Three local men a part of cross country adventure
Three local men are preparing for an adventure that most people never experience. Kelly Modlin, Bill Page, and Billy Page will be departing at the end of this month to participate in the Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run 2018.
This will be the fourth year for Modlin, businessman and creator/owner of the Twisted Oz Motorcycle Museum, to participate in the Cannonball Run. For Page, who owns the local business The Barn Guys with his son, Billy, it will be his second run. The younger Page has accompanied his dad before, but this will be his first year as a rider.
Riding only motorcycles made before 1929, on Sept. 8, about 100 riders (five from Kansas) will depart Portland, Maine heading for the Pacific Ocean, Portland, Ore. The motorcycles, of any make or model, and the riders will experience all sorts of weather and road conditions en route on this 3,750 mile endurance ride. Antique brakes and electrical systems, magnetos are challenged and repairs are made on the roadside or at overnight stops where riders may work until dawn.
With 12 hours of daylight, riders will average around 250 miles per day, culminating in approximately 3,750 miles. All bikes will run the same route in an allotted time schedule. Motorcycles will need to maintain at least 43-50 mph on straight, flat roads. The race is expected to conclude on Sept. 23.
Modlin will be riding his 1927 Indian Chief and the Page father-son team will both be riding 1916 Harley Davidson, all twin cylinder bikes.
Modlin and the elder Page have known each other for 30+ years, having met during military service, and have shared a passion for hot rods and motorcycles.
“We’ve seen a lot of the world together,” said Bill.
The Modlin and Page kids - and grandkids- have enjoyed being around motorcycles, too. Billy’s first bike was a 1984 Yamaha and was later given to the Modlin kids to ride. The Yamaha is still running and is back with the Page family for a grandson to enjoy.
It’s easy to see why the local men are drawn to the Cannonball Run and the experience of pulling together in the “man against the miles” battle of skill and sometimes luck.
“It’s all about the adventure and the friendships. We make new friends and see the old ones. We all share the same interests,” Modlin explained.
Bill and Billy Page will load up their bikes and travel to Maine via truck, while Modlin plans to ride his bike from Augusta to Portland, Maine, adding more time and miles to the total experience of a cross country adventure.
The riders will leave Maine and travel through New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, on their way to Portland, Ore. Attaining the goal of reaching the destination will be foremost in their minds, but the journey is the true reward.
Check for updates from the local participants during the Cannonball Run on the Twisted Oz Motorcycle Museum’s Facebook page.