THE MOTOR-SURFER

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Documenting life during the first attempt at restoring a vintage motorcycle.

Similar to the zen -like feeling that is realized through surfing,
motorcycle repair can elevate the mind to a meditative state that eludes time and space...
Meaning I obsess over it, get frustrated, yell, laugh at myself and overall waste a lot of time.

Tuesday

Cannonball lands in my backyard... kinda


I realize that this is a little late... actually about 2- weeks late, but hey I have a life (kinda) and am predisposed to laziness in certain aspects of it. Namely, this blog and actually rebuilding my motorcycle. Which leads me to present the Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run. A Coast-to-Coast vintage motorcycle race that hasn't been held in almost 100 years. Participants started out on the Kitty Hawk pier in North Carolina and endured the 3,300 mile trek across the country to the Santa Monica Pier, California, on bikes that according to the race rules: must be 95 years or older... I couldn't imagine riding for days on a bike with little or no suspension, breaking down all over the place, 100 degree heat, all sorts of weird roadkill to avoid and everything else that entails a race like this.

Anyways it sounded like an amazing time (minus the ass-chap from riding 3,300 miles on a Jurassic machine) and hopefully one day when the laziness subsides, I'll participate... All I need now is a 100 year old motorcycle.

As for the winners in the 3-categories of race bikes.... In category 1, the most 'primitive' form of motorcycling - no gears, no clutch, just an engine, and a belt connecting a pully on the crankshaft and the rear wheel - was Katrin Boehner (haha) on her 1907 JAP 500cc single - which is direct-drive and clutchless, so Ms. Boehner (haha) had to 'kill' her engine in order to stop, and run-and-bump to start the bike up when traffic lights turned green. The final run into Santa Monica passed through 55 stoplights! Imagine what the entire race must have been like... Wow, this brings my laziness to a new low. She won the top Cannonball prize, a Jeff Decker sculpture of Erwin 'Cannonball' Baker, for whom the race was named. Bradford Wilmarth won category 2 on his 1913 Excelsior, and Rick McMaken won the multi-gear, category 3 award on his 1915 HD.

(photos, words & facts from the web, The Vintagent & other places)

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