While getting gas a little further up the street I was able to determine that the shield for the muffler was just about to come off and was the source of the clanging noise. There were supposed to be 3 bolts holding it in place. Two were missing and the third was loose. I tried to tighten it, but it appeared that it wouldn't hold very well, so the next solution was just to take it off. I did and put it in my backpack. I reminded myself not to stand too close to the muffler for the remainder of the trip. I thought to myself, if this is the worse thing that happens on this trip, then I'll be fine.
I tried to make one more stop in Abilene. I was a bit hungry and a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit from McDonalds sounded good. But as I dismounted, I noticed that a tour bus of some sort had also stopped there, the lines inside were long, and I decided I wasn't that hungry anyway and rode on.
I am always interested in "The Wave" that motorcyclists give each other. I gave and received many waves along the way. But for some reason, I didn't get any waves in Abilene. I wondered if the motorcyclists were just sort of "stuck up" there. Oh well, no matter.
It was just north of Abilene that I hit a bird. It was a small bird and it just glanced off my left shoulder, but I hope I didn't hurt him. I wondered a bit about what it would have been like if the bird had hit my face shield. I went riding on, and I hope the bird went flying on.
My route was primarily along K-15 which I took clear into Nebraska until just west and south of Lincoln Nebraska. There was very little traffic. A few trucks here and there. I sometimes tried to predict how bad the "truck wash" would be when you passed one going the opposite direction. Got surprised a bit a couple of times. Not sure I will ever get used to it, and don't like it, but survived very well.
I was a bit anxious to "get there" and pushed Max fairly hard. For much of the trip to Nebraska, I had the speedometer pointed at about 65 to 70 mph. Now I know that Max's speedometer is about 10% optimistic, so I suppose my actual speed was 60-65 mph, but I was fine with that. That would get me there just fine, in plenty of time to meet Gary. I had told him I thought I might get there about 2:00 pm. I was very close in that estimate.
The next gas stop was in Clay Center Kansas. It wasn't all that far from Abilene, and I could have gone much farther, but there were only very small towns after that and it was a pretty good stretch to get to the next town of any real size, Fairbury, Nebraska, so I stopped for gas again.