Motorcycle Cannonball Stage 10 Team American Iron Status

As expected, today was a tough one with all 4 Adventure Power’s Team American Iron Magazine leaving early in the cool morning air from Golden, CO. Paul, I (Buzz), Cris and Pat all were anxious to get up and over the steep mountains over Loveland Pass at nearly 12,000 feet. We knew we needed plenty of motor and speed to get up and over and good brakes to safely get back down the other side.

Paul encountered some mechanical issues on his Harley JD and dropped back in the first 15 miles. Pat, Cris and I motored on in the chilly mountain air. I dressed for the afternoon heat, and paid the price in the chilly morning air. My bike ran strong, thanks in part to the correct 80 inch carburetor being installed in place of the 74 inch one I had been running up until this time. The replacement carb added significant power and cut down on the surging.

Me (Buzz Kanter) and my 1936 Harley VLH at the top of Loveland Pass, nearly 12,000 feet high on the Motorcycle Cannpnball

I rode with Cris and Pat for a half hour or so until we got to the base of the mountain. I pulled out ahead and hi it hard to build enough speed to carry me up the steep inclines. I was in 3rd gear most of the way up with the throttle wide open. To compensate for the very thin air, I leaned out the Linkert carb a few clicks and that helped. I rode as hard as I could and passed perhaps a dozen other motorcycles on the way up, some on the right and some on the left. By the time I got to the top I was exhausted and the bike was working overtime. Most of the riders stopped at the summit for photos and to enjoy the amazing views.

OK, so now that we motored our ways to the top, we then had to focus on getting back down the other side safely. Focus on engine and brake managemen. Don’t allow more speed than you can control even in sharp downhill turns – and there were plenty of them.  As I rode up and then down that tall mountain road I was thankful to Rob Nussbaum and Ryan for building me a great and dependable bike and to Steve Coe who is tuning it for me and fixing whatever I mess up each day on the ride.

I did not see Paul in several hours and was a bit concerned. Turns out he had mechanical issues and chose to pull over for the chase trailer trather than cause more damage to his engine and bike. Tough call, but the right one.

An antique & hardware store in Leadville, CO.

After we got down the mountain we rode another couple of hours to lunch at Leadville, CO – a charming old town worth a visit.

Pat, Cris and Buzz relax after lunch in Leadville, CO.

They hosted us to a late braeakfast and then we were back on the road again. Some of the roads and views were world class, but I did not enjoy riding a 1936 Harley more than 50 miles on the Interstate highway with the 18 wheelers and cowboys in pick up trucks.

The views in Colorado were breath taking.

And I have to admit it was an odd feeling to be riding Cannonball without Paul Ousey or Jim Petty at my side. Hopefully all three of us (as well as Cris and Pat) will be up and running again tomorrow.

We ended the day with a wonderful reception at the Harley dealer in Grand Junction CO.

We finished the day with the following statistics: 101 motorcycles registered, 2,425 miles ridden. 32 still with full points, I am ranked 36, Paul is ranked 56, Cris is ranked 70, and Pat is ranked 75. On to Springville, Utah tomorrow, some 289 miles more.

Serious damage in Paul Ousey’s engine. He ate the piston of this front cylinder and stayed up with Coe and Weeze doing an engine swap.

Late night extra! It turns out Paul’s issues were worse than expected. When they pulled down the engine for inspection they found he had shattered the piston skirt of this front cylinder. Fortunately he has a spare JD engine and was able to swap it overnight. Paul, Coe and Wheeze didn’t get much sleep last night but we hope they will be up and ready to go in the morning. Go Team American Iron!

Motorcycle Cannonball, Stage 9 Adventure Power’s Team American Iron

Today was one of the most challenging to date on the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball riding from Burlington, Co to Golden Colorado with altitudes as high as 8,200 feet. All 4 Team American Iron riders started on time with Paul and Me (Buzz) pulling out ahead of many other riders in the coolish 50 degree temps and a bit of ground fog. A few hours into the ride Paul and I stopped to take a photo at the half way mark of the roughly 4,000 mile Motorcycle Cannonball 2014 ride.

Posing at the half way mark of the 4,000 mile Motorcycle Cannonball ride.

Pretty soon the fog burned off and we had a great lunch and tour of the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum. After that we peeled down some of the hotter clothes and rode through the amazing Garden of the Gods.

Selfie at an amazing rock in Garden of the Gods in Colorado. Look at the size of the people in the background.

