Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Texas-Style Welcome

The thing about this hobby that I enjoy more than anything is the friendships that come from fellow enthusiasts. Over the years, we have been lucky enough to meet hundreds of incredible people in the vintage motorcycle world and the memories and stories that come from those interactions have been astounding. One of my favorite things while doing motorcycle shows is to talk to people who come to check out the machines.

  There always seems to be one person who stands next to one of the bikes for a prolonged period of time, examining every bit and staring into space with a smile. I always make a point of going up to talk to those people, and usually they tell me wonderful stories about how that model was their first motorcycle, or was in their family since new. Sometimes, people will give me leads on barn finds-- nothing is more thrilling than opening up a shed door and seeing a veteran motorcycle resting peacefully under some straw, waiting to be brought back to life.

  Anyway, all of the misty-eyed nostalgia aside, my point is that wonderful people and great friendships seem to revolve around the vintage motorcycle world. The Motorcycle Cannonball is an excellent example; the group of people involved are all like me-- insane, right? Just a quick look at the first Cannonball Run will show dozens of examples of people from all walks of life joining together to endeavour through a continental journey. I should add, not only from all walks of life, but from all over the world. With the international group of riders entered into the 2012 event, an interesting group of characters and personalities is sure to follow.

  All of this being said, why have I delved in to this subject? Up to this point, the Carson Classic Motors racing team had been set to host Ken Ashton and Mike Wild of the Roaring Rudges race team from the United Kingdom. Well, my friends, we can now add another international member to the camp. Chris Knoop (#16) from Australia and his "Southern Cross" team will be joining along with us. The team's selected motorcycle is a 1925 JAP (Dubbed "The Invincible Jap") 1000cc V-Twin with sidecar. Chris and his team are making substantial progress on building their machine, and have built a wicker sidecar body for the Goulding sidecar.

1000 cc V Twin JAP setup: A thing of beauty

Wicker sidecar body for the Goulding---How cool is that?

  The Southern Cross team will have two riders: Chris Knoop, and Ian Lihou. The interesting thing about this is that Chris and Ian were originally unaware of each other. As Vice President of the Williamstown Motorcycle Club, Ian had originally contacted the Cannonball group to express his interest in helping out. Lonnie then forwarded his information to Chris in Australia, and guess what? Ian lives about 5 streets away; how's that for a small world? Also tagging along will be Christina Hemphill, Chris's partner. According to Chris, Christina is "not a rider, though loves the sidecars (not comfortable on pillion


Chris Knoop
Christina Hemphill
Ian Lihou

A huge welcome to Chris and his team, and we greatly look forward to some wonderful memories along the journey of a lifetime. I hope they're ready for the roller coaster ride of a lifetime-us Texas cowboys like to act up a bit! Follow along on Chris's build and preparations at http://cksamericanadventures.blogspot.com/

Buck Carson
Confirmed Cannonballer # 3
Carson Classic Motors Race Team

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