Thursday, September 6, 2012

Oklahoman Headed for Cannonball Run

Beginning September 7 a select group of motorcycle riders will begin a daunting journey across America. They will be riding in the spirit of Erwin George “Cannonball” Baker, a man who made more than 120 coast-to-coast runs in his career. One of those riders will be Oklahoman, Gerald Tims.

Gerald posing with his still clean 1929 Harley
He will be riding in the 2012 Endurance Run on the Team Seaba bike: a 1929 J model Harley Davidson. Oh yeah, did I mention this race is only open to motorcycles built before 1930?

Throughout the event Gerald promises to keep us updated so we can share his exploits with all of you.

Timms will attempt to cross the country in two weeks, traveling a total of 3,956 miles. He has spent almost a full year and many dollars rebuilding his Harley in order to complete this journey.  He has received minor help from sponsors, but this is Gerald's journey.

Now stop to think about that for a minute. Consider hopping on your own modern motorcycle- with its electronic ignition, disc brakes, radial tires, electric starter- and riding a few thousand miles. For most people it would be challenge enough. But now consider doing it on a machine older than your grandpa with a rigid rear end and undamped front forks. You'll need to calculate how much oil will run through the total-loss oil system. And remember you'll only have brief stops to top it up. Not to mention you'll have to get used to using your left hand grip to adjust the ignition timing on the fly as elevation and temperatures change.

This is a trip for the serious rider. 

Mix of old and new
By the time you read this, he should be on the road headed west.

The planners work to keep the riders off the main highways (The J model seems to hum along best at around 52 mph). This year the riders will take the more scenic northern route, starting in New York and ending in San Francisco, taking in some of the best scenery our country has to offer. Gerald was really looking forward to this part- seeing parts of the country that he would normally never have the chance to visit.

The exact route will be handed to them the night before, and no GPS devices are allowed. They get an old fashioned roll chart with checkpoints. To help keep track of oil and gas he has fitted an electronic speedometer. Even on the Canonball Run, there has to be some concessions to the modern world.

We will be keeping you updated here as Gerald makes his way across the country or you can check Gerald's own blog here - Cannonball Blog

Some of Team Seaba's sponsors:
Seaba Station
Motul Oil
Avon Tyres
Midland Electronics
T-Fab Metal Fabrication

Cannonball Run Official website

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It's a Travel Show

Two Wheel Oklahoma is a television travel show featuring the motorcycle rides of Brad Mathison and Rex Brown along the scenic highways and backroads of Oklahoma.

Each episode highlights a stretch of road or historic route and explores unique destinations along the way. Tune in three times a week on the Cox Channel.

We hope you'll come ride along.

Brad and Rex: co-hosts of Two Wheel Oklahoma