Traveling to kick-off the 2022 ride

The Leg 1 riders for this year’s CEM 900 gathered on Tuesday, May 31, to travel to Akeley, Minnesota, where they begin the first day on the trails Wednesday, June 1. The geriatric team of five include John Elder, riding for the 17th year, his neighbor Jim Arbuckle, on board for the 6th time, Bob Porter from Phoenix, 10 years, Jack Hohag, 7 years, and support driver Jay Saterbak on board for the 14th time. Each of the riders have passed the 70-year mark, a point where participants tend to compare ailments rather than bike speed. But all reported ready for time on the trails! Note: support driver Jay made it clear that he should not be included in the riders age category.  

Driving north on a cool day with on and off showers, the group was relieved to see that they missed storms that passed through the day before. There were numerous places where swaths of trees were down, along with power lines and occasional destroyed farm buildings. 

After receiving a friendly greeting by the Akeley camp manager, the crew went about setting up the motorhome, trailer, and Jim’s tent for a two-day stay. Though it was cold and windy, the rain had let up and preparations were well under way when the team faced a significant snag—despite being tested and used two days prior, the gas grill refused to function. Eventually Jay determined it was because the regulator was not operational. Miraculously, the one and only grill spare on board was a regulator. Once replaced, the grill fired up and Jay was in his element preparing dinner—a tasty creation of hamburgers, Jay’s special recipe baked beans, and watermelon.

It was late by the time dinner clean-up was completed, so after root beer floats, it was off to bed, wishing for a good rest before Wednesday’s day one on the pedals.