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The Motorcycle Cannonball is the hardest antique motorcycle endurance event in the world and yesterday proved that point.  Over the past ten years and on every single event, riders and machines have endured all kinds of elements from severe heat, extreme cold, winds, snow, rain, and yesterday’s dangerous flash floods.  Yesterday brought flashbacks of past events like in 2010 while in New Mexico, 2014 in Lakeland, FL, 2016 in Wichita, KS and 2018 in Jamestown, NY where the event has had to be shut down because of weather. The event was on high hopes of not having to make such a decision, but with torrential downpours, a true act of God, Cannonball staff were scrambling from the start.  It started early when officials who leave one hour prior to riders to sweep the course got to about mile 179 and was informed the mountainous pass that featured long 9% grade climbs and an even longer descent (and one of the hardest and most technical parts of the entire route) was getting pounded by the stationary storm.  Cannonball officials quickly set up an emergency checkpoint to divert what soaked riders reached that point to a different route avoiding the potentially dangerous course.  It was not much longer that calls were coming in to event promoter Jason Sims that roads were being closed due to dangerous flash flooding.  Sims quickly contacted staff for situation reports and after consulting with county emergency officials he sent an emergency text that stated the day was done.  Sims, driving a sweep truck, along with other sweep staff were holed up at mile 162 at a closed Co-op station with approximately thirty riders looking for shelter. The road was completely impassable at mile 161 and detours going in that direction were also being shut down by county Search and Rescue personnel.  Luckily both sweep trailers were virtually empty and they were able to load as many motorcycles and riders as possible.  There was also a Cannonball enthusiast that happened to see the crowd of motorcycles huddled under the canopy and offered to take a few motorcycles and riders from our location in Pikesville, Tennessee into Murfreesboro.  Officials were on phones and set up another emergency checkpoint at the hosted stop at Bumpus Harley-Davidson to make sure that everyone was accounted for.  It was discovered that rider #35 Jon Dobbs had electrical malfunctions at mile 169 which was just past the road closure. Sweep trucks were unable to get to him as all roads between sweep and Dobbs were closed. Sweep had to divert almost 100 miles making a loop to get back on or near the route to pick up stranded Dobbs that happened to be in between two flooded roads. For Dobbs his day was extremely long as he was at a spot with no shelter and was stuck in place getting rained on for almost 6 hours straight until the sweep truck piloted by Morgan Williams and Jeff Boris along with eight other people that were onboard made the detours and finally found a way to get him picked up. Accounting for all detours and waiting, the sweep trucks started rolling into our host city at approximately 8:30 pm with the last sweep van getting there at 9:30pm.  The weather doesn’t look like it’s going to let up for a few days but luckily riders have a scheduled day off on Saturday to do much needed repairs on their machines, rest, and get themselves prepared for the second half of the event.  With the lingering rain they will have to get creative of how they will get this done before tomorrow’s start where we head to Trussville, Alabama….. but hey, that’s Cannonball