Cannonball rider #2, Steve DeCosa from New York, had a very stressful
ride on the last day the Motorcycle Cannonball. It started out well
enough, managing the 4,000-foot mountain pass, the dust storm, the
congested traffic and the heat. Lunch at the Temecula HD was a nice
break before heading to the finish line and he was in high spirits.
Steve is relatively new to the antique motorcycle addiction affliction,
but he's been bitten hard and, as a second round rider, he's hip deep
in the world of grease, gears and backroads. His wife Joan is his pit
crew and he's been all in from the start. As we made our way to
Carlsbad, Joe spotted Steve on the side of the road and pulled over to
see what was up.The look on his face spoke volumes before we even got
off the bike. Cussing and railing at the heavens with clenched fists,
the heartbreak and frustration at his failed machine was pitiful to
witness as he faced defeat. Doug Wothke, #88, pulled up to see if
anything could be done as it was explained that his brake stay had
sheared off flush, leaving his beautiful 1915 HD Twin without stopping
Suddenly he threw his hands up and made an instant decision that he
was riding it as it was for the remaining miles to the finish line.
Slinging a leg over his saddle, Joe quickly wired up the linkage to
prevent it dragging on the ground and #2 was off its stand and back in
the race. For the next 20 miles Steve threaded his way through traffic
to complete the route, dragging his feet when necessary in order to
stop his machine but mostly dodging stop lights and traffic in order
to continue forward motion. By the time he made the checkered flag,
Steve had completed all 3,306 miles to finish in 6th place with a
perfect score and was awarded the Class lll championship award.
"You know what upset me so much about the break?" he shared later. "I
looked at that bolt 6 months ago and told myself I should change it,
but I didn't. That's what's so upsetting, knowing I didn't do it. No
one to blame but myself with something like that." Congratulations
Steve and Joan for completing another Motorcycle Cannonball and for
showing the world what a "can do" attitude looks like.