Godzilla came ashore on the shores of Daytona Beach at Florida’s annual Bike Week, then hitched a ride on a vintage Honda Single Overhead Cam Four the next day to commence an unprecedented 10,000 mile, six month tour of the lower ‘48 and all of Canada’s provinces. But Godzilla took in a bit of Daytona festivities before his chauffer, Wilbur Mummey, scooted up Florida’s route A1A Saturday morning about 10:30 a.m.
Godzilla checks out the race action at Daytona prior to the relay's start
The ride, spawned by members of the website Single Overhead Cam Four Forums, saw its first two days of “road work” having its share of mechanical issues. A number of the riders who planned to make the first major treck to Savannah, Ga., were, literally non-starters. First, Wilbur’s planned riding partner, forum member “lrutt” failed to get his “long haul” SOHC/4 started so he fired up his short haul ride, sidecar and all, to meet Wilbur for breakfast and the official rally ride sendoff.
Ready for the start
Meanwhile, of the four riders from the Atlanta area who were heading to Savannah to meet up with Wilbur, two had bike issues but, undeterred, decided to play chase car with the other two riders. And as luck would have it, the car broke down! Such is the fate of a perfectly zany but determined group of vintage riders and forum buddies whose first goal is meeting other member/riders and having a good time. As Vern, owner of the Rav4 that blew its water pump, said, he was glad in the end because he made “more new, cool friends” including Travis, who engineered the replacement water pump roadside and diagnosed Vern’s bike problem when they arrived back home — a faulty main switch! Yup, that’s a cool new friend to have, indeed.
Maybe it was the scenery stops, like the St. Augustine lighthouse, or Fort George Island, but Wilbur arrived a couple hours late for his handoff to the Atlanta crew. Wilbur said he couldn’t believe, after riding six plus hours straight, he had another 70 miles to go. And after handing off ride mascot Godzilla, the ride log books and banner and spending a short time with the Atlanta crew Bluto and Bender’01, he headed back to Flagler Beach, Fla., clocking some 450 miles. Sadly, on his return trip he realized his camera, chock full of scenic photos and pix of his hand off buddies, fell out of his pocket, lost forever. A tragedy, really.
Godzilla handoff outside Denmark, S.C.
Signing the log book.
But Sunday, March 13, was another day, and the crew, including Rocker, CBowers, and Bluto, made their way further north to Columbia, S.C., cruising the back roads and at one point desperately searching for an open gas station (don’t dare run low on petrol in these parts while church is in session on a Sunday morning!). Arriving in Columbia and getting in some sightseeing, the state capital was a must. At the state house, Bluto, (Bill Skinner) reported Godzilla had a bit of a run-in with Capital Security. But, Bill went on, after only a few minutes the darling mascot charmed the badges off the cops and all was cool. The round-trip for the Atlanta crew was about 700 miles. Check out the great slide show of this crew’s trip.
At the state capital.
The ride then got a short break in the action. Coming up was Charlotte, N.C., with a side trip to Rockingham Dragway for some bike drag racing the weekend of 3/19; on up through scenic North Carolina through Shelby for a visit to a 40-year-old Honda dealership and tour of the Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley.
March 27 had Charlottesville, Va., scheduled and then a handoff for a heroic ride by forum member Silverback who would travel from Louisville, Ky., to Williamson, W.V., (that’s on the eastern side of the Appalachians) and returning to Lexington on 4/2. At this time of year, those mountain roads can get dicey. Good luck, Silverback, and be safe.
Other ride planning has the Maritime Provinces of Canada getting organized so insure that indeed, every Canadian is touched. A rider is needed to complete the trip for the Team South East group to pass the goods in Arkansas to a Team South West member heading to Oklahoma. Volunteers?
Anyone interested in the ride can read all about it at at the Forum link above, just scroll down to the World Tour topic on the home page and look for the team/region for your ‘hood.
Many a momentous journey had it fits and starts before settling in; do I remember Louis & Clark having unforeseen issues heading up the Missouri, or Scott or Amundsen preparing to sail for Antarctica?
Stay tuned for more news, updates, dates and destinations right here! See you down the road. – Steve Shanesy