emphasizes that when a ride threatening problem arises you should pull off the highway, get a motel and a good nights sleep and try the ride again at a later date.
That's what I did.
Pulled off the highway, checked into a Super 8 with a Denny's Restaurant next door and got a good nights sleep before making my way back to St. Mary in daylight hours with out instruments.
Ilidio wasted no time in finding the problem, a frayed wire that blew the key fuses.
The following weekend a ride with the Motorcycle Ministry of Northland Church went well until I hit a bump and watched in disbelief as the repaired strut cracked again causing the bike and the sidecar to lean towards each other in a precarious manner.

 It began as a trip to Fort Christmas to drop off toys for the community Christmas toy give away. The road into Fort Christmas had a two mile long line of cars waiting to get in. We turned back and headed for Grills Restaurant at Cape Canaveral for lunch. The lunch at this famous seafood restaurant was great and we watched a couple of cruise ships that were docked and loading guests for the next cruise.
The deep sea fishing company next to the restaurant had several places for those who were successful in their fishing to clean their fish. We all wondered about the strange sign above each carcass disposal hole which read Please Poke Eyes before disposing of carcass. I had never seen that sign before. Strange indeed.
I made it home and that's when Ilidio called in his friend Bill with his special welder and they repaired it for good.
The Sunday before Christmas dawned sunny and bright, and looked like a perfect day for a ride.

I headed out on State Highway 46 and ended up in Titusville, famous for being the prime spot for viewing NASA launches from.
I found the Space Park where they have pictures of all of the Astronauts mounted on small marble columns, along with the astronauts hand prints in the concrete base of the column. .
Took a while but I found Deke Slayton's column.
My son Roger will remember him as the astronaut who carried his banjo across a muddy road to the stage where we sang for the Sunday morning church service at the 1974 National High School Rodeo Finals in Tomah, WI. 
Deke Slayton was the main speaker and High School Rodeo contestants and their families heard an inspiring message from the astronaut whose home town of Sparta,WI was only a few miles west of the fairgrounds where he was speaking.
Roger's sisters Linda, Diana, Janis and Joni remember the astronaut helping them over the fence which surrounded the stage.
Deke was one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts and a humble, gracious gentleman.
Although a heart murmur kept him from flying in the Mercury Space Capsule, he later reached his dream of going into space with the Apollo/Soyuz program.   

Nice memories while visiting this beautiful park and memorial.
Now Christmas week is here and no rides are planned until we have a chance to redo the set up on the sidecar.
After welding the strut for the second time, the machine has developed a front wheel wobble both at low and high speeds. Ilidio has a plan to do the set up over and get the machines lined up correctly. Both he and I are learning a lot about proper set up and the dynamic response we get from having the sidecar slightly out of sync with the motorcycle.
There are lots of helpful reports on the Internet so we should enter the new year with a good set up and be ready for the trip from Florida to California to Montana as spring warms the north lands and the mountains of Montana beckon an itinerant biker home from the sunny south.

This has been a great riding year with over 30,000 miles of great travel across the nation.
There have been four Iron Butt Association Saddle Sore 1000 mile rides, one of which awaits certification.

Special thanks to Sidecar Bill Ryder for his work on my machine, Michael Kneebone IBA President and Shareef AsSadiq for guiding me through the 50cc Quest, cross country ride from the Pacific beach at San Diego, California to the Atlantic beach in Jacksonville, Florida, allowing me to become the oldest IBA rider to make this fifty hour ride. 
And end-of-year thanks to all of my family, Grace and many friends who have supported me through a year of great rides. 
May your rides be long and the new year full of blessings for each of you.
 Watch for me, I'll be in the Right Lane America
 Del "Lonnie" Lonnquist

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Florida Long Riders 8th Annual Grand Tour and Digital Scavenger Hunt and The Texas Tour


 First came the pre-event dinner with lots of tire-kicking and get acquainted-with-everybody  time, followed by a short meeting which included handing out the packets of information and the official Rally Tee Shirts.

Old friends who have ridden many miles together in IBA rallies visited, talked about  bikes and the latest farkles.

It was a fun filled get-together and brought back memories galore of past rides, as well as a chance to see vests, patches, logos and share ideas from local clubs and riders groups from across the country.

