Up early and at the starting line was class 1 competitor, #13, Dean Bordigioni. Dean suffered a devastating one-point penalty for a ½ mile tow on Stage 10. That tow cost him the #1 spot on the leader board. There is much controversy over the penalty assessment and the mood this morning is tense. Distracting the riders was the weather. Some scraped frost from their seats as the frigid overnight temperatures dropped into the low 30s. Today we will travel 232 miles from William, AZ to Lake Havasu City, AZ with elevations of 400 to 7000 feet. 64 riders started.
Much of our route today took us on the Historic Route 66. Riders had fun stopping for pictures and chatting with the many tourists who travel that route. The cool dry weather started out making riders pretty uncomfortable but with no clouds in the sky the sun quickly warmed things up. The red tinged rock gave was to brown rugged dirt with sagebrush as the only green to be seen. I could not help but wonder how the cowboys on horseback must have felt crossing this dry arid land. I considered how exciting it must have been to have a motorized vehicle to propel you across the vast expanse of dry dusty desert. I watched for riders along side the road and was sometimes tricked by mailboxes or signs until I got closer.
Our hosted lunch stop at Mother Road Harley Davidson in Kingman was welcome. They had done a great job of advertising and there were many people to greet the Cannonball Riders. They left their bikes on display and enjoyed the Mexican lunch with many choices. Riders left with full stomachs and smiles on their faces. Paul d’Orleans and Susan were there taking tin type photos. After this flurry of activity we left on a winding, then straight dusty backroad to avoid traffic. We took a long decent from the High dessert to Bullhead City where the temperature soared to 91 degrees. Traffic could not be avoided and the riders were happy to know the ride was almost over for the day.
I got a call. Rider down. A dune buggy driver had pulled out in front of the rider. They were about 20 minutes ahead of me. I headed over to find the rider had been transported but the police were still working the scene. The rider ended up being sore but was released with only a few minor injuries. The bike? Not so lucky. Friends and family were relieved. It could have been worse! Stage 13 down and only 2 days to go. 18 perfect score yet with Frank Westfall from New York leading on his Class 2 1912 Henderson. For more information about stats, visit the official Cannonball site at www.motorcyclecannonball.com