Day Seven - Milford, NY to Cincinnati (764 miles)

Once again the day began in rain. We began to develop our plan to go ahead and ride home in one day. We did not want to ride in the rain again the entire day. We rode south to I-88 and headed west. I-88 and NY 17 (essentially an interstate) took us to I-79 in PA. There we headed south. We continued to ride in and out of the rain. Just outside of Pittsburgh the skies opened up in a torrential downpour. I radioed to Steve to pull underneath an overpass so I could get my rain boots on. As lightning struck a mere 200 yards away, Steve discovered his clutch had gone out. We messed around with the diaphragm on the clutch reservoir with no luck. I had experienced some problems with the bike a few years ago, but never totally lost the clutch. After giving up on fixing it we decided to push the bike (uphill), and jam it in first, and I would catch up. It worked. Now the problem; we still needed to stop for gas at least twice to get home. Our first try was going to be near Wheeling WV . I got well up in front and checked out the exit and decided it could be done. I radioed Steve the directions off the ramp. He skillfully came down the ramp, caught the green light and pulled uphill into the gas station. After fueling up we repeated the process. Since he was headed downhill it was easy to get started; but once started he couldn't stop. Shortly we were headed west on I-70. We thought one more time, and we'll be home. While we were patting ourselves on the back we noticed a traffic jam as far as we could see. So we limped down the shoulder knowing the police would probably stop us. After explaining to all the outraged truckers what was going on we saw the light at the end of the tunnel (or traffic jam). No cops to be found. Our last stop in Grove City just south of Columbus was more eventful. There were more lights, and more traffic than the first stop. We pulled it off though, and got on our way home. Steve didn't stop until he reached his garage door. Fortunately he does not live too far off of the interstate. A very harrowing experience.