The after dinner meeting brought together people who were ready to ride.
Some were handed packets with routes and GPS coordinates for the Florida Grand Tour and over 50 riders received packets of Digital Scavenger Hunt directions.

At 7:15AM the next morning riders began gathering at the Fort Island Gulf Beach Park for the pre-ride meeting. Bikes lined up ready for the official start at 8AM.
The variety of machines in the line up brought together everything from the latest rides to a few vintage machines.

It was a great morning with lots of tire kicking and visiting.

Ray King and his volunteer team checked everyone in and after a short meeting and group photo the days adventure began.

 It was a great ride beginning at 8AM at Crystal River on the Florida West Coast and ending at 5:30PM at Flagler's Beach on the East Coast.
Although I didn't follow all of the directions I did visit many interesting places during the six hour ride, including The Villages retirement Northwest of Orlando and made an extra effort to reach St. Augustine North of Flagler Beach.
Pulled off in one small town, whose name I don't remember and saw local folks putting on a Pre-Veterans Day celebration. It was partly sponsored by the local motorcycle dealer. Their were bikers from Northern Florida and Georgia all joining forces to honor veterans and their families.
I got a few of the visitors to pose for pictures when they stopped to see the sidecar and tent trailer rig.
What a good time visiting with people from all over the world who travel through on their vacations.
They included a group attending a witches after Halloween event in one town and people selling Tee Shirts at Fairs and Festivals all over the south.

I spotted some unique (to me anyway) beach houses along the way and enjoyed miles of beach side riding on Florida's A1A sea coast highway.
These houses rose from behind the sand dunes, raised high in the air by beams and columns.
The space beneath the homes provides storage areas for cars, bikes, boats and more.
For someone from the Montana mountains they were strange looking indeed.

The end-of-ride dinner and awards program at Martin's Restaurant was a good time, dampened by the news that two of the volunteers for the event, Ron and Tammy Allen had been injured in an accident in which their Honda Gold Wing had apparently been rear ended by a pick up truck. The group sent get well wishes.
The evening ended with awards for the rally riders with much laughter and fun as some recounted stories about their days ride.
I received a plaque for being the oldest rider in the group.
I may not be fast, but I AM OLD!
Thanks to Ray King and his team for the many hours of work they put in planning and putting this great day together.

Leaving daughter Diana and Ilidio to their remodeling project I headed for Texas two days after the tour event.
I rode out on a foggy morning with a good cloud cover.
A welcome relief after the heat wave which had engulfed Florida for the past couple of weeks.
The fog lifted by mid-morning, but the cloud cover stayed with me for most of the day.
It was a great 530 mile ride across the pan handle of Florida to the KOA camp at Milton.
The morning ride took me through Mobile, Alabama where the view of Battleship Park is always beautiful to see and the ride through the tunnel on I-10 is always exciting on the back of a motorcycle as some drivers ignore posted speed limits and zoom past the old guy on the bike with the sidecar.
One biker passed me and I have to admit, he had a great set of pipes on that Harley.
In the middle of the tunnel they really resonated. Great sound.
Mississippi has a great welcome center and the nice lady behind the counter came out to take a picture of me with an old friend. (well, Elvis always seemed like a friend to those of us from the 50's.)

The target for the days ride was the KOA camp at Lafayette, Louisiana. It was a short 265 mile jaunt and with sunny skies I made good time arriving by mid-afternoon.
Shortly after setting up the tent for the night, the rains came.
Seems like every time I stop in this area, it rains.
And not just showers either. It really rained and  continued far into the night.
The next morning started with a few sprinkles.
Well, maybe they were showers.
I got out the rain gear.

As I got closer to the Texas border the rain eased off and finally stopped altogether.
The big Texas Welcome Center had lots of  construction going on, but the folks were friendly.

I did try out my new Blue Tooth Selfie stick for a picture.
After seeing the results I'm not sure I want to do that anymore.
The ride into Houston on the Sam Houston Toll road was much faster, now that I am the proud owner of a Texas EZ Sticker.
Riding the toll road is much easier when you don't have to stop and fumble for change at each toll booth.
Brother-in-law Stan was ready for me and had the garage cleaned out and ready to store the bike and gear. A text message from daughter Joni said they would be buying dinner.
It was a fun dinner with Joni & Gary, and Stan's daughter Shellie and his Grandson Johnnie.
Life is good.
Grand Daughter Jerusha wasn't able to make it since she was riding to the dinner with her boy friend who discovered too late that he was working and couldn't  come.
I think he might be in trouble with either Jerusha, her Mom, or her Dad, or all of the above.
We'll see them before we head back to Florida next week.

