Cannonball Road “37 miles o’ hell”

THE SUNSHINE CHAPTER

“ Y O U  M E E T  T H E  N I C E S T  P E O P L E  O N  A N T I Q U E  M O T O R C Y C L E S ”

SunshineChapter_AMCA_logoCannonball Motorcycle Endurance Run

Monday, September 19

Stage 9 (272 miles)

Pueblo, Colorado

Fort Pueblo was an adobe settlement and trading post built in 1842 by a group of independent traders at the ford of the Arkansas about half a mile west of the Fountain River.

Pueblo is situated on the eastern frontal edge of the Rocky Mountains. With the Great Plains to the East and the famous 14'ers a frontal wall rising from the plateau to over 14,000-foot. It is a formable sight of enormity. Pueblo serves as the entry point to the Rocky Mountains. From the western city limits, the road climbs to up 13,000 foot Pike's Pike's then continues through the passes to the Central Mountain area. The Arkansas River flows out of the Rockies towards through the steep Royal Gorge. The Cannonball'ers will be leaving Pueblo in Stage 10 to climb the Rockies which is predicted to be a "defining moment." Some teams have failed to returned home defeated by the task; some teams are choosing not to ride Stage 10 as the climbs could be catastrophic engines and bodies. Then there are the Teams that are in the running, they have tackle the task of the CLIMB and the DESCENT.

Wolf Creek Pass was made famous in 1975 by Country music artist C. W. McCall's humorous spoken word song of the same name, in which the pass is fondly described as "37 miles o' hell -- which is up on the Great Divide." In the song, two truckers drive an out-of-control 1948 Peterbilt down U.S. Highway 160 to Pagosa Springs—a 5,000-foot (1,500 m) drop in elevation.

The climb through Wolf Creek Pass is a 37 mile pull to 11,000 ft (3309m). If the Machine or Rider are notable to make the climb then the expectation is to push the motorcycle over the pass. On the backside of the pass, is a steep 5000-foot descent to Pagosa Springs that should provide for interesting braking opportunities. Stage 10 day will end in Durango, Colorado.

I looked at Earl and his eyes was wide His lip was curled, and his leg was fried. And his hand was froze to the wheel like a tongue to a sled in the middle of a blizzard. I says, "Earl, I'm not the type to complain But the time has come for me to explain That if you don't apply some brake real soon, they're gonna have to pick us up with a stick and a spoon..." ("Wolf Creek Pass" written by Bill Fries and Chip Davis, sung by C.W. McCall)

Dave Jones, Cannonball Official Road Support ridings 2013 Harley Davidson is  running his 4th Cannonball. It all started back in Kitty Hawk, where Dave lives with his wife of 43 years. Dave said that he had read about the Cannonball called and asked if he could volunteer. Dave started riding as a youngster but gave up motorcycles during the middle years. He resumed his riding in 2003 buying a Harley Davidson. His first Cannonball was in 2010 Kitty Hawk to San Francisco.

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Dave grew up on the water first working in the Coast Guard out of Elizabeth City then retiring from the Coast Guard moving to the Kitty Hawk, The Outer Banks were different back in the 1970's when phone lines were limited and small roads and bridges provided limited access. He described living on the Outer Bank back in the 70's as living on the edge of a frontier. Limited electricity and weak utilities, each family relied upon an "older style" of life. Lost of electricity was usual when the storms came off the ocean having to resort to Hurricane Lamps when the Atlantic Hurricanes and storms come a brewing. Situated on the Outer Banks placing oneself in a direct aim continuously staring down the barrel of Hurricanes barreling out of the South. The Outer Banks juts eastward placing them directly in the hurricane slam zone. After Hurricane season which runs from June to early November, the Winds of November turn coming out of the North. Deemed "Nor'easterners" these furious storms resemble and/or equal the power of the hurricane. Strong winds and cold rain blowing out of the Northeast create dangerous surf and flooding; blowing houses over, crushing docks and eroding beaches. The Outer Bank'ers live close to nature. The weather on the Outer Banks makes it a perfect place for marine related damage which keeps Dave busy. Working as a Marine Surveyor with the insurance industry, Dave uses his Coast Guard experience to his advantage. Dave surveys damages boat, yacht for brokers and personal sales. When Dave is not working on claims or contracts, he riding alone on his 2013 Harley Davidson. Every two years, Dave takes time off to work the Cannonball. Directly after the 2014 Cannonball, Dave was involved in a serious motorcycle accident totally his 2011 Electric Glide. Suffering some minor injuries, Dave recuperated at home then purchased a 2013 Road King without a "Chip". One of a kind Harley as the local Harley dealership had to order the special Harley. Dave uses his motorcycle as daily transportation. Currently Dave's Harley is outfitted with a extra wide side hack for his wife, Darlene and their newly acquired pup, Sadie to ride on the Cannonball. When Dave and Darlene decided to do the 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball together with their pup Sadie, something had to be figured out. The decision was to travel on three-wheels with the side car. The side car rig was installed in early May. Dave states, "...it rides like a dream." Darlene is very supportive of Dave's passion for the Cannonball. She states that when Dave found the Cannonball, things changed remarkable for Dave. It gave him purpose. He looks forward to continue riding the Cannonball until he is unable. As Cannonball Road Marshall, Dave rides the route with the Cannonball Riders following behind stopping when the riders are on the side of the road to investigate what might be needed. Equipped with a cell phone, Dave calls or texts to the Sweepers giving virtual information regarding bike, rider, location and special needs. If there is a medical issue Dave contacts the Cannonball Nurse, Spitfire who reports with needed medical assistance. Dave does what is necessary to assist then moves on to the next situation. Dave enjoys helping others feeling that he is making a difference. I have known Dave as I rode with him for much of the 2014 Cannonball. He truly is a valuable asset to the Cannonball.

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Dave says, "...each Cannonball is different but all the same, it's maintenance, maintenance, maintenance with a little luck." Dave is an interesting intelligent introspective man who represent himself very well in the world of motorcycling. Together Dave and Darlene with their Sadie are a favorite on the Cannonball. Stage 9 Standing 
1 #13 Class I 1914 Harley Davidson Dean Bordigioni
2 #49 Class II 1912 Henderson Frank Westfall
3 #32 Class II 1913 Henderson Byrne Bramwel
4 #5 Class II 1913 Henderson Jeff Tiernan
5 #56 Class II 1914 Harley Davidson Victor Boocock
6  #14 Class II 1914 Henderson Vern Acres
7 #77 Class II 1915 Norton Richard Asprey
8 #28 Class II 1915 Sunbeam Kevin Waters
9 #2 Class III 1915 Harley Davidson Steve DeCosa
10 66 III 1915 Harley Davidson Ben Brown
Unknown-3 Sunshine Chapter

Sailing with fair winds on following seas... Captain Blood

Representing the Antique Motorcycle Club of America

Support of casting Characters

  Unknown Unknown-2 Old logo for Jim 12      

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