Cross Country Chase
Daily Update – 9/20/2022
Last night’s overnight stay spread across several historic motor courts in Tucumcari began to set the
stage for the magic of New Mexico. Riders started off refreshed and rejuvenated this morning after their
stay, after enjoying their lodgings’ vintage vibe which perfectly matched that of the Chase’s 1930 to
Chase participants departed from the Tucumcari Convention Center’s magnificent Route 66 monument,
with city dignitaries present to see the riders off. The course deviated somewhat from what most people
think of as Route 66; the Chase route is an interpretation of what Route 66 should be. By the end of the
day, the riders’ consensus was that today’s route was the best of the Chase so far. Riders were elated
with the smooth, curvy, traffic-free roads and gorgeous scenery, especially the stretch from Las Vegas to
Santa Fe and then to Madrid. And with the elevation changes came cooler weather, making the entire
ride quite enjoyablet.
One of the suggested photo ops was in the town of Madrid, which many will recognize as one of the
towns featured in the movie “Wild Hogs.” Situated partway between Santa Fe and Albuquerque on State
Highway 14, also known as the Turquoise Trail, the town is a popular tourist spot offering many historic
remnants of its mining heritage through places like the Mineshaft Tavern (we enjoyed the great food
there!) and the Coal Mine Museum. It has become known as an artist’s community, and galleries line
each side of the road through town. Between the beauty of the land and the creativity and artistic
expression that abounds throughout the state, New Mexico really is the Land of Enchantment.
Today’s 254-mile ride concluded at the Isleta Resort and Casino in Albuquerque, where a special treat of
Rust Is Gold coffee was provided to the riders by the guys from the Rust Is Gold coffee, community, and
moto shop in Albuquerque. The Rust Is Gold crew photographed, filmed, and interviewed Chase riders
as they passed the end-of-day checkpoint. Check out their videos on the Rust Is Gold YouTube channel,
and watch for their Chase coverage later this year.
While some of the riders were wrenching on their bikes in the parking lot, the Chase staff was busy
preparing the next day’s maps. Many of you may have seen the riders’ map holders mounted on their
bikes’ handlebars, and they function somewhat like a player piano but with a manual component.
Simply, the rider loads the map and advances the directions by turning a knob on the map holder. What
you may not know is the process involved in producing the maps. When the Motorcycle Cannonball first
began, the entire route, from start to finish, was printed on many, many 8.5” x 11” pieces of paper. The
night before each day’s ride, stacks of paper were handed to each rider who had to tape them together,
page by page, to advance them through the map holder. After the fourth Cannonball, a special printer
was acquired to print out each route on a continuous stream of paper. Then, another piece of
equipment was employed to cut each map at the desired point. This has saved riders hours of work and
endless grief caused by paper tears and accidentally mixing up the pages, and riders in every Chase have
benefited from the new process.
The Chase sweep vehicles got somewhat of a break today, with only three bikes on the trailers. Still,
riders experienced various issues such as carburetors running too rich and a rider’s sidecar tire coming
loose (twice). One rider, Megan Margeson, has experienced problems with the shift lever on the
Panhead she’s riding, and with the help of tech staffer Ryan Allen, an adjustable wrench now serves as
Today marked the halfway point in mileage, and Dave Currier (#64) has maintained his lead in Class 1,
Jim Gilfoyle (#38) has advanced to first place in Class 2, and Roger Green (#37) has kept his lead in Class
3, and is now only 3.5 points behind Dave Currier for overall points leader.
On Wednesday morning, riders leave from Albuquerque on the 275-mile journey to Holbrook, Arizona,
for the completion of Stage 6. Almost half the field has missed miles, with only 52 still having perfect
mile scores. As we near the finish, it’ll be interesting to see how many riders finish with all miles