• The Riders
  • The Riders
  • The Riders
Motorcycle Cannonball Run After Hours: Den Mother
Written by Rebecca Cunningham   
 
Stage 11: Pictures From The Road
Written by Felicia Morgan   
 
Hosts
Written by Felicia Morgan   

Photos by Felicia Morgan

The weather took a turn somewhere along the way and the warmth has returned to thaw our bones. Kansas had us all convinced the season change was upon us since our days there were gloomy and started out with fog each morning but the minute we crossed the Colorado border, the gray was lifted and with it, rider’s spirits. Everyone is tired, but happy.

It wasn’t just the weather that welcomed us into Colorado; our hosts were just as warm. The dinner served at Old Town Museum in Burlington, the little town with the big heart, was excellent and set against a backdrop of period buildings with a Victorian flair made for the perfect ambience as well as some killer photos. The local turnout was very appreciated by riders who were taken by the local’s charm.

Sunday was a double header as we were hosted to lunch at the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum that’s nestled upstairs at the Harley-Davidson dealership in Colorado Springs, before we rolled in for dinner in Golden. The museum was a quaint bit of nostalgia that was nicely appointed. Jim Wear and his crew laid out a fantastic spread to fuel the riders on to their next stop and his son Wyatt serenaded us with his excellent saxophone skills as we ate. Locals cruised the parking lot to scope out the bikes before the migrating herd rolled on to the end stop for the day at David Uhl’s studio in Golden.

The skies had started to cloud up which served to add a bit of drama to the scenery but the rain held off. Arriving to an elaborate dinner hosted by David and Elizabeth Uhl, we found a canopy set up over while linen draped tables set with centerpieces and a buffet line served by smiling caterers who were curious about the run and our adventures. In between announcements and tours of the studio displaying David’s art, massages were offered to the riders out in the garden neat the water feature. In addition, David thoughtfully offered riders a keepsake copy of a print of their choice to be shipped to their home. Every luxurious comfort was considered and the evening was a welcome bit of serenity. Peaceful elegance is not something riders experience much of along the Cannonball route and the effort was greatly appreciated. We all left with a deep appreciation for the family’s hospitality.

Next stop was for a bad ass BBQ and reception at the Grand Junction Harley-Davidson dealership in Grand Junction, Colorado. Local citizens as well as bikers packed the place with those who wanted to learn more about our journey.

The generosity of all our hosts has touched us deeply, adding another layer to the already amazing experience of the Motorcycle Cannonball, and we are grateful. Next stop; Utah.

 
Stage 11 Results
Written by Felicia Morgan   

Photo by Felicia Morgan

There are 19 riders who did not participate in today's start from Grand Junction, Colorado and another 6 riders did not complete today's course but all others finished their full miles. Included in the "did not start" count are those riders who are no longer here or no longer competing on their original bikes.

There is also a correction to the Stage 10 score. Bike # 73-Greg McFarland-was scored as DNS yesterday when in fact he completed all miles. His corrected score is included in the Stage 11 scores.

Download the full results in PDF Format by clicking HERE.



Download the full results in PDF Format by clicking HERE.

 
Motorcycle Cannonball Run After Hours: Poland
Written by Rebecca Cunningham   
 
Bill Wood: On The Road Again
Written by Bill Wood   

Today was one of the most beautiful and challenging days of the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run. And although things looked bleak last night, I’m pleased to say that I got a chance to see it all.

Turnip 2.0First, the bad news: The original Turnip Truck is no more. Our sweep truck that had been on the road since September 5 in Daytona Beach has succumbed to yesterday’s injuries. Early this morning, we picked up Turnip 2.0, a rental that will take its place.

The only issue is that Turnip 2.0 is smaller than the converted ambulance it replaces. So we can now carry just 12 motorcycles, rather than 16, on the various Cannonball support vehicles. This is a concern when you consider that we’ve already had one day when we had to pick up 14 machines en route to the finish of a single stage.

This morning, that seemed like it might be a problem right away, because today’s ride covered 278 miles right through the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Riders would have to cross the Continental Divide three times, topping out at nearly 12,000 feet on Loveland Pass, along one of the most scenic roads in the country.

Since before we even began this ride 10 days ago, everyone has been focused on this day. Would we hit snow or sleet at high elevation, two serious considerations this time of year? Would the organizers have to reroute at the last minute to avoid problems? Would any of the Class I (under 700cc) machines be able to crawl up the steep, narrow road to Lovelands Summit?

