Saturday, February 27, 2010


Canadian Motorcycle Cannonball rider, Pete Gagan, has a great video clip up on youtube called "Pete's Garage" that is well worth the watch. Entertaining, interesting, and educational, you can get a peek at the machine that we've heard might be accompanying Pete to the states when he travels to Kitty Hawk to participate in the Cannonball. While Pete will be riding his Zenith this September, he might also bring along this magnificent vntage machine to display. When was the last time you saw an 1896's steam powered motorcycle that works? Take a peek at:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Check out these links for stories and information regarding the Motorcycle Cannonball:

Watch this news piece about the Harleys and Hollywood display at the Harley-Davidson Museum, featuring Cannonball rider Bill Rodencal

Go to to read an article about the Motorcycle Cannonball's only female American rider in the event, Cris Sommer-Simmons. You can also follow her thoughts and adventures as her bike journeys to the states (it is currently on a boat to Honolulu, then air-bound for California) for TLC and repairs by checking out her blog site at: Cris can also be found on Facebook.

Follow along with Joe Gardella's progress on his 1914 Harley Davidson twin cylinder build by going to

Dale Walksler's Wheels Through Time website has a couple of stories posted. Dale is both a rider and a sponsor and you can keep track of his bike build entry for the ride on his web site.

Matt Olsen's build is progressing nicely and you can view the play-by-play action on his Sears by going to

Hot Bike magazine's April issue is on the news stand. View them at

Keith Ball, owner of the website, has a new blog spot and you can keep up with current news as well as Cannonball activity and rider profiles at

Go to our FORUM page where Cannonball riders are checking in with each other about their bikes and the ride and even the period clothes they'll be wearing for this historic event.

The RIDERS page has information about each entrant, including a profile for those whose names are underlined, just hit on the names to access their personal information and the HOME page will be carrying updated profile teasers on individual riders on a regular basis.

Additionally, check out the new RIDERS SPOTLIGHT page for more detailed rider profiles.
Be sure to come back regularly and look us over as our trans-continental ride builds up speed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

For Immediate Release: Coast-to-Coast Motorcycle Cannonball Fills All Rider Slots; Photographer Michael Lichter to Document Event

Contact: Felicia Morgan, Director of Communication

(916) 777-6263 office; (916) 307-3606 mobile

Sturgis, South Dakota, February 2, 2010 – Some 70 official entrants are set to ride pre-1916 classic motorcycles coast-to-coast in the Motorcycle Cannonball set for 17 days this September. Also, according to Lonnie Isam, Jr., the event’s promoter and owner of Jurassic Racing in Sturgis, South Dakota, internationally renowned motorcycle life-style photographer Michael Lichter will accompany the Motorcycle Cannonball in order to document the entire transcontinental trip.

“We’ve passed a major milestone in getting commitments from such a large and very high-quality field of vintage bikes along with many, many riders who are well-known in the vintage motorcycle world,” Isam said. “And having Michael Lichter on board is a major coup; we’re very excited. Michael is well known as the premiere motorcycle life-style photographer of our era. His participation is an honor and guarantees that Motorcycle Cannonball will be well documented with the utmost professionalism.”

Motorcycle and commercial photography assignments have taken Lichter across North America, Europe, and Asia. He has published over 1,000 articles on motorcycling and custom bikes. He has also photographed annual reports, product photography, advertising, brochures, posters, and has worked for commercial clients, including Indian Motorcycles, Wiley-X Sunglasses, Harley-Davidson, and Nikon Cameras. Lichter has recently exhibited photography in public institutions, including solo shows at 15 galleries and museums. He has been featured in photography, motorcycling and other magazines as well as television shows.

Isam reported that Lichter will photograph the Motorcycle Cannonball riders in period dress along with their classic motorcycles, reminiscent of the beachfront launches of past historic rides. Lichter will also take individual portraits of riders and motorcycles at the ride start point. He has assignments with international publications, including Scandinavian and French magazines, as well as domestic publications (go to for more information).

Isam reported that registration for the Motorcycle Cannonball is closed, with 70 official paid entrants and a small waiting list of riders who may be added later. The 17-day event starts in Kitty Hawk, NC on Friday, September 10 and terminates 3,325 miles later on Sunday, September 26 in Santa Monica, CA. The event has drawn entries from around the world and all walks of life, including motorcycle museum owners, authors, bike collectors and restorers. Complete information about the Motorcycle Cannonball, including route details and some rider profiles, is available at

Monday, February 1, 2010

Two Sisters Out to Change the World – On Motorbikes

By: Sasha Pave
In 1916 Augusta and Adeline Van Buren weren’t your average society girls. The sisters, decedents of former president Van Buren, were the first women to ride motorcycles coast-to-coast across the U.S., which in those days was no easy task. However, it wasn’t just a casual Sunday ride for these sisters; they were on a mission to prove that women were far more capable than society gave them credit for.

