If there were to be just one image that told the story of the Cross Country Chase, this might be it. During Stage 3 of the run, riders and machines had spent the morning slogging their way through miles of rain, but they’d dried out by the time they arrived in Urbana, Illinois, and the old machines needed attention. Todd Cameron, rider #99, took advantage of the time after the hosted dinner provided by Andrae’s Harley-Davidson. Just like all the other riders, Cameron set to work on his rare machine.
I stood a good distance away from the riders so as to not distract them from their work, using my telephoto lens as they wrenched. Todd went over his 1930 BSA Sloper with a fine-toothed comb, including an inspection of the master link, shown in this photo. Of the 69 motorcycles that set out from Sault Ste. Marie, each and every machine required meticulous tending in order to make the miles to Key West. There were no short cuts, no way around it, and every rider knew daily maintenance was crucial. The old machines needed constant TLC if they were expected to make it across 8 states through various weather extremes to arrive at the checkered flag. And most did. The inaugural Cross Country Chase was a remarkable adventure made on exceptional machines, accomplished by extraordinary individuals. And the riders made the journey together, as a family. Which, in and of itself, is an entirely other level of extraordinary.