After the Garden of the Gods were rode up and down through some very significant mountain roads. We heard of at least one Henderson rider going off roading and ending up in the hospital. We hear it is not too serious but wish hm a complete and quick recovery. Everyone was exhausted by this ride but so many seemed to enjoy it. All, except those in the break down trailer. Paul and I both experienced some power delivery issues with our bikes, especially at the higher altitudes and hot air. We finished the day at David Uhl’s art studio, where they threw an amazing party for us with great food and 3 message therapists free for all riders.  David and his wife Elizabeth are a class act and everyone was impressed and had fun.

Dinner host David Uhl doing a quick interview at the Motorcycle Cannonball event in his art studio. Great hospitality by David and his wife Elizabeth in the studio and dinner tent.

All four Adventure Power’s Team American Iron riders made it in with full miles again today. The same can not be said about the official chase vehicle and break down trailer which was stranded on the road with mechanical issues. Sure hope this is sorted out soon as it might be in great demand tomorrow.

The chase truck and trailer broke down on the mountains today. Yickes!And as tough as today’s ride was – and it was – tomorrow’s will be tougher. The riders will be climbing up as high as 12,000 feet where the air is thin and the bikes are not happy. Then, we need to ride down again putting our brakes, tires, clutches and engines to serious test. Wish us luck.

At the end of Stage 9 the stats are as follows: 101 motorcycles registered and 2,147 miles covered.. 38 still are holding perfect score. Paul is ranked #43, Buzz #44, Cris #72, and Pat #80.

Day 8 Of Motorcycle Cannonball for Adventure Power’s Team American Iron

After a day off to rest and recover (and sort out of bikes) we headed off in 37 degree weather and dense mist for the longest day of the Motorcycle Cannonball ride – 313 miles PLUS a mandatory lunch stop from Junction City, KS to Burlington, CO.

Buzz Kanter and friend Jim Petty, both 3 time Motorcycle Cannonball riders, bundled up against the cold and damp.

All the riders were layered up against the cold damp weather. Long johns and layers was the clothing choice of the day. We left (Paul Ousey, Jim Petty and I) as one group and Cris and Pat left a little later with some other riders. All of us pushed through very dense fog, sometimes with our sight limited to 10 or 20 feet. And we did not dare slow down or risk coming in late and being penalized for points.  We rode through this heavy, wet and cold mist for more than 2 hours chilling all rider and damping our riding gear, fogging our masks and making this miserable all in all.

It took more than 2 hours to ride out of the blinding fog and into sunlight, but by then we were all wet, tired and ready to push on. The clutch started to act up again, and the bike was very hard to start. Paul’s bike ran well, as did Jim Petty’s Indian Chief. We rode together for an hour or so then found Pat Simmons on the roadside. He also joined us but we did not know what happenbed to Cris Sommer Simmons. Then Pat started to drop speed and eventually dropped back with Jim Petty. Paul and I pushed on knowing it was a long day and we had already lost 22 points each days earlier due to coming in late after helping other riders with mechanical issues.

After an hour or so Jim Petty caught up with us and the three of us rode for a while. As I left a red light and signalled my intention to turn into a gas station I realized Paul and Jim were not following me. A few minuted later Paul rolled in pushed a few hundred feet by Jim Petty on his Indian Chief. Turns out Paul had lost the left gas cap (a tank he ws not using any way) and his carb had loosened on the intake manifold. In a few minutes he had the carb tightened down, we refueled and were back on the road.

Lunch was warm and welcome. Then back on the road for another 130 plus miles. At the end of the very long day we were hosted to a wonderful dinner by the city of Burlington, CO.

Paul Ousey has finally been caught. In the Old Town museum in Burlington, CO.

Tomorrow we have another tough ride of 250 miles to Golden, CO. The temps are dropping and the altitude is climbing. Going to get more interesting and tougher every day.

Working on my 1936 Harley VLH. Mechanic Steve Coe fixed my sticky clutch and then cleaned the oil off my ignition points and rest them.

The rankings after today’s ride is: 101 riders registered, 1898 miles covered. Paul is ranked #41, I am 42, Cris is 76 and Pat is 87. Go Adventure Power’s Team American Iron!

Motorcycle Cannonball Day 7 Adventure Power’s Team American Iron

Day 7 is done and what a cold wet one it was. The date was 9 11 and I expect most or all of the riders had thoughts of those lost and their families and loved ones.