Loveland Pass.With all those questions in mind, this was the worst morning to delay the departure of the sweep crew behind the Cannonball riders. But it couldn’t be helped. Organizer Lonnie Isam was able to line up a replacement hauler on a Sunday evening, and it was waiting for us even before the rental agency officially opened this morning. But even with that quick work, the riders were well down the road when we set off to follow them, hoping that we wouldn’t find the Loveland Pass pavement littered with broken machines.

Our worries weren’t entirely unjustified, but in the end, the day went about as perfectly as it could. As we turned onto U.S. Route 6, the old road that branches off Interstate 70 west of Denver to climb to the top of Loveland Pass (the interstate goes through the Eisenhower Tunnel at the top), we found just two bikes waiting for us. Victor Boocock said his 1914 Harley wasn’t up to the task and asked for a ride to the summit, where he would be happy to get on the machine again. And Kelly Modlin’s 1927 Henderson Deluxe had quit, meaning he would need to be hauled to the finish.

But that was it. All the way up, we didn’t see another bike. Of the 77 bikes the attempted the Loveland climb, 75 conquered the pass.

The buttes of Coloradp.Most impressive were the five small bikes in Class I that are still maintaing a perfect score after 10 stages of the 2014 Cannonball. They all started the morning with 2,145 points (one for every mile traveled prior to today), and they all finished the day with 2,425 points, having added the full 278 miles from Golden, Colorado, in the Denver area, to Grand Junction, on the western edge of the state.

And that raises the real possibility that a bike from Class I could win the overall championship in this year’s Cannonball. In the past two coast-to-coast events, all of the Class I machines experienced problems at one time or another, handing the championship to a rider from Class II, for 700cc to 1,000cc machines (for an explanation of the Cannonball scoring system, click here).

Regardless of the points involved, though, this was a true high point of this year’s Cannonball route. Loveland Pass takes you well above the treeline to an overlook of a tundra basin hemmed in by mountains reaching over 13,000 feet. And above, puffy white clouds seemed to float just inches over our heads in a vividly blue sky.

We got there after all the other riders had departed, so we unloaded Victor Boocock’s machine and sent him on his way down the slope. We then followed the riders over Fremont Pass at 11,318 feet to a food break hosted by the city of Leadville, which is the nation’s highest incorporated city, perched more than 10,000 feet above sea level.

We were still running late, so the festivities had concluded before we arrived. But we were told it was quite nice.

U.S. Route 24 from Leadville took us over the Continental Divide once more, at 10,424-foot Tennessee Pass, then hugged the sides of steep, rocky slopes covered with gold aspen trees at the height of their fall color.

John Classen, the course layout master behind the Cannonball rides, does his best to avoid interstates wherever possible, but the spectacular beauty of Glenwood Canyon, leading to the western part of Colorado, is only accessible on I-70, so old bikes met modern highway design for a stretch through there.

Before we arrived at our overnight stop in Grand Junction, though, the scenery changed again, with forested mountains giving way to rocky, barren buttes as we entered the rugged sandstone landscape associated with Utah, which we’ll visit tomorrow.

It all added up to a tour of Colorado’s best, served up in the midst of this cross-country competition.

But of course, there were points at stake, too, and some significant consequences for the championship that will be awarded in less than a week in Tacoma, Washington. Thirty-eight Cannonball riders started the day with a perfect score for far, but six lost that status during the course of the day.

One of the most heartbreaking losses came when Dottie Mattern had to park her No. 43 1936 Indian Sport Scout just five miles from the start of the stage. Dottie is using her ride to raise money for the Antique Motorcycle Foundation (sister organization to the AMCA), and the Colon Cancer Alliance. Every time she rides another mile, she raises more money for these two causes, so if you sign on with a pledge now, you’ll actually be getting a bargain for today (or you can just pitch in the full amount). To find out more, go to ridedottieride.org.

Meanwhile, Ken McManus lost his perfect status today when he turned over the controls of his No. 112 1936 Harley EL to another rider, incurring a 100-point penalty.

Among other previously perfect riders, Jerry Weiland, who has covered every mile except the first day with his wife, Debi, riding along on his No. 27 1925 Harley JD, came to a halt 70 miles into today, while fellow JD rider Randy Aron, aboard a 1929 JD, went just three miles farther, to the 73-mile point. And David Lloyd, who has been holding down third place in Class II, was caught out by successive flat tires, only one of which he was able to repair. He stopped for the day at mile 180.

