Stage 5 means we’ve hit the half-way mark for the Cross Country Chase, leaving just 5 more days of competition. Today’s tour started off with incredible and well-paved narrow roads through the gently rolling hills of Kentucky where the wheels of time seemingly stand still before riding deeper into the lush thickets of Tennessee’s backwoods. As the shortest day of the course, riders enjoyed the dense foliage and great blacktop as well as the interactions with locals who enthusiastically approach riders to ask about their machines.
The entire day’s route was mesmerizingly beautiful, but it was also pushing 100-degrees out and the intense temperatures, coupled with oppressive humidity, took its toll on both the jockeys and their machines. The old bikes don’t like the heat and needed extra time-outs, which seemed to benefit the riders, as they sat waiting for their engines to cool off. A nice grilled lunch was offered by Bumpus Harley-Davidson before riders set off to tackle the twisties and make their way on to Coker Tires in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a hosted dinner. The group then scooted over to the iconic Choo Choo Hotel where they found a thousand things to do and see around the historic train station-turned-hotel. The terminal was originally built in 1908, remodeled into the current hotel setting in 1973, and riders were delighted by both the history and the ambience of the cool old property. The sight of the ornate, historic station surrounded by smoking, wheezing antique motorcycles that are in the process of making modern day history just seemed to add another layer of cool to the experience. By the end of the day, the sweep truck was filled to capacity with broken machines and made for a long day for both staff and riders. Tomorrow’s temps are predicted to be much the same.
The top four places are taken by riders from all three classes and, as we have witnessed, it could all change in a day. Check out the scores below and…Stay tuned!