It’s the beginning of the end and riders have begun to lament over what life will be like when they aren’t living and breathing Motorcycle Cannonball. Of the 107 who toed up to the starting line in Portland, Maine, there are still 99 riders left in the race and 44 of those riders have perfect scores. Chris Tribbey and his 1911 Excelsior, the oldest machine in the run, held first place for most of the race but suffered a broken valve in Stage 10, brake failure in Stage 12 and after 4 miles on Friday, his rear brake locked up. Despite all that, Tribbey got the old girl back in the race to finish out 151 miles of glorious riding through Montana, Idaho and Washington with a smile. Dean Bordigioni is currently in first place on his 1913 Harley-Davidson.
Each morning a different flag girl is randomly chosen to wave off the riders and Friday that gal was the Cannonball’s own sweep rider, Polly Marinova, who was given the honor that added to the excitement of the send off. To jazz things up a bit for the support crews, there’s a daily challenge among the crews to see who can get to the hotel first each afternoon. The revelery in the pits at night is a combination of serious wrenching with less serious ribbing between the riders and crews and the whole place takes on a fun feel as the Cannonball family collectively works to keep each other on the road.
The day ended at Lone Wolf Harley-Davidson in Spokane Valley with a bike night celebration, live music and a warm welcome for the Cannonballers who utilized the time to wrench on their rides as fans looked on.
Saturday’s ride will be the last full day of competition riding and will cover 303 miles into Oregon after a hosted lunch at Rattlesnake Mountain Harley-Davidson in Kennewick, Washington. Racers will arrive in The Dalles, Oregon to display their bikes on Federal Street from 5:00 to 6:30 so come on out and be a part of this rare opportunity to see history in the making.