Monday, March 26, 2012

On the wall.....

CCM's Cannonball Effort is gaining steam

  Since I posted about dropping flyers off over the weekend at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, I figured this picture was blog-worthy as well. This was taken a few weeks back in Luckenbach, Texas, where a local bar owner graciously posted this on one of the main walls of the building. Thanks for the support!

  Stay tuned for some BIG news in the next few days regarding publicity....

Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer # 3
Carson Classic Motors Race Team

BSA Running-In Update

  In the conclusion of last week's YouTube video documenting the first start up and test ride of the newly-completed BSA S27, viewers were treated to the caption "Now for the testing.." As a reminder, the lads at Vintage and Veteran are intending to put about 300 break-in miles on the machine before shipment. As of Friday (yes, this post is a few days late) Ken had put 45 miles on the clock and sent along some updates, both good and bad.

 "I have put 45 miles on the clock and found the bike to be really happy at 45-50mph at this stage of running in. I found it carried me quite nicely and it is a sparky eager machine. When run in it will be quite pleasing and up to the job. The engine did not get too hot and the weather tempature was 15 degree C. The riding position was fine for me. Adjustments:
  • The back stand clip needed tightening.
  • The control levers and cables needed re-routing and finally I decided the lever controls are too old to be repaired satisfactorily, so I am sourcing a new set - they will do for testing but will drive you potty on a long run.
  • The gear change rod worked undone, so a lock nut has been applied and given strict instructions to stay put.
  • Oiling seems to be OK - especially with the manual injector. Before each run out I drop the oil from the crank-case to inspect for quantity, evidence of imputities, condition - all fine. I then charge the crank case with the manual pump before setting out - 2 full actions.
  • Plug shows excellent mixture settings especially considering I have just put the carburettor on from the box - however, I did agree the settings with the engineer at Amal.
  • Clutch control cable re-routed and tagged to a different place to keep it away from the cylinder, but still free to move. Clutch action fine. Gear change positive and clean.
  • De-compressor control cable loosely linked with a ring to the gear change rod to keep it away from the cylinder.
  • Fork spindles tightened slightly
  • Tyres pumped up a bit, may let the front down a bit after the next run.
  • Chain adjustment not required.

Now for the not so good news, after the tank held petrol for 36 hours, it found its way out to freedom from the left rear corner of the tank whilst I was 10 miles from the yard. Just a faint trace, but it soon cleared the flux and dripped. I have taken the tank out, cleaned the inside with detergent, prepared the metal with a solution supplied and applied an ethanol resistant epoxy flo-liner from Tank Care Products to the base and back end of the tank. This requires to be done at very warm temeratures with the material at 60 degrees C [and the tank correspondingly warm] - all went to plan and the tank is now curing. 24 hours for a set in a warm room, then 4 days before it cures to take petrol. So, Tuesday next week is the next testing phase. Only a small bit of paint damage which will touch up. The painter is sending a small flask of green paint to me."

  After a few emails back and forth, things are progressing nicely. Ken and Phil installed the tank liner on Friday, and has been letting it cure since then. More running-in updates soon.

Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer # 3
Carson Classic Motors Race Team

Cannonball Sponsorship Adventures

Carson Classic Motors' Cannonball Efforts has reached the Mecca of Motorcycling-
the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
  Yet again, another wonderful weekend has come to an end- seems they go faster and faster, while the week gets longer and longer. This weekend the Carson Classic Motors Race Team made a visit to Birmingham, Alabama- home of the world-renowned Barber Motorsports Park. For those who have never made the trek to "Sweet Home Alabama," this 740 acre facility alone is worth the journey. In addition to an incredibly manicured landscape and scenic driveway, the park features a 2.38 mile professional motorsports racetrack. This track is used for both motorcycles and cars, including the Porsche Driving School that is based at Barber, and now hosts the IRL IndyCar Series Grand Prix.

Entrance to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
  All of these elements make the facility an incredible destination, but the absolute crowning jewel is the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. Founder George W. Barber has been collecting vintage motorcycles for decades, and in 2003 the new facility housing his collection opened its doors. The museum boasts the largest collection of vintage motorcycles in the world, including over 1,200 motorcycles (600 of which are on rotating display) from more than 16 countries, as well as the world's largest collection of Lotus race cars.