Gussie and Addie wanted to prove that women could successfully serve in the armed forces. As part of the National Preparedness Movement in the buildup to WWI, the sisters wanted to show that women could serve as skilled dispatch riders delivering communications on the war front. This would prove that women could participate in the war effort, which had been used routinely as a reason to deny women voting rights.

The Journey Begins
On July 14, 1916, the women set off from Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn and headed west through Chicago and Omaha on their Indian Power-Plus motorcycles. At the time they were some of the best motorcycles made, but ninety-three years ago motorcycles were very crude, dangerous, and uncomfortable machines. The fact that they would travel almost exclusively on dirt roads didn’t make matters any better.

West of Chicago they were arrested many times. Not for speeding or riding dangerously, but for wearing men’s clothing (women’s motorcycle gear wasn’t invented quite yet). While passing through Colorado they decided to make things even more exciting by climbing Pike’s Peak, a 14,000-foot mountain that had never been climbed by any vehicle before. Not even a car or truck.

After surviving many crashes, breakdowns, mud holes, dehydration, and treachery of one form or another, they finally arrived in San Francisco on September 2, 1916. Not content with their journey, they traveled to Los Angeles, followed by a jaunt across the border into Mexico to round out the trip.

A Bittersweet Arrival
After completing the phenomenal journey, Adeline’s application to the army as a dispatch rider was rejected. But it wasn’t enough to keep these women down.

Adeline eventually earned her law degree from NYU and Augusta became a pilot, flying with the “99s” women’s flying group founded by Amelia Earhart.

These relatively unknown heroes might not have known it at the time, but they played a significant role in the women’s rights movement. And they did it the old fashioned way—with true grit and determination.

Whenever I see a woman riding a motorcycle these days, I can’t help but feel a little pride for the two pioneering sisters from New York.

The Van Buren sisters were inducted into the American Motorcyclist Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2003.

Photos: Van Buren Family Archives

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hot Springs, Arkansas Press Release




134 Convention Boulevard • Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas 71901

1-800-922-6478 • 501-321-2027 • FAX 501-620-5008



January 14, 2010


CONTACT: Paul Johnson 501/225-5937

Scores of Pre-1916 Classic Motorcycles to Stop Over

In Hot Springs in Coast-to-Coast ‘Cannonball Ride’ in September

HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — Hot Springs, already known nationwide as a prime destination for motorcycle events, will be host in September to one of the most unique motorcycle events in the world — the Motorcycle Cannonball 2010.

The Motorcycle Cannonball will take a large group of riders all the way across America, starting at Kitty Hawk, N.C., and ending two weeks later in Santa Monica, Calif.

The fascinating part of the event is that all the motorcycles must be pre-1916 vintage classic machines.

Hot Springs will host the riders and their amazing bikes for two nights and one day — September 16 – 18.

“The annual HOG Rallies and the Hot Springs Rallies have drawn thousands of riders and their families to Hot Springs over the years,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is helping sponsor the Hot Springs stop of the Cannonball. But we haven’t seen this many priceless vintage bikes in one place.”

“This amazing family-friendly event should cement Hot Springs’ reputation as the most friendly place in America for bikers to meet and have fun,” said Charles Moore, chairman of the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission.

Mike Thomson, president of the Diamond Chapter (Arkansas) of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, said, “The potential for our state and our city and our club is mind-boggling.”

He said the classic motorcycles will be stored at the Hot Springs Convention Center during the stopover in the Spa City.

Motorcycle Cannonball Course Master John Classen said the route for the Cannonball 2010 was “painstakingly designed to avoid having the

riders enter a single interstate whenever possible.”

“We’ll have 12 hours of daylight each day,” Classen said, “and the goal

is to have every rider check in daily at the ending point one hour before

sunset to avoid wildlife and other after-dark safety issues.”

“To date,” he said, “the Motorcycle Cannonball of 2010 has drawn entries from

around the world and all walks of life, including motorcycle museum

owners, authors, bike collectors and restorers. Entrants thus far have come

from the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the United States. More than 60 riders had signed up for the ride as of Sunday.”

Conjuring up the spirit of famed motorcycle daredevils and cross-country endurance riders of the previous century like Erwin “Cannonball” Baker and George Wyman, the Motorcycle Cannonball Run will launch a pack of riders on vintage motorcycles for the historic ride across America .

