was named after the first person to ever attempt it, Erwin "Cannonball"
challenge was to travel (by motor bike) across the USA, at the time a tremendously
difficult logistical endeavour because of the poor condition of some rural roads,
and the lack of availability of motor fuel, and food and drink for many long stretches.
public rallied to his cause and helped him plan his route and some even offered
to supply him with fuel in the more rural parts. To stop feeling thirsty, it is
reported that he put a pebble under his tongue.
set off on his journey from California on this day on his V-twin 1000cc Stutz
Indian motorcycle, heading east toward Yuma, Arizona.
just his second day he ran out of gas, and had to push the bike in a near 120
degree heat to Agua Caliente, Arizona.
was hampered by many elements along the way, including dogs which took a shine
to the rubber in his tyres.
managed to cover 3,379 miles in all, most of which he completed while standing
up because of the poor suspension on his bike.
was to become a national hero and probably change the way the public looked at
motorcycling for ever.