2001 Buckeye1000 or
The Bungle in Brooklyn
By Tony Roy
I start out with my friend Jen and I heading out under the threat of rain.
Leaving the Twin Cities on Tuesday to head to Indianapolis were she is going
for a racing school. We get through Chicago with no problems and about an
hour and a half outside of Indianapolis we hit rain. As soon as it started
we were through and into Indy around 1 or 2 am. After our first attempt we
find a hotel and crash for the night. Wake up the next day and go on a
search for an Internet connection that takes us all over Indy, finally we
are in the heart of downtown and she hoops on line and I walk around town.
We head off to the area that her class is at and get another room and she to
sleep and me to the bar. Wake up to her heading out and I go back to sleep.
I wake up to a light rain and head out for some President tour stops on my
way to Columbus. I hit a couple counties and the city of Harrison and the
county of Hamilton in Ohio then down through Cincinnati to Grants
birthplace. Back to Cinci. and up to Columbus. Get to the hotel and check
in and meet some of the other riders and we head to dinner. Friday around
noon with another rider to pick up a couple of the birthplaces that are
north of Columbus. We get to the first one and we take the pictures and are
talking when I do a bonehead maneuver. I dropped my camera and the back
pops open ruining many if not all of my pictures. So I take a few more and
head to the next one, which was a pain to find. Rutherford B. Hayes was
born at a British Petroleum gas station. The monument was right in front of
a current day BP station.
We head back and collect a few other riders and head out to the Eastern
headquarters (Eddies house) for the OD check. Head out on a very nice ride
through the Ohio countryside to the AMA museum. What a beautiful place the
AMA is. Had a great dinner and then we find out that Bubba is the rally
master? What is team strange thinking? After a short but confusing jabber
on the steps we get our packets. Very few bonuses in the packet. No
planning tonight for a ride that you don't know were to go. So I put the
points we got into the gps and on the map and get a good nights sleep.
Wake call comes an hour early and I start to get ready for what could be an
interesting day. After breakfast it's meeting time and we all gather around
Eddie in the back of a pickup and more mindless jabber and we get the rest
of the rally sheets. Just as I thought here is the meat of the rally.
Looking at the sheets I decide to push it a little and go to New York! So I
plan on heading north first to Canaan and then to Cleveland to the R&R
museum and then head to Penn and then to New York and back thru Penn and
into Ohio picking up stray points here and there.
So after the first mistake of the rally (leaving my bag un secured on the
back of the bike) I head out. Get to Canaan and to the Rock and Roll Hall
of fame in Cleveland with no problem. Heading up to Ashland for a fuel stop
bonus I take the wrong road and head up the slower of two ways to go. Get
there and get my gas and head to Buell Corner, PA. Get there and get Eddie
a change purse and get directions to Bradford, PA, which is 1 hour and 15
min. away according to the guy at Buell Corner store. I have 63 min. to do
it in. And I did it with 5 min to spare and no gas. I ran out as I pulled
up to the Zippo museum. Through some very fun roads that I have know idea
on how to find again! Off I go to New York Long boring ride across the
Pocono Mountains into NY. The fun starts here! If I knew How big of a pain
in the ass it was to get to the Cross bay bridge I would not have come!
Anyway I finally find the bridge and cross it. I sit on the east side of
the bridge debating on which way to head back. I decide to go across a
different bridge. Mistake #2, I go across the something memorial bridge
that is under repair and I just get onto the bridge when POP! What the
hell? And the bike starts to not respond too well. Get to the toll both on
the other side and it's flat. The Toll guy starts to give me some of the
world famous NY attitude and I just about went off but restrained myself and
at least talked my way out of paying the $1.75 toll. Parked in the lot I
start to make calls and try to get info on how to get my bike home now. I
don't see me coming in triumphantly into Columbus on time. I find out that
there is a gas station just down the road so I limp the bike down there and
get some fix a flat stuff and head off to find a hotel.
O' my God, I have gone into the wrong hood! I run right up Flatbush ave. in
the Flatbush area of Brooklyn. If you want an idea of how bad it was, here
is an attempt. Take what you have seen in movies and TV of ghettos and make
it 4 times worse! I have never been in fear for my life before that night.
All I wanted to do was to get out of there alive! With different Gangs and
groups hanging out at different gas stations and comer markets it looked
like right before a war when the sides are lined up getting ready for
combat. Everyone looking at me long and hard as I rode bye. I felt like I
was a zebra walking through a pride of lions and their all getting ready to
have their next meal. With Hookers and drug dealers coming out to offer me
their goods I just put my head down and keep moving. And with no cops in
sight, I guess there apprehensive about coming down there, I move on as fast
A bastion of corporate America, Marriott hotel! I pull in thinking It's
expensive, but what I just went through I need this peace of mind. One last
room and I snag it at a mere $159 a night plus tax. Wake up a ten and start
making calls. Find one place open on Sunday. S&B Speed shop. Don't let
the name fool you. There is nothing speedy about this place. It's a hole
in the wall with about 20 P.O.S late 70's, early 80's street bikes out
front. With an older and younger guy sitting out front working on what
looks to be junk but it is parts for a bike. They try to find a tire that
will ft my TL with no avail. With the option of putting a tube into a
tubeless rime and tire. Which I don't think is going to work. They
remember the GSXR rim that they kept from this guy that got busted for drugs
and never paid them for the polish and painting they did. They pull it out
and the tire looks like it went through 40 miles of glass and still has some
in it. Inflate it on that rim and it holds air. I decide to go with that
tire rather than a tube. Take it off the GSXR rim and it has been plugged
also. We put it on my rim and it's holding air. I figure it will get me
out to the suburbs of NY were it will be cheaper to get a hotel and a new
tire on Monday.
I head out and the tire is holding up so I decide to keep going. At each
major city I say I hope it makes it to the next. Every gas stop I check it
and it's holding up. With a stop for sleep in Sandusky, OH. I finally get
back to the cities 28 hours after I left Brooklyn. My bike Looks like shit.
With 3360 miles of road grime and just a hard ride in general, I need to get
this thing into the shop. New tires, Chain, top to bottom service are
needed. It's been a good bike for me. I bought it less than a year ago and
I have put 21,000+ miles on it and never had to do more than change tires,
oil, chain and the front brakes.
Thanks to all the volunteers and to all the other riders for a fun DNF.
Back to Ride Reports