I will be on location in Daytona Beach September 5th for the start of the 2014 Cannonball, a coat to coast 4000+ mile endurance run, this year reserved to pre-1937 motorcycles. Among the participants, many friends, including for the 1st time in the run Pat Simmons, a founding member of the Doobie Brothers and a long time motorcycle enthusiast. He will join his wife Cris who already participated and successfully completed the 2010 Cannonball run. The couple will ride, respectively, a 1934 and 1929 Harley-Davidson. During the event, Cris Sommer-Simmons, a well-known author and member of the National Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Anamosa Iowa, of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Westerville, Ohio, and of the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, will be raising money for “Stand Up To Cancer” in honor of her son, Pat Jr., who battled testicular cancer last year and now is cancer free.
This year Patrick Simmons will be riding a 1929 Harley-Davidson JD, nick-named “Norge” because of its similar blue color to Norge refrigerators once popular in the 1950s. As for Cris’ choice, she explains, “My bike “Buddy” is a 1934 Harley-Davidson, named after it’s previous owner, well-known Hollywood stunt man Bud Ekins. Pat bought the bike from Bud many years ago and I stole it from Pat in 1993, vowing to ride it ‘someday’.”
In preparation for the ride Patrick notes, “Cris and I are excited, and so ready to head out on the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run. We have been working on our bikes for over a year now.” Cris previously participated in the 2010 Cannonball Run, where she was the only American female out of 45 riders. She completed the over 2,800 miles and finished in 20th place.
Patrick Simmons has spent the majority of the summer on tour with The Doobie Brothers and preparing for their upcoming release Southbound. The album celebrates the band’s iconic hits re-recorded alongside some of country music’s biggest stars (including Blake Shelton, Zac Brown Band, Sara Evans, and Brad Paisley). After his participation in the Cannonball Endurance Run, Simmons will continue to tour with the band and plan for the upcoming release of Southbound November 4, on Arista Records Nashville.