The run... roll the clock back to late morning Friday, September 7th... the place... Newburgh, NY on the east coast... this was the start of the Pre 1930 (as in 1929 or older)
Motorcycle Cannonball II Endurance Run Coast to Coast which would end 17 days later on the west coast at Dudley Perkins Harley-Davidson.
The history... ninety-seven years ago a young woman named Effie Hotchkiss traveled coast to coast from Brooklyn, New York to the World's Fair in San Francisco,
California on a 1915 3 Speed V-Twin Harley-Davidson with her mother, Avis, in a sidecar. Roads being what they were in those days, the ride took them about two months.
Effie had her toes in the water of the oceans on the east and west coasts and the story has been told that she carried water from the Atlantic Ocean with her and
dumped it into the Pacific Ocean when she arrived.
The bikes... a bike is eligible if powered by an original 1929 or earlier engine; reproduction chassis or parts are ok; the original ignition source and carburetor(s)
needs to be used it (spares allowed); brake improvement is recommended (even adding a front brake); clincher rims and tires are not required, spares allowed; each
motorcycle must have a headlight, taillight, and brake light; and, of course, current registration, insurance and licensing is required.
The route... a relatively direct route which was also scenic: includes four nationally recognized motorcycle museums, a dozen national parks, and forests, the great
lakes, the Mississippi river, the plains, the Black Hills, Rushmore, Devils Tower, Yellowstone, the Rockies, the high desert, Shasta, the Avenue of the Giants, Pacific
Coast Highway, and the Golden Gate Bridge to name a few, averaging around 300 miles per day with a one day lay-over at the half way point in Sturgis.
The winners... of the 69 contestants, 1st to the finish line on the 23rd, ranked 44th was #18, Doug Feinsod of California, on a 1920 Henderson Deluxe;
2nd, ranked 32nd was #2, Erik Dunk of New York, a 1929 Harley Davidson JD; however, winners were based on placements at the end of each of the 16 "stages,"
1st place going to #1, Brad Wilmarth of Virginia, on the oldest bike on the run - a 1913 Excelsior Twin and 2nd place going to #14, Joe Gardella of Michigan,
on a 1914 Harley Davidson.
The comments... although Steve Barber 1915 H-D V-twin was observed at 75mph, a rider when asked "what kind of speed was typical on the ride?" replied
"we occasionally were able go cruise at speeds up to 40 mph." Talking with another rider and saying that
"cruising around 45 to 50 mph on mountain roads is my favorite kind of ride" replied "in the mountains we rode as fast as we could."
The finish... when Dudley Perkins Harley-Davidson (www.dpchd.com) hosts an event you can expect a 1st class event,
and this was another glowing example. Bikes lined both sides of Corey Way from the culdesac at the dealership all the way down to Utah Avenue and
Utah Avenue was lined with many riders' team's support vehicles. Riders were provided cardboard to place under their bikes as they rolled in to keep their bikes from "marking their spot" with
oil drippings - some of these machines ran exposed push-rods and many riders' legs were oil covered from the knees down. There were many "vendors" booths: Dunlop Tires, Yerba Buena chapter (www.yerbabuenaamca.org)
of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America (www.antiquemotorcycle.org, the National Motorcycle Museum
(www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum.org, a (bullet proof) cell phone bottle opener case,
Cycle Shack Pipes (www.cycle-shack.com),
and, an extraordinary Bar-B-Q rig with Tri-tip, a whole pig, and burgers. And, of course, there was a great band playing rock & roll classics!
Would you like to know more?... visit the 2012 Motorcycle Cannonball web site: http://www.motorcyclecannonball.com/
for more history, route, rules, results, stops and rider profiles.
Would you like to see more?... over 300 pictures, over 50 pictures of individual rider's arrival on Correy Way and
many close up pictures of the machines - click on the "finish line" link at www.russellRAZholder.com.
Article and Photos contributed by Russell "Raz" Holder