All 4 Team American Iron riders pulled out of Sedalia, MO and heading for Junction City, KS – some 244 miles, dressed for weather. It was in the low 60s and drizzling rain. Pat Simmons on his 1929 Harley JD, Cris Sommer Simmons on her 1932 Harley VD, Paul Ousey on his 1925 Harley JE and me (Buzz Kanter) on my 1936 Harley VLH.

Paul Ousey wore his colors on 9 11 in memory of his close friend Ski who was lost following the attack on World Trade Towers.

The ride is roughly 4,000 miles from Daytona Beach, to Tacoma, WA on 1936 and older motorcycles. Every mile we cover on our own power AND we leave and arrive at the start and finish points on time earns the rider a point. If the bikes have mechanic issues the riders and others can help without losing points, but our mechanics may not help us as they are on a  a different route that the riders.

Motorcycle Cannonball #106 Harley burned to the ground near the start of Day 7

If you think this is fun, you are right. If you think it is easy think again. One Harley rider found that out the hard way yesterday morning when his JD caught fire and burned to the ground. The rider is OK but the bike is toast.

We rode through several hours of rain in the morning with Paul and me riding together and Cris and Pat riding with Scot Jacobs and his wife Sharon and a could others.  It was cold and miserable. After a few hours of riding Paul pulled over to tighten the bolts in his transmission that had come lose. I walked to the Home Depot we were parked in front of and bought me and Paul some dry gloves and liners which worked out great for the rest of the day. As we fired up Pat and Cris and crew rode by so we tucked in with them and rode to lunch an hour later.

Left to right: Scott Jacobs, Paul Ousey, me (Buzz Kanter) Pat Simmons, Cris Sommer Simmons and Sharon Jacobs at a gas stop.

After lunch we broke up into smaller riding groups we me and Paul heading out ahead, Cris and Pat rode with Scott and Sharon Jacobs. The rain, for the most part, was over but the temps dipped into the 50s all day. We rode through some amazing countryside and the course master picked some great twisty roads for us to enjoy.

I must say, as hard as we work to get ourselves and our motorcycles down the road and across theis country the hard way, many of the riders have a lot of fun along the way. Paul seems to have more than most.

Paul Ousey goofing around (again) on Day 7 of the Motorcycle Cannonball. How fast was he going? You tell us.

Shorty after the Harley surfing incident this happens. Go figure! There is no way to know what this mad man will do next on these rides.

Does this photo really need a comment? Anyone who knows Paul Ousey can tell you all about him.

After some fast talking and a free subscription to our motorcycle magazines American Iron Magazine, Motorcycle Bagger and Motorcycle magazine Paul and I arrived to the outskirts of Junction City more than an hour early, so we cooled it as a local gas station. We were delighted when our pal Jim Petty showed up on his recently rebuilt 1927 Indian Chief that we rode with on the last Cannonball. He had blown up the engine a few days earlier and rebuuilt it from the bottom up. The three of us rode the last 10 or so miles together and pulled into the local Harley dealership together. We are delighted to have Jim Petty back and riding with us again.

End of Day 7 in Junction City, KS.

All four Adventure Power Team American Iron riders made it in on time and will full points. The only issues I am aware of are  Paul’s transmission coming loose and my clutch getting very sticky, hard to use and notchy feeling. We have the next day (Friday) off – our one and only day of not riding. We will spend it in Junction City KS working on our bikes, getting some well earned rest and doing laundry (don’t ask).

At the end of Day 7 of Motorcycle Cannonball, the results are as follows: 1,585 miles ridden. 43 of 101 riders still holding perfect scores. Paul is ranked 47, I am ranked 48, Cris is 79 and Pat is 85.

We’d like to thanks our sponsors and suppliers: Retrocycle that rebuilt my bike and Pauls, Steve Huntsinger who rebuilt Cris and Pat’s bikes, Kintetic/Adventure Power batteries – our title sponsor, Conti tires, Amsoil, and Wheels ThroughTime.

Motorcycle Cannonball Day 6 Adventure Power’s Team American Iron

Day 6 is over – and what a long one it was. 299 miles – many of them in pouring rain. Paul and I took off together while Cris and Pat rode with Scott and Sharon Jacobs- at least for the first few miles when Pat’s bike suffered more mechanical issues and pulled out for the day. Cris and the Jacobs motored on.

