I have made the decision to ride my bicycle across the United States. This is in the early stages so I do not have any details worked out yet. I have estimated that I will travel about 100 miles per day, and depending on my start/end point, I should be able to finish in about 30 days.
There are many reasons why I want to do this. The main reason is to raise awareness for ocular melanoma. Ocular melanoma is a rare cancer that affects about 2000 people per year. Currently there is no cure for ocular melanoma. The most common treatment is to remove the affected eye and then follow up with your doctor to monitor if it comes back somewhere else. Approximately 50% of ocular melanoma patients will develop metastatic disease within 15 years of the original diagnosis, and once the liver is involved, the cancer is currently incurable. I was diagnosed with ocular melanoma on January 24, 2013. I had my left eye removed on February 4, 2013.
I am currently in that waiting stage, following up with my doctor. Based on the statistics I don’t know how much time I have left but I will complete this ride. Cancer will not stop me from living my life.
This 1927 Indian Chief is just one of the motorcycles that participated in the ride from New York to California.
The 2012 Motorcycle Cannonball left Newburgh, New York, on September 8, with sixty-six motorcycles that were made before 1930. They rode these machines 3,900 miles across the United States and ending in San Francisco, California on September 23.
I attended the event that Mason City Harley-Davidson held on September 11, 2012. Mason City was the mid-day stop for the riders that were traveling from Anamosa to Spirit Lake. It was a fun event and a lot of the locals were there to show support and to check out the old motorcycles. I was able to see some of the same riders that were in the 2010 event.
Even though I can no longer ride motorcycles, if they decide to do another Motorcycle Cannonball I am sure that I will go.
1947 Douglas T35 Deluxe on display at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa
I have been to the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa several times. It is about a five hour drive from Minneapolis. The museum contains a huge collection of motorcycles from all over the world. Some of the manufacturers include Sears, Harley-Davidson, Triumph, Thor, American, Curtiss, Superior, Indian, Pierce, Detriot, Simplex, Benelli, Moto Guzzi, BMW, Ariel, Jefferson, Vincent, Honda, Ducati, Excelsior, Moto Parilla, and Metisse. My personal favorites include a 1914 Yale Board Track Racer, a 1947 Douglas T35 Deluxe, and a 1912 Henderson that has the original paint and original tires.
The new location opened in June of 2011 and has 36,000 square feet and room to display over three hundred motorcycles. It also has a replica board track display and replica Shell gas station inside. Recently they have added a “Then Came Bronson” exhibit. Then Came Bronson was a television show that only aired for one season (1969-1970). Michael Parks played Jim Bronson, a newspaperman who becomes disillusioned after the suicide of his best friend. In order to renew his soul, Bronson becomes a vagabond searching for the meaning of life. Bronson’s motorcycle was a 1969 Harley-Davidson XLH 900.
I have recently finished my new video of the trip I took to the museum. You can check that out on my YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/mrider72
If you are ever in eastern Iowa it is worth stopping in at the museum and taking a look. I am planning another trip soon, possibly to see the 2012 Motorcycle Cannonball when they make their stop at the museum in September.
Vintage or just old?
I recently purchased a 1980 Honda CB650 to fix up and ride this summer. I was quite surprised when I called a local Honda dealer to have the carburetor’s synchronized and was told that they don’t touch anything that old. I called several other Honda dealers and got the same response, one shop said they can only install tires on that old of a bike. I have a really hard time understanding why they don’t support their own product. I guess I didn’t see my bike as being old. Yes it was built thirty two years ago, but when I think of an old motorcycle I picture something from the 1950s or 60s, like a Harley-Davidson or Indian. Even then the word that comes to mind is vintage, not old. So how do we define the difference between vintage and old?
Dictionary.com defines the word vintage as representing the high quality of a past time and old-fashioned or obsolete. They define the word old as having lived or existed for a specified time.
I would say that based on those two definitions I would consider my Honda to be old. One day it may become a vintage motorcycle but for now I’m okay with it being just old.
I have been dealing with this shoulder injury since December and I am really sick of it. So far there have been x-rays, an MRI scan, electric shock therapy, ultrasound therapy, physical therapy, and now cortisone injections. The MRI scan shows tendonitis and bursitis. The first cortisone injection did relieve some of the swelling. I have recently had my second cortisone shot with the hopes that this will heal, and the shoulder is almost in a normal position now that I have had a second shot. The pain and weakness are still there. The part of my rotor cuff that is injured does not allow my arm to lift outwards. I can still curl 50lb dumbbells and do push-ups, but if I try to lift a gallon of milk off of the dining room table, or lift anything over my head, I can’t do it. The things that really bother me about the injury are not being able to work on my house (which is in serious need of remodeling) and not being able to ride my motorcycle. I have been working with my bicycle to rebuild some strength, but it’s not the same as jumping on a motorcycle and riding. On a motorcycle I can jump on and in four and half hours I could be in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In just over six hours I could be in Omaha, Nebraska, or Ontario, Canada. For now I ride the bicycle trails in Minneapolis and surrounding areas, waiting for some more strength to return so I can feel confident about returning to riding my motorcycle.