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

as possible.


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.


Tony Roy




Back to Ride Reports