Cannonball Endurance Motorcycle Run Converges on Lamar


Back Out on the Road


Lamar is almost at the halfway point on the 3,800 mile, 2023 Cannonball Endurance Run for motorcycles.  Around 80 bikers, between the ages of 23 and 81 rode their machines into Lamar for a brief stopover which included a hamburger fry with all the trimmings, some cool shade from the trees in the Enchanted Forest and an opportunity to meet and greet some of the citizens of Lamar who turned out for the event.

Jason Sims, Director of Operations for the cross-country venture, said this run had a 50-50 split on newcomers and return riders.  “Our oldest rider, at 81, is making his seventh cross-country trip on his motorcycle, so for him, this is a true endurance test,” he explained, adding that none of the bikes used can be newer than 1933.

Local Food Crew

“This presents additional challenges for the riders in that their fuel tanks will only allow about a 70 to 80 mile trip before they need a fill-up, so almost all of them carry a small, spare tank and we plot the journey so there are some fuel stops along the route.  We average about 250 miles a day and a lot of that depends on the terrain and our roads.  The open spaces along Kansas and the mid-west allows us to cover more territory, but now that we’re entering the Rocky Mountain region, we expect that to be lowered somewhat,” he said.  He said that the riders will also change into warmer gear as they anticipate running into colder weather as they motor into higher elevations.  Those changes will run from between 6,500 to 11,500 feet which will put an additional strain on the single cylinder motors.  Every leg of the journey is accompanied by a small nursing team as well as mechanics and a repair truck which offers repairs.  However, there are some bikes that require more than roadside assistance as one team from Hungary approached Roger Stagner and Ron Cook about repairs for their bike which involved cylinder milling and where it might be done in Lamar, on a Sunday.

The journey began in Virginia Beach, VA on September 7th and will finish up on Oceanside, CA on the 24th.  The bikers mid-point in Lamar was between Garden City, KS where they spent an overnight and on to Colorado Springs for another evening.  Whether it was a daily requirement or just a mechanical need, but some of the older bikes required a one or two-person push along East Beech Street before their engine caught and they were about to maneuver on their own power.

Lots of Harley’s, Lots of Indians

“We stay off the large highways and concentrate on mostly two lane roadway systems.  This gives us an opportunity to see more of the countryside and come in contact with residents in smaller towns that are happy to turn out and learn about us and share some of their town’s history with the riders,” Sims offered.

By Russ Baldwin

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