It's hard to control your drooling while checking out the mecca of motorcycling
  This weekend's trip was my fourth Barber experience--I simply cannot stay away. For the past three years we have attended the annual Barber Vintage Festival, a three day outdoor extravaganza that includes vintage racing, a massive swap meet, vintage auctions, and vintage club exhibitions. In October 2011, my team and I entered our 1911 Triumph Roadster into the "Race of the Century" sponsored by the Confederate Chapter of the AMCA. I was fortunate enough to be able to take a 100 year old veteran Triumph out and compete against 6 other racers at breakneck speeds of 35-40 mph.

Yours truly, passing up an early Indian Twin in the 2011 Race of
the Century at the Barber Motorsports Park
  On this weekend, we visited some friends participating in an annual "open track day," where any racer can bring his or her bike (pure racers or road legal machines) out to the track and crack the throttle open. Around lunch, my dad and I took the opportunity to once again check out the wonderful collection of motorcycle history in the museum. After our tour, the wonderful museum staff allowed us to post some of the Cannonball Sponsorship flyers in the public area, and took some for the private staff area too. They even agreed to take our picture to prove it too!

A huge thanks to the wonderful staff of BVMM for helping us out!

  Overall it was a wonderful time in Alabama, and I'm sure our friends at Barber will be seeing us soon!

Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer # 3
Carson Classic Motors Race Team

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Complete Build Picture Set


  This afternoon I went ahead and uploaded all of the updated pictures from the complete build of the Cannonball BSA. This album documents the process from beginning to end. For your viewing pleasure.

Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer # 3
Carson Classic Motors Race Team

Cannonball BSA Starting for First Time

   Big Cannonball news today- Just received this YouTube Video from Ken Ashton of Vintage and Veteran in the UK. My 1927 BSA S27 is now completed, pending road testing. This video is of the first start up and test ride. This week, Ken will do several testing runs to go back and check/re-adjust the initial run-in of the bike. Listen to how wonderful this machine sounds.

Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer # 3
Carson Classic Motors Race Team

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cannonball Ferry Crossing

Cannonballers will be treated to a hi-speed ferry trip across Lake Michigan, avoiding Chicago traffic

  Another big update came to the Cannonball route recently. For a while now, the idea has been tossed back and forth across the CB forums to somehow incorporate a ferry crossing into the route. After figuring out logistics, all Cannonballers were sent the following email regarding the change to the route. (Note that this email is the abridged version- I removed contact information and ferry prices)

"Hello Cannonballers,
The northern route of the 2012 Motorcycle Cannonball will be a fantastic journey as we will ride some of the most scenic roads in America. There are however some obstacles we must overcome in the east, namely the big metropolis' of Cleveland, OH and Chicago, ILL. While we may have to utilize a short stretch of interstate to get through Cleveland, the interstate is not an option in Chicago. We have decided that on Stage 3, Sunday, September 9, we will travel from Sandusky, OH. to Muskegon, MI. where we will cross Lake Michigan via high speed ferry. The Lake Express will depart Muskegon at 4:45 p.m. and carry us and our motorcycles on a 2 1/2 hour voyage across the lake to our overnight destination in Milwaukee. Once in Milwaukee we will be treated to a lavious dinner and reception at the Harley Davidson Museum.

In order to accommodate this many motorcycles the Lake Express Ferry has graciously agreed to convert the deck of their ship in order for us to properly secure our bikes. In dealing with the ferry this far in advance we have been able to insure that our group would not only get a good rate, but also be allowed to book our passage before March 10, when the ferry opens up reservations for the general public. Space on the Lake Express is limited and fills up rather fast, so they have given us a small window of time to get all our bikes and riders reserved. Starting on Monday March 5 through Friday March 9 the Lake Express will take reservations for motorcycles only for the Motorcycle Cannonball group. Only the participating motorcycles and riders will be allowed to book passage on the ferry for our time slot. There will not be enough room for team support vehicles on the ferry. All support vehicles will have to go through Chicago on the interstate in order to get to Milwaukee, with the exception of official Cannonball staffed sweep vehicles."
Lake Express in action
 The ferry we will take is the first of its kind to operate in the Contintental US. The Lake Express was launched in 2004 in Mobile, Alabama. Her four 3,000 horsepower MTU diesel engines power four Rolls Royce water jets capable of pushing the shop along at 35 knots (40 miles an hour). As mentioned in the above email message, the journey will take 2.5 hours. If not for this ferry, riders would have to push our veteran machines 275 miles around Lake Michigan and through rush hour traffic in Chicago. This way we can arrive easily to Milwaukee and experience an undoubtedly wonderful reception at the Harley Davidson Museum that evening.
Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer #3
Carson Classic Motors Race Team

