#27 Gary Shorman
1926 Harley-Davidson JD
Cannonball Rider #27
I am Alive2ride! Questionable friends and the quest for new roads on old motorcycles led me to the 2019 Cross Country Chase…and now the Cannonball. The Chase was not only an adventure, but for me was a life changing fork in the road. Since then, I finished with perfect mileage score on the 2021 Chase through the Ozarks.
Old motorcycles are life changing all on their own, but my 2019 Chase was memorable AND life changing. While hiding in the lady’s department at a Harley stop along the Chase route, I spent some time on the phone scheduling a biopsy to check for prostate cancer. With no symptoms, but only an elevated PSA number, I thought the call was a waste of time and my high PSA number was the result of bouncing my prostate around on old motorcycle seats. It turns out I was very wrong. On November 5th a call from my doctor confirmed I had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Eight weeks later a robot and excellent doctor successfully removed my prostate. Proactive PSA testing turned out to be a lifesaving test.
I finished the Chase, but also started Alive2ride.org, a not-for-profit organization, with the sole purpose of promoting PSA testing for men above 50…especially hard-headed motorcycle enthusiasts! I hope you check out the website. There is great information on the site about the ease of PSA testing, even a prize for men who get tested.
Now back to Cannonballs…In 2016 I traveled from Hays to Dodge City to see Terry Richardson and his bike as they traveled on the Cannonball through Kansas. There were a bunch of cool old bikes, and a big crowd, but no Terry. His bike was on the trailer with a blown engine. So…the story begins!
In 2018, I traveled with a friend on contemporary motorcycles to Pierre, South Dakota to see Terry, hopefully still riding his bike. Terry was joined on this Cannonball with my friends the Patterson brothers from Hays, KS. Terry was running strong, but the Patterson bike blew its engine on the long hill up to Pierre. There is still much discussion about whether it was driver error, but either way, it was time to tear things apart. Two days later the Patterson bike with a newly repaired engine, was back in the Cannonball and finished the race.
The challenge was too much fun to resist, so here I am, Alive2ride, in the 2021 Cannonball. I will be riding number 27, a bike build by Pat Patterson, with an engine and transmission rebuild by Rob Nussbaum, and finishing touches by Chris Coss. It’s a special 1926 Harley Davidson JD, with a 1929 dual headlight front fork. It’s certainly unique and is very fun to ride. Look for the dual headlights, and I’ll be looking for you at the starting line or along the route of the 2021 Cannonball.