So many people have brought good things into my life as I  continue my border-to-border and coast-to-coast sojourn around this wonderful country we call America.
Thanks to you all.

Watch for me, I'll be in the Right Lane America.
Del "Lonnie" Lonnquist

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Weekend Ride In Florida

 What began as a Saturday ride with the Motorcycle Ministry group from Northland Church in Orlando from Lake Mary to Cocoa Beach, Florida began to come apart on Friday afternoon.
The tight, smooth ride I was used to with my sidecar rig became soft and mushy. Right turns were suddenly shaky experiences.
I thought the struts were coming loose, but Ilidio spotted the real problem. A BROKEN strut!
The lower, front pipe running from the sidecar to the bike had cracked in two.
It could have been wear and tear on the rig during the thousands of miles I have put it through, but I have a suspicion that it was the result of my wild dash through the ditch and over the steep bank to get off I-10 in Houston during my cross country 50cc Quest ride.That was a rough way to get off the interstate and the rough ride may have caused the crack.
Whatever the cause, if I was going to make the ride in the morning I had to find help. That help came in the form of Lloyd the Welder who on Saturday morning used the skill that comes with forty years of being a welder and made it as good as new. Thanks Lloyd. Great job!
Unfortunately, I was now to late for the meet up with the Christian motorcycle group and set out on a solo ride to Cocoa Beach.
The ride was going great and I was enjoying a sunny morning ride when I noticed the spare tire on the back of the sidecar had come partially loose and was flopping up and down in the 70 mile per hour wind. I pulled off the freeway and got as far away from the traffic as possible to make the repair needed to keep the spare solidly in place. As I was using an extra bungee cord to lock it down help was arriving on the scene in the form of Alonzo Ryan, a Florida Buffalo Soldier Rider who pulled his Harley to a stop some distance down the rod and walked back see if he could be of any help. Although I had finished with the tie down we had a good visit and he took time for pictures, including one of the back of his vest, showing that great Buffalo Soldier logo. When he learned that I was heading for Grills Restaurant in Cocoa Beach he said, "Follow me, I'll take you there."
Although it meant riding some forty or fifty miles out of his way, he said, "It's what we do Brother, it's what bikers do."
The riding  community has some great people in it and my new friend Alonzo Ryan is one of them.
He led me to the Grills parking lot and with a final hand shake was back on his own ride.
Thanks Alonzo.
I missed meeting the group again but enjoyed a solo lunch of  a Maui Maui fish sandwich and then moved back onto the highway for a run up Florida Highway A1A to the Cape Kennedy KOA campgrounds at Mims, Florida.
This is the same KOA that I stayed at for the Orion launch on my last trip south.
It's a well run KOA and this time had a special surprise.
LIVE music for a Halloween Party in the Recreation building, next to my camp site.
The music ran from 7PM to 10PM and was loud enough to hear clearly from the comfort of my tent.
Sunday morning began with the change in  time and an early start for a ride through the Merritt Island Wildlife refuge.This huge park has many narrow roads and trails to follow and a friendly, helpful staff at the Visitor's Center.
I rode to the Canaveral National Sea Shore and as far as the entrance to the beach and then turned back to do, what the Visitor's Center staff had called the bikers favorite ride down Florida state highway 3 through the park.