The event is the brainchild of Lonnie Isam, Jr., promoter and owner of Jurassic

Racing in Sturgis, S.D., and the Motorcycle Cannonball of 2010.

Isam said the motorcycles in the Cannonball will include classic pre-1916 motorcycles such Pope, Sears, Flying Merkel, Excelsior, Henderson, Indian, Triumph, and the Harley-Davidson’s Silent Grey Fellows.

The transcontinental ride will cover 3,325 miles starting September 10 at Kitty Hawk. To the greatest extent possible, the ride will utilize non-Interstate roadways and will conclude on the west coast two weeks later in Santa Monica.

“We expect this to be a grueling coast-to-coast pursuit as riders

navigate the back roads and byways of our great nation on bikes that

are over 90 years old” Isam said, “and it’s likely that some may not

complete the ride. There should be plenty of drama along the way.”

Complete information about the Motorcycle Cannonball, including

entry requirements, is available at

For more information contact Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Motorcycle Cannonball

By Dick Shappy

It had been a dream of Lonnie Isam Jr's for years to assemble a group of pre-1916 motorcycle owners, collectors and enthusiasts and convince them to take their early vintage machines out of "display only" status and put them on the road for a grueling coast to coast test of man and machine.

It wasn't until early September 2009 when Lonnie realized that this trip could become a reality as he was encouraged by the overwhelming support that he was receiving from so many people in the vintage motorcycle community. Well. here we are January 2010 and interest has snowballed and grows daily.

Lonnie has teamed up with John Classen who has over twenty years experience with this type of competition and has participated in The Great Race for many years and won the title of Champion Navigator in 1984. John will make two pre run trips and personally drive the course in order to give good advice and instructions to the entrants. The proposed course will take sixty five riders and their early motorcycles 3320 miles on the back roads from Kitty Hawk North Carolina to Santa Monica Ca. with a starting date of September 10th.

Dick Shappy Classic Cars is proud to be a sponsor of this great event and has teamed up with antique automobile and motorcycle restorer Sean Brayton who is not only building our 1910 Merkel entry but will also be riding it in the Motorcycle Cannonball event, and we plan on winning it!

You can follow our progress as we will be periodically updating the stages of restoration that will bring us to Kitty Hawk and then on to the winners circle in Santa Monica.

From the Dick Shappy Website.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Transcontinental Motorcycle Cannonball Adds an Extra Day and a Stopover in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Contact: Felicia Morgan, Director of Communication

(916) 777-6263 office; (916) 307-3606 mobile

Sturgis, South Dakota, Dec. 29, 2009 – Lonnie Isam, Jr., the promoter and owner of Jurassic Racing in Sturgis, South Dakota, and the Motorcycle Cannonball announced today that an extra day has been added to the transcontinental event now set for 17 days in September 2010. Additionally, a rest day in the event will now be held in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

According to Isam, the endurance ride for pre-1916 classic motorcycles will still get underway in Kitty Hawk, NC on Friday, September 10. A week into travel on September 17, riders will have a day of rest, repairs, and some festivities in the resort town of Hot Springs, AR. After a total of some 3,325 miles, the ride is now slated to conclude on Sunday, September 26 in Santa Monica, CA.

“With input from our participants and other experts, we’ve been fine tuning the Motorcycle Cannonball route by adjusting the mileage for some days and re-mapping a couple of the stages,” Isam said. “As a result, we really like the way the route has shaped up.”

During the Motorcycle Cannonball event, participants will ride vintage pre-1916 motorcycles such Pope, Sears, Flying Merkel, Excelsior, Henderson, Indian, Triumph, and the Harley-Davidson’s Silent Grey Fellows. According to Isam, the event is not a race but will be a test of both the riders’ endurance and the roadworthiness of their respective machines as they navigate non-Interstate roads across the United States.

Isam said that, while organizers and Motorcycle Cannonball Course Master John Classen are still working out the final details of some of the stops, it’s clear that the first week of the event will be challenging as riders make their way along the initial 1,400 miles from the Atlantic shores to Hot Springs. Throughout the run, according to Classen, riders will follow several scenic national parkways and roads like historic US Route 66. Plans are also being made to include some social events as well, with more details to follow.

The Motorcycle Cannonball 2010 has drawn entries from around the world and all walks of life, including motorcycle museum owners, authors, bike collectors and restorers. Entrants come from the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and across the continental United States as well as Hawaii. Complete information about the Motorcycle Cannonball, including route details and some rider profiles, is available at

A service of RiverRock Communication,, 916.777.6263