Motorcycle Cannonball is now on Facebook

  Recently, the Motorcycle Cannonball website also added a Facebook Group page. Be sure to check it out by searching for "Motorcycle Cannonball" in the Facebook search bar. I'm loving the use of social networking to gain more fans and advertise the event. By subscribing to the group, you can interact with many Cannonballers like myself and the hard working crew putting it all together.

Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer # 3
Carson Classic Motors

Replacement Carburetor and Magneto Arrive

  In addition to the newly fitted petrol and oil tank, last week also saw the arrival of a brand new Amal 276 Carburetor and BTH magneto. With such a long mileage trip ahead, the thought is to address any possible failure points long before a disaster happens. That being said, enter the updated components throughout the motor, gearbox, and etc. Now my Cannonball partner will have a brand new fuel and ignition. Both the original brass carburetor and re-wound magneto will be utilized for spares.

  A little information on both new pieces- the Amal 276 has been custom built by Burlen Fuel Systems in the UK and includes additional components to fine tune the carburetor for the changing altitudes we will encounter along the way. These additional pieces include a weaker slide and two smaller main jets. Original control levers on the handlebar will be utilized- an interesting bit mostly found on veteran Brit bikes. Where the vintage Harley Davidsons, Indians, Excelsiors, and the like have twist grip throttles, my BSA has twin levers for mixing air and fuel.

  The BTH magneto is a completely brand new, sealed unit. An interesting note- this unit features CDI (condenser discharge ignition) and auto-advance technology. From Ken and Phil- "We set this up at max advance and the unit retards itself electronically according to rpm. The spark is a fine, hot profile and is generated from the relatively high low tension magneto output of circa 300 volts by a self energising high-tension output coil."

It's like Christmas morning at the Vintage and Veteran Shop
Exciting new arrivals

New technology on a veteran machine

Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer # 3
Carson Classic Motors Race Team

New BSA Fuel/Oil Tank

  Hi all, and Happy Monday! I've been out of town for the last week, as my university had a spring holiday. In that span of time, lots of new updates on the BSA. As previously mentioned, the motor, gearbox, and frame updates and repairs have been completed. When the original petrol/oil tank was removed it was discovered that the mounting points were completely savaged and would be unable to make the 3,800 mile trip without failure. Rather than attempt to repair the tank, the masters at Vintage and Veteran, LLP commissioned a brand new fuel/oil tank to be built. Yet another example of them going above and beyond. I posted some pictures a few weeks back of the new tank being temporarily fitted to the frame before going off to paint. As of last week, it returned with a beautiful new paint job and has been re-fitted to the bike. Check out the pictures below, from start to finish.

Original tank, prior to removal


New mounting points
Almost looks naked, doesn't it?
Beautiful new paint job
Gently placed in its new home (Note: New horn and battery for LED Lights are visible)

Truly a thing of beauty

Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer # 3
Carson Classic Motors Race Team

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rules and Regulations

  Recently, Lonnie Isam and course master John Classen sent out the official 2012 Cannonball Rules and Regulations via email to all entrants. Overall the regulations are pretty typical for an endurance road-run, though have been well tailored to fit this race. I have no complaints about the regulations, and applaud the hard work of Lonnie and his team. This should have been posted prior to now, but I'd like to go ahead and digress into the event regulations, so you guys can get a feel for what we're up against. For the most part, I'll just hit on the main points from the regulations. Don't want you guys to get bored reading all of this! These were all copied directly from the PDF file that Lonnie and John sent out, with a little bit of explanation by yours truly.

The Rules have Arrived!

