Sunday, June 22, 2014

WIN A RIDE ON THE CANNONBALL?

Only one week left to enter far your chance to win the Cannonball Golden Ticket raffle 
In one week, Matt Olsen, specialist extraordinaire of Harley Knuckleheads (along with his father), will announce the winner of his raffle for an all-expense paid seat aboard his 1936 H-D EL Knucklehead on the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Rally.  Called the 'Cannonball Golden Ticket' raffle, the grand prize winner will have full use of Matt's personal Knuck, which has been thoroughly sorted and is extremely reliable.  The winner will also have Matt's services during the rally to keep the bike running well - basically all the winner needs to do is show up at Daytona with a helmet and a motorcycle license on Sep.4th, and go riding for 17 days across the USA, to Tacoma Washington.
Matt Olsen's ultra-reliable 1936 H-D Knucklehead, which some lucky rider will take across the USA with full support, and all expenses paid...
The Cannonball rally filled up its 100 available rider slots within two days of the announcement of the rally dates, and Real Riders from around the world are banging on organizer Lonnie Isam's door in hopes of getting a slot in case of a cancellation...and now the waiting list is as long as the entry list! Put simply, even if you wanted to ride the Cannonball this year, unless you got Lonnie's email blast and responded immediately, you're S.O.L.  The 'Golden Ticket' is the most likely way someone will gain entry on the ride, and what a way to do it - to have the motorcycle, maintenance, and all your expenses (hotels, meals, fuel, even your flight to Daytona from anywhere in the world) paid for if you win the Grand Prize.
Michael Lichter's photo of 2012 Cannonball riders Sean Duggan and Bill Buckingham riding through Wyoming through the Grand Tetons.  The Cannonball is epic, and the toughest vintage motorcycle ride in the world.
Matt Olsen conceived of this idea as the rules of the 2014 Cannonball include motorcycles built before 1937, which means only owners of the first-year model of Harley's first OHV twin-cylinder production bike, the model EL Knucklehead, are eligible.  First-year 'Knucks' are incredibly collectible (one sold in Las Vegas earlier this year for over $150k) and rare, and Matt would in any other year simply hop on his bike and go.  But this year, he and wife Britney have a new baby, so Matt decided to participate in the Cannonball in a different way, by offering his bike to a stranger.  He decided a raffle was the only way to recoup the considerable expense of participating in the Cannonball (I estimated the expenses of my 2012 Cannonball at $14,000, plus full month of late night bike rebuilding beforehand), so is selling 'Golden Tickets' for $500 each.  As of this date, less than 15 people have signed up, so the chances of winning are excellent.  And if you think $500 is a lot to spend on a chance for a 3-week vintage motorcycle holiday with all your expenses paid, you shouldn't enter.  I support Matt in keeping the bar high - after all, he's got to spend 3 weeks with a stranger who's riding his bike.  Would you want some random Joe who spent $1 or $20 on an off chance, or someone who Really wants to do the Cannonball, and will risk $500 for the opportunity.  Makes sense to me.
Michael Lichter photo of yours truly blasting my 1928/33 Velocette Mk4 KTT through the Rockies; all the mechanical trouble I experienced was worth 1000 miles of riding like this...
There's a second place winner spot in the raffle too; an all-expense paid trip to Milwaukee for personal tour of the H-D museum and archives, which was donated by the Harley Museum itself. As you can see, Matt has generated a lot of goodwill in the past, and shown his bike-building skills with his 'Born Free 4' winning custom Knucklehead.  He says of the H-D he'll loan out for the Cannonball, "I have owned it for over ten years and ridden it and pushed it to its limits.   It is the oldest Harley Davidson to complete an Iron Butt Run, and the oldest bike to do it with a passenger.  I am comfortable in saying that it is the only bike that will be running the Cannonball in September that has been ridden 24 hours straight and  gone 1100 miles in less that 24 hours. Even though a '36 EL is over 75 years old, it performs like a new bike, and holds up really well.  Whoever wins the Cannonball Golden Ticket will have 2 of the best weeks of their life."
The 'wet plate' print included in every Golden Ticket entry was made by Susan McLaughlin and me (MotoTintype.com) exclusively for Matt Olsen, in support of his Cannonball raffle
All entrants get some groovy swag, including a 'wet plate' print taken by yours truly (with Susan McLaughlin of MotoTintype.com) of a Harley Knucklehead on a dirt road in Marin County.  This shot, and the print, were made exclusively for Matt, to support his generous loan of his personal machine to a stranger, so they can experience the remarkable Motorcycle Cannonball.

Go to the Cannonball Golden Ticket website to enter, and I recommend you do!  It's the ride of a lifetime, and one person out of a small batch of entrants will be very lucky indeed.

4 comments:

David Blasco said...

The whole thing is amazing, beyond words. $14,000! And you already owned the bike. If you won this contest you'd be a very very lucky man except that then you'd have to actually do it. My hat's off. God Speed, all. I will be watching -- from my easy chair.

The Vintagent said...

$14,000 and I spent 3 solid weeks stripping down and rebuilding my bike beforehand, and several full days trying to modify a replacement cam until I got to Sturgis. Everyone who successfully rides the Cannonball spends a lot of time doing prep and maintenance, unless you're just very lucky! And some were - like the young fellow who bought an Indian 101 Scout off Craigslist, did some repairs, and made it all the way...

I envy the winner of this raffle...and I'm riding a Brough Superior! But I won't have a Brough specialist alongside to do my repairs...

Lindsay Brooke said...

Hi, Paul,

Better add the word "twin" to your comment about the EL Knuck being Harley's first OHV...that honor goes to the little "B" model 350 ohv singles built in the late 1920s/early '30s, from which the famous Peashooter dirt racer sprung.

Cheers,
Lindsay Brooke

The Vintagent said...

Right you are, Lindsay! I've changed the text...