Friday, September 30, 2011

Cannonball !!

Cannonball 2012

September 11, 2011
Just went to Cyril Huze blog and saw that there would be another cannonball run but this time on motorcycles built in the 1920’s.  Oh joy ! 

The 1920’s saw some great motorcycles that are very capable of a 4000 mile jaunt across the country.
I immediately e-mailed Lonnie to see if I could get in.

Sept. 12
No response so I e-mailed Lonnie again.  Persistence is a major character flaw of mine !
It just occurred to me that there are some major hurdles to over come if I were invited on the ride.   Just minor things like I don’t have a 1920’s motorcycle and am still quite broke from our move from Baton Rouge.  

I had a 1927 Indian Scout a few years ago which would have worked pretty well, but it is long gone
It seems that within a reasonable budget the ideal candidate would be a 1928-1929 Indian 101 Scout.

Nothing.  I am starting to think that this is a shut out.

Sept. 29
Surprise, surprise !  I woke up to an e-mail from Lonnie saying that he had just gotten my e-mail and that I was invited to participate in the 2012 cannonball run.  I opened the attachment and found out that the registration fee was $1500 but it looks like it covers hotels and some expenses.  I immediately responded that I was in.  Oh, wait a minute.  There is no extra money for a $1500 entry fee !

Of course the next thing I did was get my ever patient wife Laurie to ride 125 miles to the Shop in Ventura on the chance that the owner, David Hansen would be in.  Never met david before, I have read about him and seen him in magazines but that was the extent of my knowledge of the man.

David was in and is one of the nicest guys I have met in the antique motorcycle business.  I told him I was looking for a 101 Scout, but to tell you the truth it was pretty hard to focus on the topic.  In a corner was one of the great Henderson 4 cylinder motorcycles, in the front window was a 1930 Indian Chief. In short there were very cool bikes and parts everywhere.  As we talked he said that he didn’t have any Scouts but that I might be better off on a Chief, at which point we ended up looking over the Chief in the window. 

I asked if he would rentme the Chief and he said he would think about it.  Now get this, he has never seen me before but was willing to take an hour of his time and discuss everything from the great influences in his life, give me a tour of the shop and even entertain the idea of letting me use one of his bikes.  Amazing

Long story short, David said he would look around and see what was out there.  I left his shop knowing that there are still some very cool people still left in the motorcycle world !

I called some of the local Indian guys and an Indian 101 Scout man on the east coast, everyone was helpful but they didn’t know of any available 101 scouts or 20’s Chiefs.  I really think I want to do this on a 101 Scout.

My son Nick committed to being a chase truck driver and wrench, I am trying to get my oldest brother David to go also.  He is extremely savvy when it comes to all things mechanical.

Laurie and I put together a home spun route map to have something to keep the fires burning, kind of basic but I like it !