#34 Ben Pierce
I used to be a computer programmer, always admired old machinery – tractors, engines, cars. I saw a BMW club rally in the area once and checked it out to see if they had any old things on display. They did, and they were absolutely beautiful. I decided I wanted to try one. I got started on bikes a bit late (age 27) with the BMW R50 and loved them, managed to turn it into a modest career.
I work at The Daily Rider Motoworks in Burlington VT on a wide range of new and old motorcycles and scooters.
First bike was a 1956 BMW R50 restoration, still have it, ridden it to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Tennessee and more. Active in vintage motorcycle and sidecar racing with the USCRA.
Bob Addis, owner of the 1923 Neracar, writes that his two major inspirations to ride in a Cannonball Endurance Run were first Mark Hill and then Erwin “Cannonball” Baker. Knowing Mark and his passion for old bikes for years, it was startling to Bob to hear Mark rant about the Cannonball in 2012. After reading Cannonball Baker’s amazing article, “How I Crossed America on a Neracar for Less Than $20″, the handwriting was on Bob’s wall – it had to be a Neracar!
If you are considering riding in future Cannonballs, Bob challenges you to read Baker’s article and discover how the Original Endurance Run was done in 1922. Of course, Cannonball Baker was famous for a multitude of cross country records (143?) with vehicles varying from the Stutz Bearcat to a Chevy water tank truck to even Indian motorcycles!
See also Rider #92, Brian Pease’s profile. He’s our partner and spiritual advisor in this insanity.