http://www.motorcyclecannonball.com/ - here are some of the photos I took this morning.
I can’t adequately describe this event so I’m just going to give you the link right off the bat. See for yourself, follow them as they progress, it’s just hard to believe it’s actually happening.
For those of us in western North Carolina, it’s not all that unusual to see vintage motorcycles from time to time thanks to Dale Walksler’s Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum in Maggie Valley. Not only does he have one of the most extensive collections of early motorcycles, and a historical representation of the Harley Davidson line, but they all run and he races them. More than once I’ve been cruising through Maggie Valley when he pulls up alongside on one of the vintage motorcycles out for a spin.
I watched the bikes straggle in last night. They filled the A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley as well as 2 others. I got to talk with the support crews and some of the riders.
What’s it like riding one of these? They’re lucky to hit 50 mph so you don’t get windblown. The seats are fairly springy. It’s not all that bad – so they say.
On the other hand, going up hills is a challenge. I think those pedals get used. Things fall off – like brakes.
Electrical problems, particularly magnetos, are a problem that can stop you dead and tough to resolve.
A lot of these guys were up till the early morning hours in Wheels Through Time repairing the bikes to keep them running.
It was interesting to see what it took to make these bikes run. The right fuel mix, careful coaxing and monitoring, and a lot of attention.
48 bikes started the race. Some had already dropped by this 3rd day. Will any make the west coast?
They average about 200 miles per day. The longest day is 300 miles. No interstates. Only one rest day. Holy cow.
I hope they make it. I’d like to see it become an annual event, though I don’t know how long the bikes could make repeated trips.
It’s something to see motorcycles nearly 100 years old not only running, but racing.
Some of these guys were stopping to fill up every 20 miles.
it’s pretty cool to see these old bikes. It’s even cooler to see them run. But when you see them take off down the road to race, it just defies coolness and becomes something beyond.
Follow the progress, read the trails and tribulations of the riders a thttp://www.motorcyclecannonball.com/
If you like this you need to pay a visit to Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum in Maggie Valley, NC.
- Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here - AmericaRidesMaps.com