Answering the Call of the American Road again

“I was headed for Nebraska. Now there’s a sentence you don’t want to have to say too often…” writes Bill Bryson in his “Travels in Small Town America” semi-classic. Well, I will be riding my 1980 MS from Indiana to Nebraska shortly. And even further into Wyoming, following the original 1913 itinerary of the Lincoln Highway. It completes the trilogy of 2007 Route 66 and 2008 Dixie Highway – see adventures elsewhere in this Ride Report Forum. In the in-between years, the call of the American road – and of MS – was there but I couldn’t answer it. Now I can, according to a master plan that is subject to change anytime while on the road. Wondering where the Lincoln Highway is? Check out: and

MS has been feeling like an orphan sitting for 3 years in the garage of dear friends in my American home town of Bloomington Indiana. About a month ago friends tested her successfully for signs of life. She responded but couldn’t do without life support. So she was taken to intensive care at the local Yamaha dealer who had operated on her in 2007 & 2008 and remembered her very well. On the to do list of course the regular major tune-up of fluids, filters and the standard works. But also a new rear tire as the LH has still considerable sections of dirt/gravel roads – yes indeed in Nebraska. Putting in a new starter clutch to remedy the serious starting problems when hot from 2008. Adding manual shut-offs to cure myself from petcock paranoia. New battery as energy bar. Looking into and fixing air leaks as possible cause of rather high idle RPM’s when hot. I just got word MS has been declared fully recovered. In a few days I will arrive in Bloomington and take her out for test rides on the curvy & hilly back roads of Southern Indiana.

The major difference between this year’s Lincoln Highway expedition and the previous Route 66 & Dixie Highway trips is that MS will have triple company. September 6 I will ride up from Bloomington to Fort Wayne Indiana to meet this forum’s HKschooter (aka Troy) in Cindy’s, a classic fifties café on LH in Fort Wayne. Troy will join me riding the LH in the afternoon over South Bend to about the Illinois state line. Now, Troy has been riding LH out of Fort Wayne for many, many years but has developed an extra historic sense ever since we planned to ride together. He has scouted out a number of abandoned historic LH-sections (and other must-sees) I don’t think he had noticed before. It is an honor to ride with Troy.

September 7 will bring two other special meetings. In the morning coffee around Joliet Illinois with Jeffrey Blair, chairman of the LHAssociation Indiana chapter, who recently walked the entire length of Indiana’s LH ( And then lunch with this forum’s Griz86 (aka David) in Rochelle Illinois. From there on David and I will ride together the entire LH trip to the point of return. Where? We won’t find out until we get there. David (100% Dutch ancestry) and his wife stayed with us in Holland just a few months ago. It is a privilege that he will come along to explore LH.

September 16 is the only other anchor point on the master plan: then I need to be back in Bloomington to participate in the Centennial celebration of IU’s School of Journalism, my 1971-1974 alma mater. Riding LH westbound we will take it easy, riding rain or shine from early in the morning till afternoon’s end and making stops to admire historic LH sights. Riding back I will probably make a fast & straight run on US6 (Grand Army of the Republic Highway) or I80. Rough estimate of total mileage for me? 3000+ miles.

Well, if you live on or near the Lincoln Highway: David and I welcome a meet & greet with fellow triple riders anytime anywhere. Just send word.

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