1) Classes and Order of Start

"I (E). Classes: Each motorcycle will compete in one of three Classes:
        1. Class I: Motorcycles with a displacement of 749 cc or less
        2. Class II: Motorcycles with a displacement of from 750 cc to 1000 cc
        3. Class III: Motorcycles with a displacement of 1001 cc or more"

 (Reading further into the rules)

III . Order of Start
A. (2): On Stage 1, the order of start will be the Motorcycle Cannonball 2010 Grand Champion, followed by Class I, Class II, Class III. The order of start within each Class is determined by the date of entry (see II.B.2), with the exception that hometown and home-state entries (those with New York and Pennsylvania registrations) start at the front of each Class.
A. (3). On subsequent Stages the order of start will be Class I, Class II, Class III at specified intervals.

   Now obviously, my BSA will fall into Class I. With me will be my friends from the UK, Ken Ashton and Mike Wild aboard their Rudges. Our smaller displacement machines will unlikely be able to keep up with the Harley, Indian, and Excelsior models that will dominate the field, but I'm okay with that. So although we may be registered in the smallest-displacement class, Ken, Mike, and I will be allowed to depart before the other two groups of riders. Hopefully it will be a good thing for us!

2) Equipment

II. G. Equipment

1. The following equipment is allowed:
      a. Pencils, pens, and scratch pads
      b. Timepieces
      c. A tire pressure gauge, compass, thermometer, and altimeter
      d. One operating speedometer; one operating odometer
      e. A cellular telephone
      f. Digital cameras and video cameras

2. The following equipment is prohibited: Any positioning or communication device which uses satellite technology
(such as Global Positioning System).

3. A team found with illegal equipment is subject to the penalties specified in VI.B.2.

  Who says you need GPS to cross a continent..? Cannonball Baker certainly didn't have one in 1913. No, ladies and gentlemen, we're doing this the old fashioned way (okay, so pay no attention to the cell phones and digital cameras/video cameras).

3) Support Vehicle Information

"II. E. Support Vehicles

1. Each official entry is allowed one official support vehicle. Any vehicle accompanying the Event is considered an official support vehicle.

2. A support vehicle may be designated as the official support vehicle for more than one entry.

3. During a stage, a competing motorcycle may receive service and/or assistance from official MOTORCYCLE CANNONBALL 2012 Course Vehicles and personnel, from other riders, and from businesses and individuals not otherwise directly associated with any team. During a stage, a competing motorcycle must not receive service or assistance from anyone associated with any Event team including, but not limited to, support vehicles, family members, and friends.

4. Support vehicles must follow Support Crew Instructions.

5. On most days, Support Crew instructions take Support Vehicles directly to the next overnight city by a route mostly different from that followed by competing motorcycles. On these days, where portions of the route are the same, a support vehicle must not travel near its competing motorcycle.

6. On several days, Support Vehicles follow a major portion of the motorcycles’ route. On these days, support vehicles must not be in the field of competing motorcycles during the day’s run; therefore, on these days, it is recommended that support vehicles depart at least 30 minutes prior to the official start of the stage.

7. If a team's support vehicle is observed violating Support Crew Instructions (such as moving in the field of competing
motorcycles when instructed not to or traveling near its competing motorcycle) the team will receive a penalty of 50 Points for the first occurrence, 250 Points for the second occurrence, and disqualification for the third occurrence.

8. If a support vehicle is designated the official support vehicle for more than one team, each of the teams will receive the
penalties assessed because of that support vehicle."


   The important thing to take away from this is that I will NOT be able to utilize the assistance of my support crew while competing during the day. My guys will usually be taking a different route than me entirely. I will be expected to manage any breakdowns on my own, or with the assistance of fellow riders. If the problem is un-fixable on the roadside, my bike and I will be placed on a truck into the next overnight checkpoint, at which point my support team can help.

In regards to the support vehicles being in the field of competing bikes- After watching the forums on the Cannonball site, and talking back and forth with fellow entrants I have learned that fans on motorcycles will be able to ride alongside us for photos and videos, though they are unable to assist.