That leaves 32 riders still perfect tonight, with only six legs of the Cannonball left to go. And with each day that passes, the pressure to stay perfect and record every mile from coast to coast grows. As David Lloyd noted while his machine was being loaded on the sweep truck this afternoon: “I really thought if we could get through today, we had a real shot at making it all the way.”

But Mike Bell, Lloyd’s teammate on the Carson Classic Motors team bringing together eight riders from Texas, responded that losing some miles on the course for the first time actually allowed him to enjoy the ride more.

“I spent all those days riding and nights keeping the bike running,” he said, “and I kept wondering if it was worth it. Now, I don’t need to worry about all that.”

Tomorrow, the Cannonball is scheduled to cover 289 miles from Grand Junction to Springville, Utah. And you can catch up with the riders at Legends Motorcycle Museum beginning at about 4:30 p.m. Look for me‚ I’ll be the one arriving last with a brand-new truck.—Bill Wood

Results
 
Stage 10 Results
Written by Felicia Morgan   

Photo by Felicia Morgan

Download the full results in PDF Format by clicking HERE.



Download the full results in PDF Format by clicking HERE.

 
Reservation Racing: Day 10 The Switcheroo

After easily cruising home the night before the SHTF right before race time. Ryan’s bike who other than getting wet, which an old girl doesn’t like, Morticia threw a hissy fit. More to the point 84 year old bakelite material crumbled in the Mag. Of course Ryan had no idea what it was so gave it a herculean effort to get it started to no avail. Thus Kirk was to be on his own for the first time in the race. He did good. As Ryan says, he brought home one for the Res. The Cannonball requires on certain stops that the bikes be parked and on display. This is a great idea for the crowds who have gathered by the thousands in some cases to see the vintage bikes. It is a little tough on the Cannonballers who have to ride all day long and then snooze for a couple of hours. But yesterday was exceptional. This time we stopped at David Uhl’s art studio. He is famous for his vintage bike paintings. The party was just fabulous, the food was great and the welcome was superb. Thanks David!

The boys worked late again last night and the bikes are ready for tomorrow! Great work, guys! The great climb over the Rockies!

 
Colorado, USA
Written by Felicia Morgan   

There are many facets to the Motorcycle Cannonball Run. It's a difficult run, a challenge on all levels, and that difficulty is why it's called an endurance run, not a road rally. It's a long ride on any motorcycle but on a 68 to 100 year old machine, a 3,938 miles road can seem like forever. The Cannonball is known for it's challenging route and the endurance test is just as difficult for the rider as it is for the motorcycle. The geriatric machines just aren't used to the daily pounding they get and maintenance is a constant effort. The bikes need futzing with constantly, even as participants roll down the road, they are tickling parts to coax another mile out of their wheezing engines.

At day's end, the other phase of the constant effort begins. Some riders have pit crews who kick into high gear to repair what's rattled loose or cracked or broken over the course of the day. The solo riders simply do all the work themselves. One of our first Cannonball riders from Wisconsin coined the phrase "wrench, ride, repeat" and the mantra holds true today for all entrants. We have complete shops on wheels following along and some of the best motorcycle minds in the world lend their expertise to individuals on the route in order to help them see another day of mileage points. Parts are shipped from suppliers to the next hotel down the road and mixtures are adjusted to accommodate the route conditions for the day. Everyone lends a hand to help and it's the evenings where the true Cannonball begins. Twisting wrenches and telling tall tales in the temporary parking lot pits goes on into the wee hours as bonds of respect and trust begin to form. Our band of nomads share stories of their personal lives; the lives they stepped out of for a month or more to participate in the greatest organized antique ride in the world.

Motorcyclists everywhere dream of making a Cannonball run but right now, today in Colorado, USA, a group of hearty souls are making ready to climb mountains and reach heights that will challenge both man, woman and machine. The 11,990-foot Loveland Pass looms on the horizon and riders are prepared to take it on. The rewards come with each kick start of their motorcycles and the sense of accomplishment grows with each mile. Today is a new day.

 
Bean're Report: Meet the Riders Pt. 8
 
«StartPrev123456789NextEnd»

Page 1 of 9
 

 

facebook logo

Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

Who's Online

We have 414 guests online