Here I almost had a great video as I drove through a large flock off carrion  birds feeding on a large road kill. I snapped on the Garmin handlebar camera, only to discover the battery was dead. Well, I'll charge it up before he next ride.
The next missed video was the draw bridge which suddenly began to go up as I approached.
I did get stills as the bridge was raised to allow a ship with a very tall mast pass through. You can see the mast to the left of the bridge.
Leaving the park I moved onto Florida One and headed North towards Flagler's Beach.
Spotting a Waffle House a few miles North of Daytona Beach I felt a twinge in my stomach which had survived most of the morning on a bottle of Ensure and a fiber bar.
It had been a great Sunday morning ride through some great Florida back country and I was ready for a break.
The Waffle House lived up to it's name, even though I skipped the waffle and went for the eggs, toast, bacon and hash browns.
As I was paying my bill a group of Lady Bikers  came in and sat down in  the next booth.
They were wearing fancy vests with their club logo, Leathers and Lace on them.
I showed them my small Last Chance Riders Motorcycle patch and asked if I could get pictures of them and their vests for a BLOG post. Raven , Pepperoni and MacGyver agreed and the result is here displayed.
They explained that they were a local women's biker group from Daytona Beach.
It is good to see so many women riders and the clubs and programs they support with their rides.
Thanks to the proud members of Leather and Lace for posing with, and for, the old guy from Montana.
Leaving them to enjoy their lunch I headed for the parking lot to continue my ride north.
As I headed for my rig I spotted a nice looking couple wearing Biker Vests with great looking logos.
Of course I asked them to let me get a picture, knowing that many of the readers of this BLOG have asked to see more pictures of the people I meet in my sojourns across the country.
I have enjoyed the opportunity to visit with so many people from around the world.
Pedro and Sandra, are proud members of the National Motorcycle Club of Puerto Rico.
Sandra and I posed for Pedro as he snapped a picture of us.
Flagler's Beach was the scene of a huge Outdoor Community Market cars parked on both sides of the street for two miles or more. I finally found a place to pull over and get one Surf Shot. Waves were higher in other areas but no way to stop for pictures.
So here is your Surf Shot for this trip. Enjoy.

This has been a fun filled and exciting weekend ride, even though the beginning was a little slow.
And even the crack in he support strut brought me together with a fine gentleman who did a great job getting me back on the road.
Many Thanks to all of the folks who have helped me and shared stories along the way.
And Thanks too, for the prayers and support from family and friends.
Watch for me, I'll be in the Right Lane America.
Del "Lonnie" Lonnquist

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Coast To Coast in 49 Hours and 47 Minutes

The Beginning 
On the beach in San Diego, ready to begin the trek across the country
from coast to coast in fifty hours. With the assistance of official Start Witness Shareef AsSadiq, a retired Chef Petty officer in the U.S. Navy, I filled a a pill bottle with Pacific Ocean sand and prepared to launch my attempt at becoming the oldest person to ride the Iron Butt Association 50cc Quest. Fifty hours from coast to coast.
Shareef and family invited me into their home to spend the night before helping me find the beach at 6 AM and then leading me out to Interstate 8 to officially begin my ride.

The 50cc Quest was the primary reason for the trip, but first I had to reach San Diego from Helena, Montana.
The first leg of the trip was The Iron Butt Association one thousand mile SaddleSore 1000.
The thousand mile ride from Helena to San Jose, CA, home of my daughter Janis and her family would give me a half way point stop on the way to San Diego.
This ride through Montana, Idaho, Nevada and Northern California was a great warm up for he main event and included sunny skies and warm temperatures.
The weekend with this great family included hearing Great Grand Child Miley singing in church and a great dinner at the famous Hayes mansion in San Jose and the privilege of voicing a narration for the Apostles Lutheran 50th Anniversary History Video.

A long road lay ahead and an early Monday morning send off found me heading for Barstow through central California.
The KOA campground was a welcome stopover on my way to the fabled Joshua Tree National Park.

The park is part high desert country and part the low lying desert area. The entire drive through this well cared for National Park was a flower sniffing delight.
 The pace was slow and provided a comfortable and restful ride on my way to San Diego.
 Coming out of the park I headed south to pick up The 8, as Californians refer to I-8 and had a great ride through the coastal mountains filled with large  boulders and little traffic.
Shareef AsSadiq at the Historic  Roller Coaster
on the San  Diego beach front
This would be the route I would be following the next morning as I began my cross country trek.
Dinner was at a special hamburger emporium favored by Shareef and Joyce.
The remainder of the evening was spent trying to figure out SW Connect and Spotwalla. All efforts to get my Iphone6 and it's SW Connect App to connect were for naught and w ewere unable to get the tracking function to work with the Google Map of my planned route.

