Seems like ages ago, but it was just over a week ago when I rolled the Red One out front of the Clift Hotel in San Francisco. The end of a decades-long personal quest to
complete a tribute ride to C.K. Shepherd’s 1919 journey was at hand! Now that I have completed it, especially considering the modern roads I encountered compared to C.K.’s assessment that 95% of the roads he rode on outside of cities was the wonderful “natural gravel” he so eloquently lamented, am in awe!... and I am in recovery mode. It took four days to get home and now I find myself torn between getting back to real life, and documenting my journey. It seems like the pressure is off
the latter, so I am shifting to focus on family and home priorities to work on documentation when I have a few minutes each day.
I have hours and
hours of video and photos to review and want to find some way to do it justice, so please be patient.
I had intended to try this route myself, so Lloyd volunteered to check it out the day before my intended ride. Lloyd left heading north on US89 about an hour before I rode through Flagstaff up to Lowell Observatory (I have video of that as well, for a later date). As you will see and hear from Lloyd, as “passable” as this road may be for an adventurous truck driver, it was really no place for a hundred-year-old street bike like the Red One. I suspect, since it was once the
thoroughfare of the day, it was maintained in better condition in 1919, but conditions were so bad and wet for C.K.’s return ride to Flagstaff after rainy period that he had a bad fall and broke his finger! I could definitely see that happening to me on that road today, so I opted for preservation... preservation of the Red One and preservation of me!
The next day, I actually rode the northern-most ½ mile of this road... down almost to the now-unused Southern Entrance to Grand Canyon National Park and then ½ mile back (video to follow). So... I rode almost exactly 1% of the road you see in Lloyd’s video which is 39 minutes long even though it took him
almost three hours to get to the rim road.
Stay tuned and thanks again to those who helped and those who cheered on from faraway lands.