Motorcycle Cannonball Update. Part 4. Matt Olsen Injured.

As I reported in my former post rider #85 Matt Olsen was injured yesterday durig stage 5. Below the official press release from the Cannonball organization.

“Matt Olsen, Motorcycle Cannonball rider #85, has crashed his motorcycle while riding the Stage 5 section of the historical shore-to-shore run that will encompass 17 days of motorcycling across the United States. 

According to Matt’s father, Carl Olsen who is also a rider in the rally, the younger Olsen hit a pothole in the road and went into a shimmy on his 1913 Sears. Olsen had almost straightened his machine out when the wobble turned into a tank slapper and Matt went over the handlebars. His left forearm is broken in both bones, requiring surgery that his father reports he came through very well. Matt is in a cast, which will immobilize his arm and wrist for the 6 weeks required to allow the bones to heal correctly. In addition to the arm, Olsen also has numerous face cuts and a “slightly broken nose,” but prognosis is good and there is expected to be no permanent damage. Olsen will fly home from Huntsville, AL to Aberdeen, SD tomorrow afternoon.

The 26-year-old Olsen holds the distinction of being the youngest man to have the title of Iron Butt Rider, having earned the title twice in one week. One title was for riding 1000 miles on the oldest Harley-Davidson, a 1936 H-D Knucklehead with 2-up and then again in the same week for covering the 1000 miles solo on a 1939 H-D.

The determined young man is in good spirits and insisted his father and crew stay on to continue the Cannonball run. Carl relayed a message from his son’s hospital bed, saying Matt was pulling for the rest of the Cannonballers.  “This whole event is just awesome. The riders are all working together and helping each other to make as many miles as they possibly can and it’s revitalizing their spirit. Everybody’s in it for everybody else.  I will definitely be back next year.” It won’t be on the Sears, however, since the bike is reportedly totaled.

Added 7.30 am Sept. 15, 2010. Matt just texted to me to tell me he was flying home in South Dakota today. He is in good spirits. In my book, he did the Cannonball and can be proud of it for the rest of his life,

30 Responses to “Motorcycle Cannonball Update. Part 4. Matt Olsen Injured.”

  1. 1 Steve 'brewdude' Garn Sep 15th, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Best wished to Matt! Nicest guy you will ever meet! The Sears was an awesome bike and luckily I had the pleasure to admire it in person. Heal fast Matt!

  2. 2 Rollin Sep 15th, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Get well soon Matt !!

  3. 3 Joe Mielke Sep 15th, 2010 at 8:14 am

    What a bummer that this happened. I’m glad the injuries are limited to a couple broken bones. You’re a great ambassador to vintage bikes and the camaraderie of motorcycling Matt. I am proud of your efforts!


  4. 4 Dar - Brass Balls Bobbers & Choppers Sep 15th, 2010 at 8:22 am

    All the best for a speedy recovery Matt.

  5. 5 gina woods Sep 15th, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Kudos for a job well done in preparing yourself and bike!
    Life happens!
    Well wishes for a speedy recovery and the best to the ones still out there!

  6. 6 CHOPMONSTER66 Sep 15th, 2010 at 9:11 am

    All the best to you Matt . .

  7. 7 JZ Sep 15th, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Matt, I don’t know you personally but I want to say kudos to you for your efforts, for being an ambassador to old bikes, and for playing an active – not just armchair – role. While you may be out of the race, you’ve already done a lot. I hope you have a full recovery.

  8. 8 David Uhl Sep 15th, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Dam, I was so lookin forward to seeing him pull in to Santa Monica on that beautiful restoration, such a fantastic addition to the lineup. Matt godspeed to your immediate recovery. Thoughts will be with you

  9. 9 Steve the producer Johann Sep 15th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Matt I like the rest wish you a quick recovery. I just went through second surgery on my foot after a 2 year old accident. Nothing like getting over broken bones – I suspect your more mad about the bike loss and not being in the race than the break itself.

    FYI we will be interviewing Buz Kanter American Iron publisher on Hog Radio Friday night. He is part of the Cannon Ball line up and will be giving us an update from the road. Love to chat with you Matt, look me up.

  10. 10 Kevin "TEACH" Baas Sep 15th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Get well soon buddy we love ya man

  11. 11 mike47-47 Industries Sep 15th, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Matt, Sorry to hear the news. We wish you a speedy recovery.

  12. 12 Dmitry Sep 15th, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Get well soon, Matt, next year…

  13. 13 Doug Quinn Sep 16th, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Matt, everone is pulling for as you heel from your injuries. It’s just one of those little speed bumps of life (ha-ha) that happens from time to time. And like all the others it to will past but with great memories for all involved. To you a speedy recovery and hope to see you soon!

  14. 14 Scott Sjovall Sep 16th, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Matt, Sorry to hear the news. We wish you the best. You can use the healing time to find next years project/bike!