No matter, the ride  could go on without it, but without giving family and friends a tracking map to follow my progress with.
Early to bed and early to rise as the 5:30 AM alarm told me to rise and shine.
Shareef had coffee ready and we were soon in the garage making a last minute check of all vital components.
He led me to the beach for the traditional pill bottle of Pacific Ocean sand and then led the way to the Shell gas station nearest to the beach.
Only two thousand four hundred miles lay between this Shell gas station and a similar Shell station a few blocks from the Atlantic Beach in Jacksonville, Florida.
A feeling of elation swept over me as Shareef waved me onto The 8 and he turned onto an off ramp.
The Precious computer generated gas receipt marking the exact time and date of my departure was stowed away in the special leather folder which was securely in place in my sidecar.
The Ride had begun!
In 2003 a 77 year old biker named Vernon Rank of Yakima, Washington had begun his 50cc Quest from the opposite shore, riding from Jacksonville, Florida to San Diego, California.
He had held the record for being the oldest person to make the ride for 12 years and now, I, at the age of 80 was seeking to raise the bar for other "From Out Of The Past Riders" who might want to take up the challenge.
Family and friends had offered prayers, good luck wishes and reminders to get plenty of sleep when possible.
The mountains I had ridden the afternoon before loomed in front of me and a light covering of clouds held the bright sunshine back making the first leg of the ride more than bearable. It was fantastic.
The feeling of elation remained for hours in my mind as I swept upward toward the 4,400 foot summit.
Having never ridden through the High Desert country the water for radiators signs brought moments of humor.
A few short hours of riding saw the terrain changing and soon I was back in the flat lands of eastern California with it's large agricultural area and signs reading "Elevation- Sea Level."
The highway stretched out in front of me as I began to feel the enormity of the task ahead.
I began to mentally gauge each area I would be moving through and where would be the best places to stop for short naps and the number of gas and food stops I would be making.
With the sidecar I lose about 25% of the power because of the wind resistance and
aerodynamics of the rig.
Pulling the Mini Mate tent camper behind added even more weight and gas stops are required every hundred miles.
Twenty 10 minute gas stops would add two hundred minutes of off road time.
I carried a cooler with bottles of Ensure Nutrition drink, fiber protein bars and bottles of water.
These supplies would cut the time for food stops to a bare minimum, but these stops, however necessary did cut into the fifty hour time limit for the Quest.What do you do when the gas station is closed and the receipt fails to print? Take a picture of the gas pump and hope it will serve as a testament to your stop and the sincerity of your intentions.
The morning and afternoon hours sped quickly by and with the sun setting behind me I began to think about my first short sleep time and where it would be.
Alas, as the sun went down the rain moved in and as I moved in to New Mexico the prospects for a rest stop began to fade.
Donning the new rain gear daughter Linda had ordered before leaving for her Medical Mission in Tanzania, I was dry and making good progress despite the wet roads.
So much so that I opted to ride through the night and make as much progress as I could toward reaching a KOA camp on the outskirts of Las Cruces New Mexico.
By 3 AM I was very tired and knew I had to make a rest stop.
There were no rest areas or truck stops in sight. I did find an all night gas station that had a small restaurant area with coffee, sandwiches and seating area. I had a sandwich and slept for 30 minutes before heading again for the bike. I had removed my leather chaps when I stopped.While putting the rain gear on I forgot about the chaps hanging from the luggage rack on the sidecar and didn't discover my error until I stopped for gas a hundred miles down the road. I hope they were found by a biker in New Mexico who will put them to good use. Las Cruces loomed into view and since I was no longer tired I raced on by and headed for El Paso. Missing the cut off outside of town I rode through the city and despite the early morning Saturday hour I ran through some fairly heavy traffic.
San Antonio was next and I was worried about early morning weekend traffic.
At one point traffic on all lanes came to a complete stop. Sirens ahead indicated the possibility of an accident ahead so I pulled onto the shoulder of the highway, leaned back and slept for what turned out to be 20 minutes.
As the traffic  thinned I moved back onto I-10 and quickly put the city behind me.
Having traveled through Houston, Texas several times I knew ahead of time that the Sam Houston Freeway was going to be my quickest route around the city and I had prepared by going on line and purchasing a Texas EZ pass for the tolls.