The first 80 or 90 miles of the morning went well for Paul and I, and then the skies opened up and we got soaked on the road for hours. By the time the rain eased we didn’t quite make it to the next scheduled gas stop. About 8 miles short my bike went dry and something odd happened to the hand shift transmission that we could not get the bike into neutral to push it safely off the road to refill the gas tank. We called called Rob Nussbaum, at Retrocycle, who gave us a few suggestions and we were back in business in no time (thanks to the spare gas can I have on the back of my 1936 Harley.)

On the way to the gas station to fill up Paul must have caught the eye of the local law enforcement department and had a little discussion. Nothing serious…

Team American Iron rider Paul Ousey learning about local laws and regulations?

We were out of that bind quickly, filled our gas tanks and Paul promised never to return to the town or county. We rode down the road and got some lunch a full half hour ahead of the schedule. Within an hour it was raining again, but not much. We rode 50 to 60 miles between gas stops and eventually found ourselves 10 miles for the end of the day’s ride to Sedalia, MO more than an hour ahead of time. If you arrive to the end stop too soon you will be docked points, so we stopped at the local gas station for a while.

Paul dreaming of winning the Motorcycle Cannonball at the end of Day 6?

Needless to say Paul and I rolled in with plenty of time to spare, but not too early. A little while later Cris rolled in and we exchanged the details of our day’s ride. We got reports the chase trailer was filled to over capacity with  wet and broken motorcycles. So the parking lots are busy tonight with people repairing the broken and damaged bikes after a long day on the road.

Big turn out at the Harley dealer in Sedalia, MO.

This was a long day but 3 of the 4 members of Adventure Power’s Team American Iron made it in with full points.

Cris rode the entire rain soaked 299 miles on her Harley flathead.

The rankings after Day Six are now: 101 registered riders. 45 of them holding perfect scores. Paul is the highest ranked member of Adventure Power’s Team American Iron at #50, I am second at #51 (Paul and I rode the entire course, but were docked 22 points each for arriving late after helping various riders along the way), Cris moved up nicely to #84 and Pat dropped down to #88.

Tomorrow is the last day on the road before we have our one and only day off  to do major mechanics, reorganize our machines, trailers and do laundry.  Thanks to sponsors and supporters, including Kinetic/Adventure Power, Retrocycle, Conti tires, Amsoil oils, Moto Pump, Pro Pad, American Iron Magazine and others. For more info on this event please go to

Motorcycle Cannonball Day 5 Team American Iron

After too many days of messing with his bike Pat Simmons finally got to ride out of the start of Day 5 on his beautiful 1929 Harley JD. In fact he left before Cris Sommer-Simmons, Paul Ousey and Buzz Kanter could join him. But his ride ended up about an hour later with further mechanical issues that left him on the side of the road on this light day of less than 200 miles.

Some local kids checking out bikes before school with Pat Simmons and Paul Ousey.

Cris, Paul and Buzz took off an rode together until all three of us made a wrong turn and rode almost 20 miles out of the way on one of the longer 70 miles between gas stops. We used our emergency spare gas cans but Cris ran dry about 10 miles short of the next fill up. Paul and Buzz rode ahead to get her gas but a support rider in a modern bike came to her rescue. After we all filled up our tanks (and spares) we had a quick lunch and returned for the rst of the ride of almost 100 more miles in back sweeping roads.

At one point Cris dropped back and did not catch up with Paul and Buzz until the end of the day in downtown Cape Girardeau, MO. Pauls’ bike ran fine, and so did Buzz’s other than the foot rocker clutch coming loose and acting like a suicide clutch. Oh, and I came around a fast turn and hit some gravel washing out my front end. I straightened it up quickly and rode off into someone’s driveway without dropping the bike. It took me a few moments to get my bearings after that.

End of Day 5 of Motorcycle Cannonball in Cape Girardeau, MO.

We ended the very hot and humid day at a wonderful reception in town, which the set up for us to enjoy and hare our old bikes.

Final rankings after 5 days and more than 1,000 miles on the road: 101 motorcycles registered. 51 still holding perfect scores. Paul ranked 56, Buzz ranked 57 (Paul and Buzz docked 22 points for coming in late a few days ago), Pat ranked 85 and Cris ranked 89.  Go Adventure Power’s Team American Iron!

Motorcycle Cannonball Day 4 Team American Iron

The stay started poorly. I woke up feeling dizzy and blurred vision. I felt out of balance and was concerned something was wrong. Turns out I was dehydrated from the day before, I drank a lot of water, some Gatorade and Paul made me a protein fruit drink. Within an hour I was feeling good enough to ride. Paul was up and ready, as was Cris, Pat, on the other hand still had real mechanical issues with his 1929 Harley JD in spite of our meachanics Coe and Weese working on it until 1 in the morning and back at it at 6 am.

