In a cannonball fog; photo by Felicia Morgan
Vicki “Spitfire” Sanfelipo will be providing medical support for the Motorcycle Cannonball endurance ride, and posting a daily blog of the day’s activities. Vicki fell in love with the Cannonball ride in 2012, when competitors visited Milwaukee during their cross-country adventure. In 2014, she volunteered to provide medical assistance and support to the riders, and will be repeating that important duty this year.
The Cannonball occurs every two years and, in 2014, Vicki posted short stories and photographs of each day’s ride with personal insights on many of the riders. Her stories appeared in a special section of her Road Guardians website and attracted a lot of attention. This year, Keith Ball has asked Vicki to do a daily blog for each day of the ride, which will be posted on his internet site, ridernet.com. Hupy and Abraham, S.C., a longtime supporter and sponsor of Vicki’s Road Guardians and Accident Scene Management programs, has offered to co-sponsor Vicki, along with ridernet, in her efforts to describe what competing in the Cannonball is like.
Followers of the blog will get intimate, behind-the-scenes views of the riders, the breakdowns, receptions at stops along the way and breathtaking scenery of Midwestern plains, mountain peaks in Colorado and desert valleys in Arizona.
Riders will start this epic journey on September 10, departing from the Golden Nugget Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Traveling on mostly back roads, the shortest daily excursion is 101 miles, while the longest day in the saddle will register 272 miles as the group leaves Dodge City, Kansas for Pueblo, Colorado. All the competitors will be riding motorcycles manufactured before 1916. As expected, there is an abundance of Harley-Davidson and Indian models among the 100 chosen riders, but you will also see a 1913 Matchless, 1913 Henderson and Thor, 1916 Sunbeam motor-bicycle, 1913 2.5 horsepower Shaw, 1911 Reading Standard, the first side-valve motorcycle manufactured in America and a 1904 Rex, among others.
Home for these adventurers is England, Italy, Germany, Poland, Australia, Scotland, Canada and all across the United States. You’ll be right on the bike next to them as they head west through the heartland, pausing in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and scenic Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Just like a rough bunch of cowboys descending on cattle towns of old, the pack of smoke-belching vintage iron wheels into towns like Wichita, Dodge City, Pueblo and Durango.
Traversing mountain passes and painted desert valleys, the grand finish is in Carlsbad, California, where the winners in the different classes will be recognized and awarded for their skills.
Vicki will be working late each night to bring you daily reports and photos of this incredible group of aficionados of antique motorcycles.
The Cannonball is not a race but rather an endurance test of rider and machine. You can learn more about the riders, what they are riding and the history of the Cannonball Endurance ride by visiting www.motorcyclecannonball.com
The photos in this article are from the 2014 Cannonball and were taken by Vicki, except for the title photo by Felicia Morgan