TWO MEN, ONE URAL SIDECAR, AND A NONSTOP, 32-HOUR, RECORD-BREAKING RIDE FROM SEATTLE TO LOS ANGELES. FOR NO GOOD REASON WHATSOEVER.
Astoria, Oregon, 12:54 p.m.
194.7 Miles, 03:07 Elapsed Time
It was as warm as it would be for another 20 hours, and I was cold. Not freezing. That would come at night, when the sky filled with snow. When we couldn’t stop shaking. But right then, the day was a wonder. The low clouds broke to show blue sky, the spits of rain abating. And then I nearly dumped us both into the Columbia River.
It was Smith’s turn to tangle with the fuel transfer pump, this tiny, 12-volt thing we’d strapped to the sidecar’s fender. He was in the tub, facing backward, body in the breeze, wrestling with long plastic fuel lines full of gas. A line torn or caught in an axle and pressurized fuel would go everywhere. After which it would be almost impossible to refuel our Ural Gear Up on the fly.
And that was the whole point. We’d set off from Seattle that morning with the idiot intent of riding nonstop to Los Angeles. No getting off the bike, rider swaps at speed, and no stopping for anything but traffic.
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