In 2010, a good friend of mine, Cris Sommer-Simmons was doing a vintage motorcycle race across the country on a 1915 Harley. I didn’t know much about it then, but thought it sounded like an incredible adventure. In 2012, my husband, Scott Jacobs decided to do the race himself, and I figured I would ride along on my new Harley. Not only had I never ridden a foot clutch or tank shift bike before, I had never ridden any bike 4000 miles at one time. When I saw and felt the bond between the riders, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it next time. We started looking for bikes that met the criteria for 2014, and found not one, but two 1936 HD VLH bikes. I chose the 3 speed instead of the 4 speed, and after having it completely restored, I learned how to ride it. That was the easy part.
Day 1 - Seized my pistons! Day 2 - Replaced the pistons with over 70’s in an 80 bore, and managed to finish that day! Day 3 - Seized my pistons!!! Yes, really. Thankfully, because we had the other ’36, we stripped the top end, and overnighted it to the hotel. My mechanics changed everything out within 3 hours. Unfortunately, I had lost two full days because we had to wait until Monday to ship, so although I was out of contention, I wanted to finish what I started. I crossed the finish line after 17 days, (the last 12 days with a perfect score) and not only was it a physical accomplishment, but also an emotional and personal victory! When Lonnie announced the 2016 Century Race, I started looking for the next machine to conquer this feat. Watch me in 2016 where I’ll be riding a 1915 Harley-Davidson F11 with my wonderful and supportive Cannonball Family. Can’t wait!!!