Paul and Cris fooling around. Paul claims he can tell how a bike is running by tasting the used engine oil. Really Paul? Amsoil is a psonsor.

Paul and I checked in and left on time. Cris also checked in and left a little after we did. Pat spent the day on the truck.  The ride started out mild and sunny and got cooler during the day as we rode into the mountains a bit. Great ride into Cyclemos Museum in Red Boiling Springs, TN for lunch. Biig turn out and lots of great people, bikes and food. Cris caught up with me and Paul and we rode to the end of the day together with our new friend Greg Allen.

Big welcome crowd at Appleton HD.

After a great reception and dinner at Appleton HD in TN we rode to the hotel 8 miles away and got lost as the sun was setting. Then, about 1 mile from the hotel the drive chain on my 1936 Harley VLH snapped a link and fell off on a busy highway.

My 1936 Harley threw a chain after dinner and hitched a ride back to the hotel on the Motorcycle Cannonball trailer. New chain installed at the hotel parking lot.

We called for help and the Motorcycle Cannonball bus and trailer came and got me and my bike and broug us back to the hotel. Coe installed my spare chain and had me shipshape once again for the new day.

Randy Aron of Cycle Visions working on Pat Simmons’ 1929 Harley late at night in the hotel parking lot.

at the hotel a number of people were working on Pat’s bike, including Randy Aron of Cycle Visions who did miracles and seemed to get the bike running its best to date. Tuesday is another day and we are hoping all four Team American Iron riders are up and an the road.

Standings for end of Day 4 are: 101 registered bikes. at 851 miles covered. Paul is ranked 59, Buzz is 60 (we both were deducted 22 points as we arrived late one day), Pat at 84 and Cris at 92. At this point 56 riders are holding full points.


Motorcycle Cannonball Day 3 Team American Iron

Started out warm and dry. Paul (1925 Harley JE), Buzz (1936 Harley VLH), Pat (1929 Harley JD) and Jim Petty (1927 Indian Chief) rolled out together heading for almost 250 planned miles to Chattanooga, TN. Bright sun, mild breeze and great roads. But not all day.

A few of the bikes at the start of Day 3 of Motorcycle Cannonball

Lots of issues with getting Pat’s bike to start, and once it did we didn’t want to let it stall or turn off. Before the first stop (free ice cream at   a local Dairy Queen along the way) Jim Petty dropped off with a broken rear brake stay on his Chief (which does not have front brakes). Then Pat’s bike gave more issues, which we diagnosed as a bad coil. Fortunately Jon Neuman (Numo) had one and gave it to Pat. We spent better than an hour installing the coil and dialing it in.

We (Pat, Paul and Buzz) left DQ and it the road. At about the 55 mile mark Buzz’s battery died. Paul insisted Pat continue with our new friend and American Iron Magazine reader Greg Allen when Paul and Buzz swap out to a fresh battery. Battery swapped in about 10 minutes and we were back on the road but already almost an hour behind schedule. So we skipped lunch and rode hard to try and make up for the lost time. Shortly after catching most of the other Motorcycle Cannonball riders (who had eaten lunch) my second battery died as we coasted into a gas station. Make a long story short, Paul rode away to find a battery for me and came back with a huge lawn mower battery and some wire. We installed it in my saddlebag and hard wired it to my ignition. This took well over an hour getting us very late.

Then, in our excitement we turned right instead of left and rode more than 20 miles off coarse before realizing what we had done, Then 20 miles back and we were REALLY late. Paul and I rode well over our usual speeds. A half hour later we find Pat on the side of the road. His oil drain plug had fallen out of the Harley and we was whittling down a stick to wedge in and keep the oil in his engine. We approved and took off to let him finish his woodworking.

We got to an hour out of Chattanooga when it started to rain. Paul and I got on our rain gear and hot it hard. By the time we got to Chattanooga the rain had stopped and we saw another Cannonballer on the side of the road. We stopped to see if we could be of help but we did not have what he needed. By the time we rolled into the end of the day Paul and I were at least a half hour late and we were told we would be penalized even though we rode the entire distance (and then some). An hour or more later the chase truck pulled in quite full, including our pal Jim Petty’s beautiful Indian Chief.

Lots of old motorcycles on the chase vehicle on the end of day 3 of Motorcycle Cannonball

Once at Coker Tires, we diagnosed my problem as a blown regulator. We checked on the generator is fine and the batteries should be too.

