Canton man prepares for journey of a lifetime

Canton man prepares for journey of lifetime

- Riding across the country on a motorcycle sounds like a challenge, but imagine doing it on a bike that is 103 years old.  That is exactly what Steve Alexander from Canton is doing over the next two weeks as he participates in the Motorcycle Cannonball 2016.

So what is it, you ask? 

It is a multi-stage, multi-day, coast-to-coast motorcycle race from Atlantic City, New Jersey to Carlsbad, California that is bringing together antique motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world...emphasis on the word antique.

In 2016, it's being billed as 'The Century Race' or 'The Race of the Century', and there's a valid reason for that.  The competitors are required to ride motorcycles that are at least 100 years old.  Yes, you read that right, a more than 3,300 mile race across America on a bike that is older than a century.

Steve Alexander from Canton will be riding a 1913 Douglas, a twin cylinder British bike that doesn't even have a clutch (it was optional equipment in 1913).  The 21 cubic inch motor boasts almost three horsepower, and with the two-speed gear box, Alexander hope to find what he calls "the sweet spot", cruising from sea-to-shining-sea at about 40 MPH.

Why would an otherwise intelligent man subject himself to such an endeavor?  The reasons are many.

First of all, Alexander loves vintage motorcycles.  He also loves the personal challenge of completing all of the grueling miles.  But there's another reason that he hopes will keep him motivated on his journey, his team (Team #103, named after his 103 year old machine) is riding to raise awareness and money for Autism.  With a family member with ASD (Autism spectrum disorder), Alexander's life has been personally touched by the developmental disorder, and he hopes to help others in that situation.

To help offset the costs of his motorcycle "bucket list" endeavor, Alexander has set up a Go Fund Me Page, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Autism Awareness.  If you are interested in helping out, here is a link gofundme.com/cannonballrace.

The Motorcycle Cannonball Race begins on Saturday (9/10) and wraps up on Sunday (9/25).  If you would like to follow his progress, he will be blogging at cb103.wordpress.com/ all along the way.


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