September 10th is approaching fast, and the Motorcycle Cannonball event is the
main topic of discussion in the antique motorcycle community. It is even
changing the way we would normally schedule our visits to national AMCA meets.
For example, it seems that the West Coast guys will have no trouble attending
this year's grand daddy event held at Davenport, Iowa as they will just make it
a stop-over on their way to North Carolina. East Coast guys face a different
situation as they would have to trek to Iowa, return to the East Coast to make
the start at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, travel to Santa Monica, California,
and then return to the East Coast.
My Duesenberg and I will be attending this year's Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg
reunion at Auburn, Indiana from September 2nd to the 5th, and then it's on to
Kitty Hawk with our 1911 Flying Merkel entry. We have had many obstacles to
overcome with the construction of our entry, and, although I would have
preferred to have this thing running and operational months ago, I am happy to
say that we are officially up and running as of August 5th. I got a call from
Jerry Chase at Lab Threads in Connecticut stating that "it lives" meaning that
the Merkel is running. Ed "Z-man" Zalonski is not only the rider of our entry,
he is also the builder. I have attached a few updated photos of Z-man and our
Merkel with this update.
It should be interesting!
Motorcycle Cannonball Conclusion
by Dick Shappy
The Motorcycle Cannonball 2010 is history, and I would like to make the
following comments only because I have gotten inquiries regarding the event.
The event itself was a huge success for many...... Lonnie Isom Jr. and the
others who made this thing happen have got to be proud of what they
accomplished and they deserve great praise for pulling it off. Extensive photos
and articles regarding the event can be seen on the internet just by entering
"motorcycle cannonball" in a Google search. I don't feel too
guilty about waiting so long to offer my comments on the event as it was only
last week (December 2010) that Bill Wood of Antique Motorcycle Magazine offered
his in-depth report to his readers. Although I attended the event from day one,
and followed the riders in my motorhome for the first seven days, I will leave
the reporting to the reporters.
When Lonnie Jr. was first contemplating doing this thing, I was present and I
told him to count me in for my support and sponsorship. I had great
expectations and was determined to get in there and "give it hell".
Looking back, however, I am trying to find the appropriate words to describe
how I feel about the performance of my entry, #25 1911 Flying Merkel. The pool
of words that I can draw from are as follows... "disappointed", "saddened",
"unhappy", "disheartened", and a bunch of others, but the word that best
describes how I feel is "embarrassed". Yes, that is the appropriate
word... EMBARRASSED!!! We were totally unprepared at the start and, in
looking back, I wish I had pulled the plug a week before the Kitty Hawk start.
To place 42nd in a field of 45 was not what I had intended to do.