Sunday, March 4, 2012

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

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