4) Scoring

V. C. Timing and Scoring

1. Timing

a. Official time is referenced to radio station WWV of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. We will
attempt to have a WWV radio signal and synchronized clock at each day’s start. (WWV time is also available by
telephone: 303-499-7111.)

b. Time Zones: The time of the time zone at the start of each stage is used for scoring throughout that stage, regardless of time zone changes (be sure, however, to reset your time after you arrive at the stage’s finish line if the time zone changes). Time zone information will be given in an Event Supplement and in the Course Instructions.

2. Scoring

a. On each Stage, each team accumulates one Point for each mile the rider travels on the correct Route, up to the total official distance of the stage, reduced by any penalty Points that team accumulates.

b. Missed Checkpoints

    (1) A motorcycle which misses (fails to pass) a Checkpoint will receive the penalty stipulated in V.D.3.

    (2) A motorcycle which arrives at a stage finish more than 45 minutes after the official finish time will be scored as
having missed the Checkpoint, and will receive the penalty stipulated in V.D.4.

c. Ties (for cumulative score) are broken by the following procedure:

    (1) The motorcycle in the lower Class wins the tie (e.g., a Class I motorcycle wins over one in Class II).

    (2) If a tie still exists, the older motorcycle by model year wins the tie.

    (3) If a tie still exists, the older rider wins the tie.

  Simple scoring- every mile equals one point. The tie breakers are interesting. As the lowest displacement class, I definitely like the Class tie breaker. The older rider tie breaker is somewhat unfair to a young person like me, but I'm not complaining at all!

5) Penalties

V. D. Penalties
1. A team that does not complete an entire Stage within 45 minutes of the Finish Time for the Class under the
motorcycle’s/rider’s own power will receive a DNF (did not finish) for the Stage (but will still receive Points for miles traveled until 45 minutes after the Finish Time for the Class).
2. Penalties for not completing a Stage’s Route
a. For each mile not traveled under a motorcycle’s/rider’s own power..............................................1 Point and DNF
b. For not following the correct Route or shortcutting the Route ................................................................ 100 Points
3. Penalties for missing Checkpoints
a. Missing a Checkpoint, except the final Checkpoint of a Stage............................................................... 100 Points
b. Missing the final Checkpoint of a Stage at the Finish Line......................................................100 Points and DNF
4. Penalties for being more than 45 minutes late at Checkpoints
a. 45+ minutes late at a Checkpoint, except the final Checkpoint of a penalty, if the checkpoint is still open
b. 45+ minutes late at the final Checkpoint of a Stage at the Finish Line....................................................................
1 Point per mile not traveled (based on location 45 minutes after the Finish Time for the Class) and DNF
5. Penalties for being early at Checkpoints
a. Early at a Checkpoint, except the final Checkpoint of a Stage............................................................... no penalty
b. Early at the final Checkpoint of a Stage at the Finish Line............................................ no penalty, but see V.A.I.c
6. Equipment and personnel changes
a. Replacing a motorcycle’s engine............................................................................................................ 200 Points
b. Substituting a different motorcycle ...................................................................................................disqualification
c. Substituting a rider (see II.D.2.b)...................................................................................... 100 Points per new rider
7. Tickets and citations
a. It is the riders’ responsibility to observe all state and local motor vehicle and equipment laws. One possible source
for information on state helmet laws and daytime headlamp laws is
Motorcycle Cannonball takes no responsibility for the accuracy of this information.
b. Receiving a ticket/citation/written warning for an equipment violation.................................................... 100 Points
c. Receiving a ticket/citation/written warning for riding while intoxicated or under the influence..........disqualification
d. Receiving a ticket/citation/written warning for dangerous or reckless riding ..............200 Points or disqualification
e. Receiving a ticket/citation/written warning for a moving violation...................................................... 200 Points
8. Other penalties
a. Choosing to run with a lower Class on a given Stage (as specified in VII.E.2) ............................................ 50 Points
b. Interfering with Checkpoint operations ..........................................................................200 Points or disqualification
c. Support vehicle violation (see II.E.7) ............................................................................first occurrence, 50 Points
....................................................................................................................................second occurrence, 250 Points
................................................................................................................................ third occurrence, disqualification
d. Failure to stop at a Stop Sign ...............................................................................................50 Points and DNF
e. Failure of a motorcycle to be in a Special Display Area during specified hours (see VIII.B) ............. 100 Points
f. Leaving a hosted Lunch Stop before the scheduled departure time ................................................ 50 Points
g. Consuming alcoholic beverages or illegal controlled substances while participating...................disqualification

  Once again, pretty simple scoring. If I break down and have to be trucked into the next checkpoint, I receive a 1 point penalty and a DNF (Did Not Finish). Must obey all traffic laws, which is common sense. The two interesting rules that I saw were rules about substituting an engine, and leaving the display areas at hosted stops. No complaints about anything I've read thus far.

