So, looking back two years to the first Motorcycle Cannonball in 2010, how did the bikes and riders do in our quest to ride 1915 and earlier motorcycles 3,294 miles from Kitty Hawk, NC to Santa Monica, CA?
I distinctly remember speaking with most of the other riders in Kitty Hawk prior to leaving. And I do not recall a single rider thinking anyone will make it across the US with a perfect score. Not one. A perfect score is achieved by riding your motorcycle the entire route under your own power and without a lift in a truck or trailer.
As you can see from this chart, 45 riders started the event in 2010. Of them four made it less than 250 miles – about the average distance the 2012 Motorcycle Cannonballers will be riding almost every day. 14 riders in total made it less than 2,000 miles, and amazingly, 10 riders made it the entire way with a perfect score.
This year might be quite different on the scoring side – especially in the beginning miles. The reason I think this is that the first three days will be much tougher and longer than in the 2010 event. This year, Day One covers 210 miles, Day Two is a tough 320 miles, and Day Three another 300 miles into Milwaukee.
The first few days are critical as that is when many of the mechanical issues challenge the riders, some of who have not thoroughly broken in or shaken down their motorcycles (although most of us think we did). And the long distances do not allow much time for roadside repairs and still finish the course on time. I hope I am wrong, but I suspect there will be a lot fewer riders with perfect scores pulling into Milwaukee at the end of Day Three.