Just before midnight on May 14, 1914, a ferryboat departed from Weehawken, New Jersey, and chugged along in the darkness across the Hudson River to Manhattan. On board was a tired-looking rider with an equally tired-looking motorcycle. The boat landed at 10 minutes past midnight, and there to greet him were representatives from the Federation of American Motorcyclists, the nation’s major motorcycle sanctioning organization. What they knew was that this rider, Erwin G. Baker, had just completed the fastest transcontinental trip in American history. Baker’s journey of 3,497 miles had taken him 11 and a half days. And, oh, what an incredible 11 and a half days it was! After leaving San Diego on May 3 he rode coast to coast, averaging only four hours sleep each night. Danger seemed to await him at every turn. In the Arizona desert, he ran out of gas and had to push his motorcycle 5 miles in the sand in 119-degree heat. When he got to New Mexico he hit some rainy weather, which turned the historic Santa Fe Trail into a deep mud bog. He suffered six flat tires once on the same day, which he had to repair with the tools he carried with him, and in Pennsylvania he rode 232 miles of mud in a steady downpour. Despite all this, Baker continued east as fast as he could legally go. When he landed on Manhattan, he had smashed the current record holder’s long-standing record by more than nine days. His amazing journey concluded at the Hotel Astor in New York City, where he was met by journalists wanting to get the story. One shouted out that he had “shot across the country like a cannon ball.” He was forevermore Cannon Ball Baker! In 2011, Don Emde, a former winner of the prestigious Daytona 200 motorcycle race and 1999 Inductee to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, embarked on a multiyear project to understand the riding conditions and retrace the route that Cannon Ball Baker had taken in 1914. Using modern day computer search tools, GPS, and current adventure-style motorcycles, he and an assistant, Joe Colombero, logged numerous miles in the California and Arizona desert to work out what remains of the dirt roads that Baker had ridden. Their research ultimately took them on a ride all the way to New York City on the same route that Baker had taken. Their discoveries and difficulties is a great story in itself. Finally, in 2014, Emde led a group of 30 motorcyclists on a celebration ride from San Diego to New York City, just as Baker had done a century before. The group departed on May 3—100 years to the minute from when Cannon Ball had left San Diego—and arrived in New York just as he had on May 14. This is the story of three epic motorcycle rides across America.
Author: Don Emde
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This book tells the incredible rags-to-riches story of one of the world's greatest motorcycle racers. Rising from humble beginnings in 1930s London to win six world titles, Jim Redman is one of the most extraordinary characters in Grand Prix history and a true legend of motorcycle racing. After migrating to South Africa, he started his racing career in the mid-1950s, and in 1964 he won three World Championships in a single day, a feat to this day matched only by Mike Hailwood.
During the mid-1960s, Redman was THE man to beat on track, but a bad crash at the '66 Belgian GP ended his racing career. Following this, he was involved in a number of business ventures -- including helping his two sons with their own successful sports careers, and owning a champion sire racehorse -- until, in 1995, he once again took up a career in racing as a Classic Racer and Demonstration Rider.
Author: Jim Redman
This illustrated official biography explores the life of the most successful racing motorcyclist in the 107-year history of the Isle of Man TT races.
In this classic book, written in association with the Dunlop family and originally published a year after Joey's death, Mac McDiarmid charts the life of the passionate motorcycle road racer who competed for the love of the sport, whether at high-profile races or to promote humbler events such as the Estonian one that claimed his life in July 2000. His achievements included three hat tricks at the Isle of Man TT races (1985, 1988 and 2000), where he won a record 26 races in total, as well as 24 wins in the Ulster Grand Prix and 13 in the North West 200 in his native Northern Ireland. For motorcycle fans, Joey Dunlop is still akin to royalty.
Author: Mac McDiarmid
Leanings 3 contains stories and observations from one of America's best motorcycle journalists. Peter Egan's writing invites you to pull up a chair, pour a little scotch, and relax while he shares with you his tales from the road, his motorcycling philosophy, and his keen observations about the two-wheeled life. His columns and feature articles are among Cycle World's most anticipated each month. Egan's legions of fans know they will always leave his articles with a fresh perspective. Leanings 3 offers a fresh collection of Egan's motorcycle musings delivered in his signature wise but amusing style. For added perspective, each feature article is preceded by fresh commentary from the author. This is an unforgettable collection of the works of a master writer whose simple adventures of life remind us all why we love to ride.
Author: Peter Egan, Cycle World
Even 30 years after his death, Steve McQueen remains a cultural icon. His image continues to appear in advertising and pop culture and his fan base spans from car lovers to racing enthusiasts to motorcycle obsessives. In his movies, McQueen's character always had an envy-inducing motorcycle or car, but in his personal life, motorcycles were always McQueen's first true love. McQueen's Motorcycles focuses on the bikes that the King of Cool raced and collected.
From the first Harley McQueen bought when he was an acting student in New York to the Triumph "desert sleds" and Huskys he desert raced all over California, Mexico, and Nevada, McQueen was never without a stable of two wheelers. His need for speed propelled him from Hollywood into a number of top off-road motorcycle races, including the Baja 1000, Mint 400, Elsinore Grand Prix, and even as a member of the 1964 ISDT team in Europe. Determined to be ahead of the pack, McQueen maintained his body like it was a machine itself. He trained vigorously, weight lifting, running, and studying martial arts. Later in his life, as he backed away from Hollywood, his interests turned to antique bikes and he accumulated an extensive collection, including Harley-Davidson, Indian, Triumph, Brough Superior, Cyclone, BSA, and Ace motorcycles.
Today, McQueen still has the Midas touch; anything that was in the man's possession is a hot commodity. McQueen's classic motorcycles sell for top dollar at auctions, always at a multiple of what the same bike is worth without the McQueen pedigree. McQueen's Motorcycles reveals these highly sought-after machines in gorgeous photography and full historical context.
Author: Matt Stone
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This book traces Peter Starr's personal journey as he made some of the most acclaimed, award-winning motorcycle films, and the accompanying DVD vividly illustrates his contribution to the world of motorcycle racing. A golden era is explored, examined and preserved in 272 pages and more than 500 photographs as this behind-the-scenes book looks at how history was made in races all over the United States and Europe from 1973 to 1993. The compendium 60-minute DVD features Speed TV's Brian Drebber interviewing Starr, who discusses key aspects of his work and shares clips from the more than 40 films he made … including the famous scenes of Kenny Robert's return to the Mile Dirt tracks in 1985 and Mike Hailwood's return to the Isle of Man in 1977. Spend some time with this book and DVD and enjoy learning about a lifetime's body of work, whose subjects read like a "who's who" of motorcycling from this amazing time: Kenny Roberts, Mike Hailwood, Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, Freddie Spencer, Roger DeCoster, Russ Collins, Barry Sheene, Steve Baker, David Bailey, Bob Hannah, Marty Smith, Jay Springsteen, Ricky Graham, Bubba Shobert, Scotty Parker, Gary Scott, Bruce Penhall and a cast of thousands.
Author: Peter Starr
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