6) Speeds

VII. E. Speeds

1. On flat, straight roads, motorcycles will be required to maintain 50 MPH. Stage times are calculated using this average speed on straight, flat roads, with additional time being allowed for grades, curvy roads, roads with lower speed limits, and congested areas (such as cities and towns) with stop signs and traffic lights. In addition, 15 minutes has been allowed for each refueling stop (which are often less than 50 miles apart, but never more than 75 miles), and 45 minutes to 1 hour has been allowed for each lunch stop.

2. On a given Stage, a Class II or Class III team which may be incapable of maintaining required speeds may elect to run with the next lower Class, at the cost of a 50-Point penalty. For example, on Stage 4, a Class III team may choose to run with Class II (receive Course Instructions and penalties based on the Class II schedule); that team would receive a 50-Point penalty on Stage 4.


  The way the event is set up, rider's machines are recommended to have a fuel range of 75 miles per fill up. While most of us will be carrying spare petrol with us, it is nice to have the comfort of knowing distanes between fuel stops is so small. Each day is basically scheduled for 8 hours of riding, pending weather conditions and break downs.

7) Daily Roadbooks

  Every morning, we will be issued that day's directions about 20 minutes before Class I goes off. I'm currently looking at a couple of different roadbook holders (more on that soon). Below is a picture of what the example looks like. Again, I apologize if the picture is hard to read. The directions are split up into several different columns, containing pictoral representations, odometer readings, tips on upcoming fuel stops, and written directions.

More updates soon!

Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer # 3
Carson Classic Motors Race Team

Progress and Fundraising Fantasies

  It's been a while since the last post--I'm sure we can all understand having a busy schedule. Since I last updated you all, a lot has happened. I've actually been writing things down as they happen, so there's about 5 pages worth on my Microsoft Word. Rather than bore you with one long post, I'll go ahead and split things up into several bits and pieces. Without further adieu, here is part one of the new installment of the blog. ~ BC

  Well, race fans, it seems that March has arrived. Is this year really going by this fast? Could have sworn that it was just January.. Ah well, just gotta go with the flow. One nice thing about the arrival of March is the rapidly improving weather conditions. Now technically Texas boasts year-round riding weather, but as anybody will tell you it just isn't that fun to go out and blast through pouring rain and screaming winds. March is usually the turning point for spring here in Texas. March also brings us one month closer to the Motorcycle Cannonball. Just a few short months from now my team and I should hopefully be nearing Newburgh, New York with our trailer and bike in tow. (Author Note- As of today, 4 March 2012: 186 days remain until the start of the event)

  I suppose that I should begin with updates on the BSA progress. We last left off with a "brand-new" motor and gearbox, updated bearings throughout the frame, new tyres and tubes, LED lighting system upgrade in progress, and a completely new (and shiny) petrol tank awaiting paint. As of the first week in March, the tank had been with the painter for a week and was nearing completion. A brand new BTH magneto (spare to be carried along) has been sourced and purchased, as well as a spare carburetor and alternative slides and jets. The original carburetor will be sent off for re-freshening in preparation for the journey. Front and rear LED lights have been installed, as well as a brake light switch. Batteries have been ordered for my BSA and both Ken and Mike's Rudges. A digital speedometer unit with odometer and trip settings has also been fitted to the machine. This modern upgrade will come in handy on a daily basis, as our daily roadbooks have the precise mileage between fuel stops and other stops. Things are wrapping up nicely with the BSA, and it's a possibility that she will be ready for shipment earlier than thought.

