Back at the end of April we told the story of the then upcoming transcontinental ride to commemorate the record 11 1/2 day crossing of the U.S. on a 7 hp Indian motorcycle by Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker. In the interest of following up and closing the loop here are just a few pictures from that event which began on May 3 in San Diego. Event organizer, and 1972 Daytona 200 winner, Don Emde was joined by 27 ocean-to-ocean riders.
Cannon Ball Centennial Ride organizer Don Emde and his Yamaha Super Tenere.
The first day on the road brought the group to California’s Imperial Dunes.
105 degree heat and soft sand challenged the Cannon Ball Centennial Riders but probably not as much as they challenged Cannon Ball Baker a hundred years earlier. This shot near Glamis, Ca.
More off road sections challenged on the 2nd and 3rd days of the trip, now in Arizona.
The Apache Trail through the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix is probably the least changed part of Baker’s original route.
US Route 60 between Globe and Show Low, Az near the Salt River Canyon.
Through the middle part of the 1800s The Santa Fe Trail was a key route for Westward expansion. In 1914 it provided Baker with a clearly marked trail for over a thousand miles.
Now east of the mountains, the riders’ world begins to flatten out into the Plains.
It may be flat, but it’s also pretty windy most days.
Cannon Ball Centennial riders entering Kansas.
After St. Louis Baker, and his 2014 followers, followed the Historic National Road (now generally marked as US-40) all the way through, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia, and into SW Pennsylvania.
In Ohio the group visited the AMA Hall of Fame Museum. Kind of a homecoming for a couple of riders (including trip leader Emde) who have been elected as Hall of Fame members.
Through much of Pennsylvania and on through New Jersey and into New York, Baker followed the famous Lincoln Highway.
Despite being a major trunk road, U.S. 30, or the Lincoln Highway, is a great riding road in the western half of Pa.
Over 3000 miles later. Cannon Ball Centennial Riders gather at the foot of Manhattan after their cross continent trek. With the Statue of Liberty in the background, Emde and the others hold a picture of Baker upon his arrival a century earlier, to the day.