  15. 15 Mike Tomas Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co Sep 16th, 2010 at 8:51 am

    You are such a trooper and great ambassador for our antique mc club and old motorcycles. You can feel good about all the issues you over come to get this far. The camaraderie felt on such an event will last a lifetime.

  16. 16 Roadside Marty Sep 16th, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Get well sooner than later little brother..we are all so proud of everything that you have accomplished!!! Roadside Marty

  17. 17 Pepper Massey Sep 16th, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Sad to hear this however what a great adventure and accomplishment.
    Speedy recovery, Matt!

  18. 18 CAROLYN TOMAS-KIWI INDIAN MOTORCYCLES Sep 16th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Matt you are always a winner in my book. Too bad about the Sears, When I saw it in Sturgis, it was just beautiful. You”ll get another antique bike for next yearso until then, Get well & we will see you around soon & we are going to be in Santa Monica to see your crew & the rest of the Cannon Ballers. Everyone Stay Safe & Ride in Peace.

  19. 19 nicker Sep 16th, 2010 at 2:38 pm


    Sorry to hear about your “tilt.”
    Awesome scooter by the way.
    Hope you and it heal up quick.
    Good luck.


  20. 20 Matthew Olsen Sep 16th, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I made it back home today, thanks for the kind words and get well wishes. I had an amazing time on the cannon ball run and am bummed that my time was cut short. best wishes to everyone else that is still rolling and riding on the run

  21. 21 Mike Tomas Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co Sep 16th, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Matt I just had a great thought. How about next time you ride on the back of my Indian. I promise to keep you safe.

  22. 22 grayhawk Sep 17th, 2010 at 8:14 am

    If you really think about it one might conclude this is a race to enjoy, sorta like the ole time family vacations when the whole family went on a plotted journey to enjoy each other and the country sides from the back roads.
    Not many of us even on short trips enjoy a journey anymore we just fast, radar running, pace it to get to a point via an expressway with refueling and feed stops and rush back, noting most don’t seem to have the luxury of time to do so or do we.
    Life is a mission but it needs to be enjoyed, work and pleasure. These ladies and gentlemen are doing just that, Junior has done more then even he realises at this point putting this run together but time will show it to be worth all the hard work to put it together, Lonnie Jr. you did good and raisin pie to all that have been involved and to those that are smelling the roses as they journey across the country. One might easily state none are making this run for fame or fortune, not so different than a sole rider pilgraming to Sturgis or elsewhere where the soaking in of the ride is as much the point as reaching and enjoying the destination point. A party of its own for some. Have fun be safe.

  23. 23 Stacey Barber Sep 17th, 2010 at 10:44 am

    You are still a winner in our book! You’ve accomplished more than anyone else your age! Bones can heal and you can restore a bike…glad you are here to tell your story! Get well soon!

  24. 24 George and Kyle Marakas Sep 20th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    All the best, Matt. Our thoughts are with you and it sounds like the worst is in the past. Stay rested and soon you will be out in front again!

  25. 25 mike corbin Sep 20th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Thank you for your motorcycle passion..

  26. 26 jack1340 Sep 20th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    matt ; ta passion et ton sourire nous partage du bonheur.respect pour ton savoir faire!
    all the best to you et thanks

  27. 27 Dave C. Copperhead Customs Inc. Sep 21st, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Best wishes Matt, I hope you have a speedy recovery and can get back on 2 wheels as soon as possible

  28. 28 Rick "Dakota" Kempf Sep 23rd, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    As far as Im concerned ya did an awsome job, youve rode harder than most of the ppl ive ever met. Remember: “holes in roads may break yer bones but that bike is Bad @$$”……… i know you, it will be back runnin soon enough and you will keep turnin out some of the best bikes in the industry

  29. 29 Wiz Sep 24th, 2010 at 5:59 am

    Matt, Way to go little feller [or should I say faller, YUK-YUK]. Ben there, done that as I attest to 3 broken toes, torn ligaments both knees, 50 stiches right leg, broken tailbone [try ridin’ to Sturgis on a 1940 rigid flathead with that, get real good at ridin’ sidesaddle], 3 cracked ribs, tore my nose off, flapped the skin back on my forehead and scalp, and multipule brain concussions [they say it causes dain-brammage but I don’t think it affected me none]. Maybe I’ll ride up to Aberdeen and help with your recovery when I get back [ I’m down in Cozumel, Mexico gettin’ sum dental work done], let’s see, should I ride the ’40 flathead or the ’47 knuck? If you are ever in Sioux Falls look me up at Freebird Custom Motorcycles @605-359-2876. Take Care, Wiz [like the Zzen chapter news in the SD ABATE newsletter]

  1. 1 Motorcycle Cannonball Update. Part 4. Matt Olsen Injured. | ProRidersMarketing Pingback on Sep 16th, 2010 at 6:37 am
Comments are currently closed.
Cyril Huze