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#129 Joe Ferri

Export, PA

1931 Harley Davidson VL

At 66 years young I’ve been riding since the age of 12. My first bike was a 1969 Honda SL90 that I bought with a worn out and broken engine. I soon had it running and literally wore it out again. After a number of progressively larger dirt bikes I stumbled across a 51 Harley Davidson that I purchased and like so many others at that time chopped. That led to my next machine, a 76 super glide. After that it was a 31 VL and many other bikes of all kinds. I spent some time running motorcross and then hare scrambles. A few drag races too. I am maybe most proud of a wheel stand challenge that I was invited to by Evil himself. I had got to know him as a bartender in my family’s restaurant where he used to frequent. I became aware of the Cannonball after a group of my fellow members of the Allegheny Mountain chapter of the antique motorcycle club rode to meet up with the riders in West Virginia in 2018 I think it was. My initial reaction and impression made one of my friends comment that I would be doing this too. He was right. 2019 found me running in the inaugural Cross Country Chase and that was a great challenge and accomplishment for me. I initially was going to run a VL that I found but it was a disappointment and wasn’t going to work so I used my tried and true 47 Chief. The bike performed really well requiring only the most basic maintenance, chain adjustments and lubricants. The next Chase was more challenging. Wanting to enjoy a better handicap and being familiar with the VL Harleys I started looking at the VL. It was going to be a challenge. It soon became apparent that the “restoration” was just superficial and I had a really nice looking static display piece. Thankfully I know people who are skilled in this sort thing and within a year and after many hours and a considerable amount of money I had a rideable bike and entered and finished the second Cross Country Chase earning a top 10 finish. Wanting to stay involved with the people that I met and knowing that my pals George and Tom Banks needed a chase truck driver I signed on to help their effort in the last Cannonball. That was fun and rewarding but not really my cup of tea. I’m a rider and not being in it just left me wanting for more so I decided that next time I’ll be entering as a participant. So here I am writing this biography getting ready for my attempt at this years Cannonball. I’m very fortunate to have as my support crew Mark McClain and his son Dylan who did the lions share of the work on my bike. What could be better.