Reaching Vermont - Så nåede vi til Vermont
It’s sort of emotional to be here, and it’s based on a complete lack of common sense. We could have done the overhaul at the west coast and avoided riding 5500 kilometers in fierce winter conditions. The case was though, that I had promised Miles to drop by and you really don’t go back on a promise, do you?
The ride across the northern states really paid off anyway. To suffer from a constant hypothermia and not being able to feel you fingers for hours per day is such a tiny price to pay for making friends with legends like Erik Buell, seeing the decadence of Detroit, catch up with my outstanding friend Jerry in Albany, experience the extreme hospitality of the American people, stay with the original few remaining Canadian hippies that inhabited Copenhagen’s Christiania in the seventies, feel the sheer join of almost get run over by trucks and see it went well, you’re still alive only because you one hell of a lucky fellow that God don’t want and the Devil fear. It really keeps you going.
I must most humbly say I am probably one of the best persons in the world to abuse, run down and beat the shit out of classic bikes in order to rebuild them. I calculated things well, the last 70 kilometers I could hardly keep the bike running.
From Jerry in Albany it’s 220 kilometers. It’s been going steadily down with The Bitter-Sweet Chariot, but in Rutland Pandora’s Box was opened, hell broke loose, Satan was furious with me. At this time the gear shift froze so I had to shift straight on the gearbox. The clutch had totally died on the very last shift and would not release. Compression was totally gone on two cylinders. There was not a trace of tread left on the tires. It was left less than one centimeter of travel in the front fork springs. Anybody may feel free to get a 500 kilogram Nimbus rolling with no clutch, a malfunctioning gear shift and less the ten horsepower left. You’d have to attend “the advanced abuse of bikes” class and practice a bit.
But still I could run it these very last kilometers, which I really never should have done. When Pandora’s Box opens it just don’t fuck up the bike. Oh no, it becomes snowstorm, it turns out you have to cross a mountain pass, the road is covered by a hellish slurry of snow and salt that eats both machine and leathers and it’s dark as inside a whale belly in a coal mine.
We should never ever ridden in these conditions though, it was beyond hazardous. We should have awaited the crack of daylight. But we just couldn’t. You been riding almost 30 000 kilometers and always been bearing in mind that at this very town named Hartland the bikes will be meeting it’s Saviour and getting push back to life, just to again meet its destroyer once more until it get put to rest in Norway next Christmas or so. We just could not spend one more day to get here.
And we did really make it, though I had the spookiest feeling so far on the trip, knowing most fatalities occurs close to the target, and under just these conditions.
And yes, there were one more thing to be said. I had to get towed the last 200 yards before we could get off the leathers, eat breakfast and finish Miles bottle of Canadian Club. The Bitter-Sweet Chariot really died on me, practically when it was meant to.