As an inaugural event, everything is new for the Cross Country Chase. From the north-south route to rules and requirements, this is a proving ground and cannot be compared to any other vintage races. Also new are the majority of riders who have never been on a cross-country tour on antique motorcycles. All of which makes for an exciting adventure for everyone involved and the energy is not only palpable but clearly visible in the faces of staff as well as entrants.
The staff has been busy with making ready and taking EMT training provided by Vicki Sanfilipo from Accident Scene Management, who will ride along with the Chase as medic in case anyone needs tending. Safety, of course, is the main concern for any tour but especially so for the Cross Country Chase and every staffer has completed the required courses. The crew is as anxious to hit the road as the riders are.
Jason and LeeAnn Sims, the husband-and-wife promoters of the run, addressed the riders early this morning during rider school to go over the finer points of competition and to explain the vision they have for this first-time tour. In addition to the rules, Jason specifically addressed the goal to have fun despite the 10-question test that will be required each day, which has the majority of riders flummoxed. The cumulative scores from the quiz will serve as a tie-breaker, if it becomes necessary, but also serves to nudge riders into awareness of their surroundings since half the questions are based on the experiences of the day, the route and landmarks they’ve passed along the way. The other 50% are based on motorcycle history and encompass the breadth of the marques.
Today, the first official day of the inaugural Cross Country Chase, consisted of a scant 13-miles as a shakedown ride called the Prologue. Riders gathered on the shores of the Saint Mary’s River across the banks of the Canada border to sit for a group photo taken by none other than the world-famous photographer, Michael Lichter. Aune Osborne Park in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan was the staging area as well as the Official Green Flag start.
Rider #51, Shane Masters, was the only rider unable to start and trucked his 1948 Indian Chief some 5 hours away to have his bike worked on with the hopes of meeting the group at the Ludington stop tomorrow evening. He received a DNS (Did Not Start) for the day. Rider # 62, Scott Funk, is one of only two Class I riders on 250cc machines and, despite his missing 2 of the required miles, his handicap favored him and his 1946 BSA-C11 afforded him a finishing score of 22.0 points. Rider #5 in Class II, James Maloney, managed only 1 mile and finished with 11 points, leaving him in 68th place. Number 99, Todd Cameron on his 1930 BSA Sloper with a 493cc engine, finished the day in first place with 30 points. Stay tuned folks, it’s sure to be an exciting race as 69 riders on every imaginable motorcycle marque works their way across America. Riders are preparing for the wet forecast tomorrow as they head toward Ludington, Michigan after an arduous 267-mile ride. CCC 2019 Scoring Prologue Updated