Monday, September 27, 2010
In category 1, the most 'primitive' form of motorcycling - no gears, no clutch, just an engine, and a belt connecting a pully on the crankshaft and the rear wheel - was Katrin Boehner on her 1907 JAP 250cc single. The JAP itself is an extremely rare motorcycle, as J.A. Prestwich and Co. produced motorcycles for a very brief moment before WW1, before concentrating entirely on engine production.
As the JAP is direct-drive and clutchless, Katrin had to 'kill' her engine at every stop, and run-and-bump the JAP into life when the traffic lights turned green. To stir your imagination; on the final run into Santa Monica, the Cannonball route passed through 55 stoplights, without a police escort to scoot them through non-stop. Needless to say, after 3300 miles of such antics, Katrin is in excellent physical condition! (The JAP is one of only two overhead valve machines on the ride - the other being a Pope single-cylinder.) She won the top Cannonball prize, well deserved, of a one-off Jeff Decker sculpture of 'Cannonball' Baker himself. Bravo Katrin!
Bradford Wilmarth won category 2 on his 1913 Excelsior, and Rick McMaken and his 1915 Harley Davidson won the multi-gear award - both received original artwork related to Cannonball history. Congratulations to all!