The energy has shifted dramatically for the run, since this is the eve of the grand finale of the Cross Country Chase. Rain soaked warriors rolled into their hotel with concerns of who’s on the trailer, who’s starting tomorrow and realizing this will be the last night they have to worry about setting an alarm to get their route sheets, which caused its own kind of melancholy.
Chase riders spent the day enjoying each other’s company and cutting up as they navigated the flat and straight Florida roadways while reading the road sign warnings about all the wildlife that tends to cross the highway. Who knew alligators hang out in the same area as bears do? Riders passed several parks and wildlife preserves and even the gas stations were prone to small petting zoos, alligator exhibits and souvenirs.
Generally, riders took the time to play the tourist role and were quite jazzed by the time they pulled into Petersen’s Harley-Davidson in South Miami to find a party going on. A fabulous dinner of hot paella was dished up for hungry riders as locals cruised both the parking lot car show and the antique bike show provided by the crusty, road weary Chase riders. Pinup girls strolled around looking at the machines and even danced to the DJ tunes before the skies opened up. After this much rain, riders didn’t even flinch; they just walked around in the rain as if it was another day in paradise. Which, actually, it was.
Tomorrow’s route includes a scant 129-miles into the Florida Keys to arrive at the checkered flag with hearts full of elation over a job well done, and hearts full of sorrow to see it all come to an end.
Class I will head out of Miami at 8:30 with the other two classes leaving at 15-minute intervals and arrival in Key West required by 1:30.
Scores are posted below and you will notice that there are 10 riders listed as DNS, DNF or DQ. DNS stands for Did Not Start, DNF means Did Not Finish, and DQ means Disqualified.