Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Route 66 - Part II

Hi there
   The second day started with a breakfast mtg and than we had to leave the tour hotel to began our tour .First was to pickup the bikes at Eagle Rider location in Chicago.Before I move further let me introduce you to our Gang!!!

 Richard The Director. The  man with indomitable spirit for motorcycle riding,a moving encyclopedia on route 66.He carried us through the route like carrying baby in cradle ,if I was not riding correctly he will come up and guide and give peep talks .He will also tell what to eat and what to avoid!!!

Shane -The technical director and backup support A happy go lucky person always there to help out in any eventuality,he taught me a lot of technical details of the motorcycle .Without his help our ride would not have been complete.


  Giorgia and Marco from Italy .Marco own a Fatboy at home ,they were on their honeymoon riding route 66 .

   Peter Huntington,a businessman from Hampshire ,England.Has been riding motorcycles from past 35 yrs,he was assistant directory for the rear part of the group,always guided me in riding.

   Mark Robinson from Hampshire England ,he is in construction business,this was his first long ride and my best buddy ,we both were students of Peter. 

   Richard and Agnese from Hungary , now settled in Scotland,they have been doing long rides,both of them always there to help any one.

    Mathew webb and Suzane .Mathew is an excellent rider has done 7 times Isle of man,both from England .Mathew was riding Route 66 since it was his 51st Birthday,while  for Suzane ride on  Route 66 was on her bucket list . 

   Thorsteen and Belinda from Preetz Germany-they have been riding to gather from past 30 yrs and had done long tour too,very stable and excellent riders.

    Elvin and Nick from Nottingham England-retired couple again an excellent riders ,they were on vacation and what best than riding route 66,I was there Son for the ride.Nick always came up to me and gave peep talks ,like me they were also tea lovers!!

    Andrea and Sara from Verona Italy,they were on their Honeymoon,both office goers they had done few long rides too.When I slipped my bike for the first time ,it was Andrea who rushed and helped me.While Sara was official translator for Richard when he wanted to tell something to the Argentinians.

    Andy and Gia from Wollongong Australia,they have a Harley parts Dealership back home.Have been riding from past 40 yrs,excellent riders he taught me about riding in close group.

   The three Amigos from Buenos aires,Argentina .Gustavo,Roberto(Oh my God) Milton,full of enthusiasm Roberto and Milton were of short heights riding big bikes,but they were excellent riders .Gusti is a businessman and loves to sing rock songs,also owns a rock band,Roberto is retired marine engineer owns a yatch and has three bakeries,while Milton is a production manager in a large plant.


    As the bus approached Eagle rider location, Richard cautioned us that those who have not taken Zero liability insurance-(warning was going to come true in coming days)  should do so ,I had already taken the same while booking the bike.At that time I felt its unnecessary expenditure ,but the warning of Richard was going to be true in coming days .

    The bikes were lined up at the rental location with each persons name and I saw by name and motorcycle I felt so happy all those months of planning was coming true ,it was a shinning black beauty ,waiting to be taken on the tarmac.After doing  last minute paper work it was  time  to take bike for the spine and Oh boy it was damn heavy as well as full of power which I had never experienced,the riding posture was very comfortable.

    As I finished loading up the bike with my luggage ,it was time for briefing by Richard as it was our first ride on the beautiful American roads .

First Glimpse of my stead

First feeling of the Heritage metal

Briefing by Richard

    His briefing was through brief to the last point and off we go . After few miles we had our first stop for gas,as HD are gas guzzlers,there after it was smooth ride on the highway till Dicks towing-as we were nearing Dicks towing I saw Matts saddle bag cover coming off and as we halted I alerted him,however I myself was alerted by Shane as my own saddle bag cover was also not proper!!

    The Dicks towing was an amazing company.All the owners are named Dick and they are a great family owned company.The owner not only gave each one of us a pen and key chain but allowed us to roam around on his property and I discovered  some hidden treasures too.I went inside the workshop and saw a beauty covered ,the owner gladly took off the cover for me it was a beautiful  harley,it was an excellent gesture by him.


The Gang

Mr Dick

Vintage beauty

Lovely Harley

Vintage Cop car

    We thundered away  to Dwight .Dwight is a beautiful rural village ,its a small place but with large hearted people.As the speed increased so did my riding wows,since the bike was too powerful and heavy for me ,also I had never ridden my RE thunderbird at such a high speed,on top of it I had to maintain the staggered formation ,as also I was not able to corner the massive bike,somehow this was spoiling my fun and I was now worrying too much about either hitting someone or meeting a crash.To my great relief we halted to gas up again,with a visit to an old gas station,which was no more selling gas but was selling memorabilia's,again the owner was a fantastic person.

In the gas station saw this beautiful red fire truck

Visitors across the world had marked their country with pins I too did it

This kind of sports car are also available for tour of route 66

   The next destination was the famous Pontiac museum,before that we also saw the original sections of Route 66

    These sections have been preserved and have an information board giving detailed history regarding  stages  of construction till abandonment of the route 66.

    The Pontiac museum features vehicles of Bob Waldmire,the most famous traveler ,also an artist known for his  detailed drawing of route 66.Another unique feature of this place is, it has  a dedicated  separate floor for the defence service of America,displaying Unit insignia and  dress gifted either by family members or service men and women themselves.

    The whole town it seems was geared up for tourist and there was music played in the town square.

The Gemini Giant

  I also saw a unique number plate of 5 cars ,Richards says he has also seen this for the first time.

Cars with unique number plate

   Thereafter we reached Springfield for night stay in a lovely hotel.Evening was free and I set on exploration of the town.

   Springfield is the third largest town of Illinois state.It is the town of Abraham Lincoln were he stayed for 30yrs and raised his family and it is from this place on 11 February 1861,he left Springfield for Washington DC.

    The town also has another unique feature were in it has two  State capital buildings new and old one.The people are excellent . I chanced upon to witness the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival,it is family friendly event held each year to celebrate all things about route 66 .Classic car rally and exhibition are held,there is live music ,car parade, it was fun filled atmosphere.

People sitting on sides of road witnessing the car parade
   As the chill set in ,I called it a day and dived into the much deserved rest as next day the time for Stand Up was 0730h.