All year, they have been preparing for this amazing -probably to become historical, 16-day and 3300 mile ride on motorcycles made before 1916. All participants are a little bit anxious, and tomorrow Friday September 10th they will leave Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on the first leg of their cross country trip to end September 26 in Santa Monica, California. The Motorcycle Cannonball is named after the famed Erwin “Cannonball” Baker who established 143 driving records from 1910 through the 1930s, His first record was in 1914 riding an Indian motorcycle, Cannonball made the coast-to-coast ride in 11 days.
Lonnie Isam, Jr (top right picture) is the promoter and owner of Jurassic Racing in Sturgis, South Dakota. “It started out as just a bunch of guys wanting to go for a ride that we’d been planning out over the years, maybe 15 or 16 of us. Then everybody started hearing about it and wanted to get in on it and it just grew from there” he explains. Cannonball’s course master John Classen has painstakingly mapped out a route that he has traveled twice, mapping out distances that ensure most days are about 200 miles or shorter and avoiding as much as possible the interstates where most machines could not resist sustaining highway speeds. On the road there will be 12 hours of daylight each day and a goal of having every rider check in at the day’s ending point one hour before sunset. I will try to give you some updates coming to me directly from the road.