On the Road with the Motorcycle Cannonball Run

Zoie Clift

 

Hello from the 2010
Motorcycle Cannonball Run! The riders are now in Hot Springs and it seems to
have been a great adventure for them so far since leaving Kitty Hawk,North
Carolina a week ago. Yesterday riders crossed the bridge into Arkansas at
Helena-West Helena to start their Arkansas adventure.  ADPT photographer Chuck Haralson and I followed the riders
on their journey from Lula, MS to Hot Springs. It was a lovely Thursday and a good day to be exploring the back roads via vintage motorcycles.
 
The
first pit stop on their journey (they traveled around 200 miles that day) was
Stuttgart, known as the rice and duck capital of the world. Each November, the town
hosts the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest, the longest running
calling contest in history ( this year marks the 75th anniversary of
the event on November  27).  Two riders on the ride ( Katrin Bohner and her husband Diter Eckel) are  from Germany which was fitting as the
town is named after the country. George Adam Buerkle of Palttenhardt, Germany
is considered the founder of Stuttgart, Arkansas,( which was  incorporated in 1889). The town is
named after the town in Germany near where he was born. As a token of camaraderie,
representatives in town gave the couple a duck call.  After resting a bit and repairing bikes and refueling,
riders departed for Hot Springs. 
Rider Buzz Canter, member of the AMA (American Motorcycle Association)
Hall of Fame, gives a video report from town that can be found here.
 
The riders pulled into the back of Hot Springs Convention Center and parked and showed their bikes to the public, who had come out to cheer them as they ended Stage 7 of their journey.  Among the riders on the journey is Arkansan Johan A
Hollansworth of Hot Springs Village, who is riding a 1914 Indian classic
bike. Hollansworth is a veteran of
15 cross-country car races and is
a former car racer. The riders will be in Hot Springs all day today ( a rest
day for them and their bikes will be displayed at the Hot Springs Convention Center ) and depart for Fort Smith tomorrow.

Overall, they will be on the road
until September 26 covering 3,320 miles on the journey to Santa, Monica, CA.

The ride is the brainchild of
Lonnie Isam, Jr., owner of Jurassic Racing in Sturgis, South Dakota. The event
is being divided into 16 stages and requires that participants ride classic
pre-1916 motorcycles such as Pope, Sears, Flying Merkel, Excelsior, Henderson,
Indian, Triumph, and the Harley-Davidson’s Silent Grey Fellows. The event is
bringing together an interesting mix of participants. Among them is Japanese
born motorcycle builder Shinya Kimura; Frank Wesley Buddy Stubbs, the
well-known and long-time owner of two Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealerships in
central Arizona whose background includes stints as a motorcycle racer and a
Hollywood stuntman and Cristine Sommer-Simmons, journalist and wife of rock and
roller Pat Simmons of the Doobie Brothers. And many more. A complete rundown of
everyone’s bio is available here
Be on the lookout for them riding the backroads of Arkansas. I am including a
few photos I shot of yesterday’s adventure.  Enjoy and come out to Hot Springs and meet the riders (and their bikes) if you get a chance!
 

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Posted in Travel Arkansas
3 comments on “On the Road with the Motorcycle Cannonball Run
  1. Renee Robison says:

    What a great day in Stuttgart! The motorcycle cannonball run made it to the rice and duck capital of the world….and then on to America’s First Resort, Hot Springs National Park….very exciting event for Arkansas…cannot wait to see the rest of the trip to Danville and Fort Smith this week!

  2. Jay Robison says:

    You did a great job thanks

  3. Zoie Clift says:

    Thanks Renee and Jay! It was great to see you both!

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