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#41 Jeff Mcallister

Ridgefield, CT

1927 Indian Big Chief

I have been a lover of motorbikes since my early teens. My first bike was a Zundapp 250, then came a bunch of little Hondas. But the holy grail in my neighborhood was the Triumph Bonneville which I finally acquired in 1978. I tried to buy one at the factory in England, but that’s a story for another time!

I now own ten classic bikes and have always enjoyed tinkering with them.  First it was a matter of economy, then puzzle solving and now it’s therapeutic!

I watched my friend Denis Sharon start the 2016 Cannonball in Atlantic City and knew immediately that I had to be a part of this.  I entered the 2018 Cannonball, choosing a 1927 Indian Big Chief for the job as it is powerful, robust and has a front brake! I quickly learned that prepping an antique bike to go cross country is very different than working on a classic 70’s era Brit bike.

I barely made it to the start as the bike required several engine teardowns. Miraculously I made it across the country (minus 50 miles) with the expert support and assistance of Beau & Denis Sharon and his soldering skills.  Perhaps the blessing with Holy Water from a relative at the start helped too!

I knew I had to do it again.  Tearing the bike down I found every nut, bolt, gear, and piece was cracked, stripped, broken or worn out on the bike!!    I’ve worked diligently over the past 18 months getting her ready for this year’s voyage.  Fingers crossed.

Riding ‘cross country on an ancient bike on back roads channeling MacGyver at every obstacle is a real adventure.  I can’t wait.  Thank you Jason and Leeann Sims for the opportunity.