#1 Dean Bordigioni
Santa Rosa, CA
1923 Harley-Davidson J
My name is Dean Bordigioni and the 2021 Motorcycle Cannonball will be my 5th in a row. My team, Team Vino, was fortunate and grateful to win the overall championship in 2018. Since the 2020 Cannonball didn’t happen I get to run the Number 1 plate this year and in this Cannonball.
I’m not quite sure why this is so important to me, but I have to guess it had a lot to do with how difficult it was to ride a 1914 single cylinder, single speed belt drive motorcycle across our country. Post Cannonball, whenever I took a ride around my farm, it truly blew my mind. How in the hell did this little bike get my big ass across the country?
I was planning on riding my ’14 again, “Once more into the fray”, but my sweet little bike was destroyed in the 2020 Glass Fires in Sonoma County, CA. Pulling that motorcycle out of the charred container was one of the most demoralizing experiences of my life. I know in reality it was just an inanimate object, but if motorcycles can have a soul I know this one did. As my amazing build mechanic Steve Huntzinger told me after rebuilding it after the 2018 CB, “the only problem with this bike is that it starts itself every time you walk by”. It was that special.
The bike I’m going to ride in the 2021 Cannonball has a great history also. It’s a 1923 J, which is a twin with a three speed transmission. Compared to the ’14 it is a modern superbike. I rode this bike in the 2012 and 2014 Cannonballs, with Team Vino winning Class II in the 2014. It’ a great bike and I’m looking forward to taking it a lot easier this time and enjoying the ride for the first time in a long time. There is no joy in riding a 100 year old single cylinder motorcycle cross country.
I will, however, endeavor to make all my miles. It’s actually more important than winning a class, as those of you who have done this understand how difficult a task it is on a very vintage motorcycle. Over the past four Cannonballs, with great help from my team, especially my road mechanic Chrystiano Miranda, I have completed 61 stages in a row. Being competitive and goal orientated makes me strive for 100 in a row. A very lofty goal I know, and we’ll see. .
Team Vino is Team Vino because I’m a winemaker. Our labels, Bordigioni Family Winery, BIG PINK and Team Vino are all boutique level and high quality. We sold our farm winery in Sonoma Valley in September of 2020, however, we’re still in the game making and selling wine.
Team Vino consists of myself, the rider, my road mechanic Chrystiano Miranda of Brazil, my brother Thomas, his buddy Bruce and my old bud Kurty Kurt, all of whom ride cross country with us during the Cannonball, albeit on a different route and meeting up at the end of the day. We’ve also had the pleasure of having Ciro Nisi of Italy on our team and hope he returns one day. We will have a lot of fun in this Cannonball with my ’23 Harley J. I’ll miss being in the hunt, as my ’23 is too modern to have a shot at the championship, but I won’t miss busting my ass every single day.
My family and I moved to Hawaii Island about a year and a half ago, so we will be representing Hawaii instead of Wine Country California. Both are great places with great friends, but now Hawaii is home. Life is good and life happens. You only have one, so live it.
See you at the start line. Number 13 will be Number 1 this one and only time. All you Cannonball heros out there will see a different competitor this time as there is no longer anything to gain but the love of the road on an old motorcycle from another time.