After some minor clutch adjustments, my 8:30 start time rolled around, and we headed up route 74. Eleven miles of climbing right off the start. The Indian was running really well, and what a joy it was climbing out of Palm Desert. As the road twisted and climbed, you could look out over the valley, each switchback higher and higher. It was a glorious ride, cresting on a beautiful plateau. We turned on route 371, thru Anza, and followed it back down towards civilization.
We had one last scheduled lunch stop at Temecula. I got there early, and had over an hour before the departure time. We ate, talked to the crowd, each other, then finally headed for Carlsbad. The traffic was bad leaving Temecula, making the motors run hot, but we finally got out of town and on some open roads.
It was on on of these open sections, running along about 45 mph, that I heard the familiar sound of a motor exhaling thru the intake valve. I pulled off, and sure enough the rear intake valve was wide open. Pulling the intake dome revealed a broken valve spring, but the spring keepers were gone. Determined to finish, I changed the spring, and secured it with a large cotter pin I had. I didn't know where the spring keepers had gone, but I was willing to chance it. I buttoned the valve train back up, started the bike, and the front intake hung open. So back off the bike I came, and removed the front valve dome. Both keepers were in the front intake valve, so I removed them and started reassembly. By this time I had quite an audience, including the chase truck. In the heat of the moment, I cross threaded the intake valve tensioning nut in the dome, and despite all our efforts at chasing these
threads, my time had run out.
So there on the side of the road, 28 miles from Carlsbad, my 2016 Cannonball ended. After all the effort, help, highs and lows, I had come up just a little short. Some days the bear does in fact get you.