Ride to IMTS

I was going to attend the IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) for work in Chicago and thought, why not ride? Glenn Bushey and I set out for Chicago in beautiful weather on a Saturday in September.  Coincidentally, my uncle needed to go to Canton, OH and rather than take a train, he hopped on the back of my bike and I gave him a lift there.  I couldn’t get him to wear a football helmet but that’s another story.

On the way out, Glenn’s brand new, 300 mile on it, Road Glide was leaving puddles of oil behind the rear cylinder.  The closest dealer was Biketown Harley-Davidson in Youngstown, Ohio.  Service was closing soon but we stopped to grab some oil to keep us going.  A tech came out and looked at the bike and took it inside to check it.  He found that the o-ring from the rear exhaust pushrod tube was missing!  He installed the o-ring while we had a snack at the Quaker Steak and Lube next door and then we were on our way.   Had to don the raingear just west of Canton on Lincoln Highway and found lodging for the night.

We spent two days at the show then headed up to Milwaukee and toured the Harley Museum. Went to Milwaukee Harley-Davidson on a quest for a T-shirt and would you believe the selection was so poor we left empty handed?

Checked on line the tour hours of the Harley plant and saw we had time so we headed over there.  They said, “Sorry, tours are over today.”  Apparently something happened in the plant that caused tours to be cancelled but they gave us a consolation pin.  We did ask them to make sure the o-rings are installed in all the pushrod tubes going forward.

House of Harley had T-shirts.  Mission accomplished, we headed west to avoid Chicago and started south toward our next stop in Evansville, IN. We stopped in a small town (too small) for the night.  Only food available was a bar and a Pizza Hut.  Walked into the bar and once our eyes adjusted to the darkness we could see the area that a burger and fries might come from and opted for the Pizza Hut where we couldn’t actually see the kitchen.

The next day while heading for Evansville, we saw weather ahead and pulled over as a precaution.  After a glance at the cell phone weather radar, we reluctantly donned the rain gear again.  Did I mention the weatherman predicted 10 percent chance of rain?  Turns out, the only rain cell was directly over us, moving with us all the way to Evansville.  The closer we got, the harder it rained.  We very nearly had to stop from the poor visibility but managed to trudge along the last 3 miles to our destination-the L.S.T. 325 Memorial.  L.S.T. stands for Landing Ship Tank which was widely used by the Navy for amphibious operations during World War II.  My grandfather had served on one of these ships, L.S.T. 589, (which was built in Evansville) during The War and I was excited, and in an odd way, nervous to see one.  The tour began in the rain (our tour guide wasn’t thrilled) but eventually passed.  Unfortunately, due to insurance reasons, the tour does not include the engine room where my grandfather would have spent most of his time as a mechanic.

We departed and stopped by Bud’s Harley-Davidson in Evansville before heading home.  They really should have a shirt with the L.S.T. on it but none were to be had.

Round trip was about 2300 miles and 7 days.  Great time.

Matt