It worked like a charm and I was making good time around the great city until I ran out of gas. I was trying to stretch the reserve supply until I got back on The 10, but it didn't make it. The two and a half gallon gas can I carry on the back of the sidecar had helped several out of gas bikers on previous rides and now it was my turn. I had to laugh about it because I knew my Houston daughter Joni and her husband Gary, as well as my Houston brother-in-law Stan Smith would have a good laugh over myrunning out of gas on the tollway. Brief as the stop was it still used up valuable time.
Back on the toll way again the run to it's convergence with I-10 was short and I was beginning to believe again that I would make a successful ride and become the oldest person to ride the 50cc Quest.
I didn't realize at the time that the potential for a "DNF-Did Not Finish" was about to become a real possibility.
As I moved onto I-10, traffic suddenly slowed and then ground to a halt.
No signs, no sirens, no suggestion as to what was happening as four lanes of traffic sat motionless in the late afternoon Texas heat.
As the traffic sat without moving for a full hour it was becoming more apparent that there was no way I was going to make Jacksonville Beach in fifty hours.
Motioning to the driver in the next lane to back up slightly, I turned sideways and at full rev ran off the interstate highway, through a ditch, up a steep bank and onto a secondary road.
This road turned north and I rode several miles before pulling off and calling on Iphone6 SIRI for help.
"Find me an entrance ramp onto I-10 that will take me to Baton Rouge," I implored the computerized voice of hope.
"Turn back," she said and with great reluctance I began to retrace my ride on the secondary road. As I approached the great Houston Traffic Jam once again her voice said "turn left in one half mile," which I did and found myself on a short one lane I-10 entrance ramp which was looking down at a scene of destruction. A semi truck going through an I-10 construction project had crashed blocking all lanes in both directions. All traffic was stopped, but I was moving past the jam and back onto the Interstate with no traffic ahead of me or behind me.
Now I was making time, but with grave doubts about the prospect of making up the lost time.
The loud bang of the Mini Mate trailer tire blowing out brought these doubts into even sharper focus. While doing a Saddlesore 1000 from Minneapolis to Helena my twin brother Dean had insisted that I purchase a spare wheel and tire for the trailer and this I got out of the side car as quickly as possible and changed out the tire.
Back on the road the sun was once again fading and with a long nights ride ahead of me the same "You can't make it" doubts came back stronger then ever.
From Baton Rouge I moved over to I-12 for Hammond and Slidell, Louisiana.
At 1:30 AM, with sleep filled eyes and a tendency to drift onto the shoulder of the highway becoming more apparent, I reluctantly pulled into a rest area and leaned back to have a quick 15 minute power nap. Three hours later, at 4:30 AM I awoke refreshed but realizing that my failure to set an alarm had probably cost me my opportunity to complete the quest in time.
Nevertheless, I left the rest area with the thought that I had done what I could and had overcome some of the obstacles and would arrive safely, which the Iron Butt Association constantly reminds riders is the most important thing.
I rode my age the rest of the way cruising past Tallahassee, and small Florida cities like Lone Oak.
As I approached the city of Jacksonville I passed by many gas stations which could have given me the required computer generated time and date stamps, but the spirit of the 50cc Quest is that you ride to the gas station closest to the  beach on both the start and the finish.
I called on SIRI for help once again and she turned me onto I-95 and led me through the city to the Shell Gas station nearest the beach.
My daughter Diana and her husband Ilidio Sacramento had arrived at the station to meet me over an hour before. Sitting on camp chairs by the curb they saw me, but in my rush to get to the gas pumps and that precious time and date receipt I failed to see them  As they and their cameras moved closer I was quickly running a credit card and pumping gas. Hanging up the hose to bring that receipt I saw them for the first time and said, "I don't think I made it."
With 13 minutes left in my fifty hour time limit I had the required receipt and had become the oldest person to ride the Iron Butt Association 50cc Quest.

Diana and Ilidio never gave up, they arrived early at the Shell Station, set up camp chairs and settled down to wait, knowing that at some point I would come down the street heading for the gas pump that would show my exact arrival time.

Thanks Diana and Ilidio, for your patience and for your understanding that I needed a nap before continuing on to our final destination of Lake Mary, Florida.
The short nap on the sands of Jacksonville Beach was really needed.
  The feeling of elation was overwhelming.This was a moment I could relive over and over again in whatever years I have left for this sport of Long Distance Riding that some call borderline insanity.

 The ride is over, but the memories linger on.

All that is left is to thank all of you for your support, your understanding, your prayers and your faith in what an old guy, or any person can accomplish if they never quit, never say die,
but with faith and hope, just keep on keeping on.