My Godfather Norm Nelson has always been into motorcycles. As soon as I bought my 1981 Yamaha XS650 he suggested I race it in the vintage league with him. Over the years he has logged 100k+ miles on two wheels, probably more. He regularly goes for cross country motorcycle trips and is definately an iron butt rider. At one point he even owned a BMW motorcycle dealership.
This time he has really raised the bar. He is one of the riders in the Cannonball Endurance Run and is riding a 1928 BMW cross country from Florida to Oregon. The event saw 100+ riders at the start. Around 60 are still in the running as of the Golden Colorado stop. Norm is in 2nd place. I look forward to reading the news that he and support team made it all the way to the end.
Nikki, the kids, and my father and I all went to Golden to see the bikes arrive. Seeing these bikes driving around was really amazing. Seeing a bike in a museum is a rather flat one dimension experience. You can see the bike, thats it. But the Cannonball gets all these beautiful bikes out on the road. I was not only able to see the bikes, I was able to hear them, to smell them, and to watch them being ridden, as their makers had originally intended. To me, that is the ultimate testimate to a bike; not to be displayed in a museum but to be out there on the road putting on the miles.
The bikes ranged from beautifully restored to picked up off the barn floor and ridden. It was intriguing to see what the owners had chosen to do with the bikes. One owner clearly left the bike exactly as he found it... dusty, rusty, missing half the gas tank, fairing torn and tattered, but running and succeeding in a cross country race.
What a thrill to see all the bikes and it was a pleasure to see Norm as always.
By the way, I got my wife on camera saying that we need to get a side car motorcycle! Here is the proof I will call upon when I later buy said motorcycle under the guise of making her happy. I am a very considerate husband after all.
Download Norm Drives Off.mp4 (69.2MB)
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