  With that update out of the way, what else has been going on, you may ask. Well, my friends, I finally stopped talking about it and made a Cannonball Sponsorship Flyer. Though, I must admit that I did get behind schedule on them--the flyers should have been set up and printed a while before. One of the big name corporations (I'll refrain from using the name, for the time being, until we find out a yay or nay answer) that we have approached for sponsorship was having a company conference out west on the week of 26 February- 3 March, and I promised the local representative that I would have a few flyers for them to hand out while at the conference. Anyway, check out the result below. I realize it will probably be difficult to read on the computer. If you or your company would like to have some hard copies, be sure to send me an email at and I would be happy to take care of it for you.

Carson Classic Motors Cannonball Flyer
 So now that we have a flyer to hand out, what's next for the team in terms of fundraising and sponsorships? Currently we are in the process of working out a few ideas, one being designs for team t-shirts and other apparel. The other idea is a conglomeration of thoughts that has been thrown out over the past few weeks. A few posts back I had mentioned the idea of having a Cannonball fundraiser benefit in the spring to coincide with the opening of the new shop expansion. Well that idea has been tossed around for several months now, and recently Shawn and I had discussed the possibility of turning the small party into a big one-day event. Now keep in mind, this is a completely tentative set of ideas.

  The plan for the Cannonball Benefit would follow along something like this: Early in the morning, we sponsor a benefit ride in the local area. Now for most of you, who are probably unfamiliar to this, an average benefit ride usually attracts anywhere from 20-70 bikers (mostly on newer machines) who pay a small entrance fee (in this area, the norm seems to be about $15) in exchange for the opportunity to get out in the local community and do what they all love to do--ride their motorcycles. Benefit rides usually have a police escort and "out-riders" (Police or civilian bikers who are wearing reflective vests and fan out to block off street and highway intersections while the procession passes through) and generally make one or two stops at restaurants, bars, or other local businesses along the way. Our thought would be for the riders to leave early in the morning, and proceed on a to-be-determined route which would wind back up at the new shop sometime around the lunch hour. Most of these rides include a luncheon somewhere along the way, and that is where part two of the event would come into play.

  About the time that the riders are returning, lunch should be served. The plan is to do some sort of barbecue cookout (Texas-style, of course) or have the local high school JROTC serve lunch from their military surplus deuce-and-a-half truck and mobile kitchen unit. Meals would be for sale to the public, though riders who participated in the benefit run would receive a free lunch. Now, here in Texas, benefit events like this are usually accompanied by the following: food, alcohol, live entertainment, and an auction. Live music and an auction are definitely possibilities to be discussed. Pending logistics, the sale of alcoholic beverages would also be a good addition.

Onalaska JROTC's surplus military truck and kitchen
Military chow line, anyone?
 While everyone is enjoying the food, music and company, the new shop will be open for walk-throughs or tours. While we are always open to friends/family/neighbors, the public does not always get the opportunity to see the vintage collection. If I'm able to get it shipped here in time, our prominent bike to be displayed, of course would be the 1927 BSA S27. This way, people would have the opportunity to see my Cannonball partner up close (and have the opportunity to purchase team apparel or discuss sponsorship opportunities) and get an idea of what the event really is. Finally, the last idea to pull in the public would include a public bike show. In my experiences, most riders are eager to show off their machines. We usually tend to overwhelm a bike show when we show up with bits from the collection, so this would be an opportunity for a lot of the truly awesome customs, stock modified, or even stock bikes to come out and possibly pick up some awards. Our show could either be a people's choice, or we could bring in some judges. Either way, I think the show would attract some attention.

  It is my hope that the event brings out a lot of people- fellow vintage enthusiasts, local riders, and the general public who would be interested. Our team doesn't claim to be "hometown heroes" or anything of the sort, but we would love to get the support of our local community in this Cannonball quest. Like I said in the beginning, this whole event is just a series of tentative thoughts right now. With all of the events that would take place, it sounds like a great time for every one involved. Hopefully we could put something together to take place in the next two or three months (before the god-awful Texas summer heat arrives). Logistically speaking, the whole event would be a nightmare--but, that being said, I'm willing to undertake it if it would help raise some serious funds for the team. More on that in the coming weeks.

Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer # 3
Carson Classic Motors Race Team