2010 Motorcycle Cannonball Update

(see conclusion below)

by Dick Shappy

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.
Ed 'Z-man' Zalonski and our Flying Merkel entry
Ed "Z-man" Zalonski and our Flying Merkel entry.
Click here for more photos.

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.