This year’s ride began on a perfectly sunny, 70-degree September Saturday. The first stretch from Milwaukee to Madison passed slowly, limited by the 60-mph top speed of the little Dream and Altmann’s tired Triumph Tiger 100. Unbelievably, we made it to the far side of Blue Mound, about 125 miles, before the first mechanical. No one was surprised it was the vintage Harley-Davidson Pan/Shovel mashup, another SCH/TT veteran that broke owner Scott Johnson’s leg last year when it suffered a freak front-tire blowout. Scott couldn’t make this year’s ride so Ronny Z., who recently relocated to California and thus was without a bike in the Midwest, borrowed it. First it jettisoned a footpeg. A few miles later, the steampunk-looking external fuel line sprung a leak, necessitating a stop at a nearby Farm & Fleet to buy copper plumbing bits. The third strike, a broken exhaust stud that ejected the rear header, proved fatal.