My 1936 Harley in Coker Tire getting a new regulator.,

Cannonballer Doug Feinsod’s mechanic Perry Ruiter was able to figure it all out and swap out the damaged regulator for a fresh one. Thanks Perry and thanks Doug for letting him help us out.  In the meantime Cris got her 1930s VL rebuilt with parts from pal Dale Walksler and back on the road for tomorrow.

End of Day 3 results. 101 bikes registered. Paul , Buzz and Pat all made the full miles but were docked for coming in late. Latest ranks are: Paul #64, Buzz #65, Pat #75 and Cris #94.

Day 2 Motorcycle Cannonball Report Team American Iron

The day started off for most of us riders with alarms on our smartphones. The National Weather service issues sever flooding and thunder in the area. Our parking lot (a field next to the hotel) had more than 8 inches of standing water. We all geared up and braced for a tough ride, but then heard the Cannonball crew decided to cancel the morning ride and told us to pack up our bikes and trailer to the lunchstop without penalty.

A few brave riders did ride to the lunch shop, perhaps because they did not have a chase vehicles or they just enjoy riding in torrential rain, flooding and lightning.

We loaded up in our rig with driver Gene, mechanics Coe and Weeze, riders Cris, pat, Paul and me, and we carried to other riders Scott Byrd and Buck Carson. Fun morning in spite of the ugly weather. Someone our driver dropped us and our bikes off in the wrong place and it took us almost 2 hours to figure out where we were. Cris’ bike is still down with a blown headgasket and more. Pat, Paul and I rode together in circles for too long in the pouring rain. Then my battery died. We had it swapped out in less than 15 minutes and we were all back on the road in the pouring rain. A half hour later, still lost, Pat takes off, does a u turn and disappears. Paul and I wait a few minutes and no Pat.

Day 2 of Motorcycle Cannonball Buzz Kanter and Paul Ousey gas up after the rain stopped

Knowing how late we were running, Paul and I take off and finally find the correct route and hammer our way trying to make up for the lost time. At a gas stop Paul is trying to convince a local guy to sell us an old bike he says he knows about in a friends bran. We’ll see what happens.

Then the rain stopped and the sun came out and we rode through some amazing countryside from Lake City FL (well named) to Columbus, GA for the night. An hour after we pulled in Pat rode in safe and sound with photographer Michael Lichter.

End of Day 2 results: 101 bikes entered in the event, 77 still carrying full scores (including Paul, Pat and Buzz).

Motorcycle Cannonball Update Day 1

The first day started pretty slowly with all the bikes (about 98) all lined up on the sand of Daytona Beach for a fabled “yardlong” photo by Michael Lichter. We arrived at 8 am an were barely finished by 9:30 a half hour before the first riders leave.

Photo and start of the Motorcycle Cannonball 2014

We had reports of Ormond Beach motorcycle police pulling over Cannonballers and ticketing them. Really? And it was true. We saw 2 Ormond Beach bike cops pull over our riders. I left with my 3 Adventure Power’s Team American Iron  partners (Paul Ousey, Cris Sommer Simmons and Pat Simmons, and our mutual pal Jim Petty. We rode 4 Harleys and one Indian (Petty).

It is the shortest ride of the event at about 140 miles. I guess much of that has to do with the send off and photos. I did not see it but hear reports of several bikes with serious technical issues (one was reported to have caught on fire) before or shortly after the start of the event. Within 50 miles we passed a few bikes on the roadside with issues. Then at lunch we caught up with many of the riders.  Shortly after lunch Cris was sidelined when she blew another head gasket on her Harley flathead. The four of us left her for the sweep truck and kept going. Hard thing to do to leave your friend and team mate, but it was the right thing to do. An hour later  the skies opened up and poured heavy rain on use. So heavy, sometimes we could not see more than 20 or 30 feet in front of us and I worried about hydroplaning on the road.

We did make it in to the end stag with less than 15 minutes to spare so Paul, Pat and I got full miles for the day and Cris fell short. As I am typing this in my hotel room we have a team of mechanics working on Cris’ bike to get her back up and running in the morning.

As for the other riders, we have heard 2 bikes caught on fire and as many as a dozen broke down badly enough that they needed to be trailed in. That is a lot, even with the record number of riders, from all over the world, this year.  Tomorrow is another day, and a much longer one. I will try to report if I can. – Buzz Kanter

For more info on the Motorcycle Cannonball please visit