Every time a Motorcycle Cannonball rider comes to a stop, folks come over to admire the bikes, ask questions and appreciate the ancient motorcycles that recall a simpler time in life. Riders turn into Cannonball ambassadors as they fill in the curious crowds on the details of the run as well as share information regarding their bikes. There's a sense of pride that comes with being a Motorcycle Cannonball rider and that pride is obvious every time they interact with the public.
Though the Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run is a timed competition, and riders anxiously await the postings of the tallied scores each evening, very few are actually invested in the competition for the purpose of winning. Most participate for the adventure, the sense of personal accomplishment and for the brotherhood that the Cannonball is so famous for. Every rider wants to cross that finish line with their fellow Cannonballer right along side them to share in the celebration of a job well done. That sense of community is why parts are swapped, skills and knowledge is shared and advice is given. This is a run for gentlemen and ladies of a particular breed who are honorable, with integrity and a strong moral code and those traits are apparent each day as riders follow the Cannonball rules while making their individual miles.
Integrity is what has come into question regarding the first place position held early on by California rider #13. Dean Bordigioni, the Class l rider on a 1914 H-D Single who captured the hearts of fans who’ve followed the daily accomplishments of the undersized engine, has lost his perfect score by just one point due to a simple misunderstanding of the rules. The penalty thereby eliminated his chance at winning the Cannonball after officials assessed him one penalty point for the assistance he received from Cannonball staff in getting over the top of 10,857-foot Wolf Creek Pass. Dean’s Harley-Davidson made it to within a half-mile of the top before being towed the last several hundred yards by a staff motorcycle. At the time, that short tow was believed allowable according to the Cannonball rules, but upon further review officials determined that the regulations sent to every team required a penalty for the assistance. Rule verbiage states that a motorcycle must be under its own power at all times, which, technically, it wasn’t. The misunderstanding stems from information provided to Dean that if the tow were less than 1 mile, it would not count against his score. The distance was carefully measured out before it was determined to be well within the believed rule limit requirement and the decision was made to tow the last few feet to the top of the pass. Both men thought they were following the letter of the regulations. As it turns out, ignorance of the law is not an excuse and Dean was penalized.
This being his third Cannonball competition, Bordigioni is understandably disappointed with the official’s ruling but took the news with grace, which further exemplified his honorable character. The spirit of the Cannonball shines bright in all he has done over the last 11 days as he showed the world what perseverance looks like. Many of us found inspiration in the sense of commitment, determination and dedication he’s shown by watching his little bike with the big heart perform miracles as Dean made sacrifices. The 1914 was on its way to setting a Cannonball record as the HD chugged along the back roads to deliver its owner to destination intended on time each day. Skipping meals, breaks and rest stops, Dean has lost weight, gained a tan and shown us all what integrity looks like.
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