Motorcycle Cannonball Run ends trek on SPI

Motorcycle Cannonball riders traverse the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway on Sept. 26, finishing their 17-day, nearly-4,000 mile journey across the country on pre-1930 motorcycles. Photo courtesy of Motorcycle Cannonball, taken by Melissa Shoemaker.

By Gaige Davila

The 10th annual Motorcycle Cannonball Run ended on South Padre Island this past weekend, with nearly a hundred riders cruising their 100-year-old machines through the Queen Isabella Causeway to victory. 

Starting in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, on the Canadian border, 88 riders, some dressed in early 1900s garb, departed to Texas in a 17-day, 3,389 mile journey, all on motorcycles made in 1929 or earlier. 

Photo by Gaige Davila.

The group made two stops in the Rio Grande Valley before cruising to SPI: San Benito, at Mad Boar Harley-Davidson, and McAllen, at Desperado Harley-Davison, in their last 99-mile leg of the run.

When the riders got to South Padre Island, specifically to the South Padre Island Convention Centre, they were welcomed by their teams and motorcycle enthusiasts. 

Dave Currier, #64, from Fargo, North Dakota, was the first to arrive, on his 1911 Harley-Davidson 7A. His first place finish is impressive: the Harley-Davidson 7A is a single-belt drive, 4 horsepower machine, closer to a bicycle than a motorcycle. 

“I think this has been the toughest ride of my life,” Currier said on Motorcycle Cannonball’s live stream of the finish line. “We’ve been through torrential rains, all kinds of wind, difficulties, (but) the bike ran superb.” 

Dave Currier alongside his Harley-Davidson 7A after placing 1st in the Motorcycle Cannonball. Photo by Gaige Davila.

As riders finished their run, their parked bikes became an impromptu, outdoor museum to early American motorcycles: vintage Harleys, Indians, Nortons, Excelsiors, Hendersons, even a 1926 Ner-a-car and a 1928 BMW.

This year’s run concluded later that night at Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill, where rally organizers hosted an award ceremony for the riders. 

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