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If you have a well-tuned, great running machine, riding the Chase is breeze since most of the stress of the run comes from mechanical worries. As we chased down jockeys to get riding photos, we kept an eye out for signs of distress, especially as we got into the higher temperatures down south. One ride who never seemed to show anything but joy was rider #63, Erik Bahl from Huntsville, Alabama.

As a repeat competitor in the Motorcycle Cannonball, Erik is well versed in cross-country antique motorcycle travel and came prepared to do the distance but each time we crossed paths he seemed preoccupied with the headset he wore. As we stopped for fuel, he stepped over to explain. Turns out Erik is part of a karaoke group. In Japan! Though he doesn’t know a word of Japanese, it turns out language is not an issue with karaoke so he was busy singing his heart out while riding America’s highways. We suddenly understood the constant smile and gestures as he cruised the backroads.