Newport’s Chris “Cannonball” Knoop this week left Australia to compete in the Cannonball Run.
America’s coast-to-coast antique-motorcycle race attracts many wanting an adventure in the style of Hells Angels founder Sonny Barger on Donald Trump’s budget.
Entrants have included a wealthy Texan who was followed by an entourage hauling a luxury motor home complete with mobile bar.
This year, there’s Knoop, an unemployed metallurgist, who will be hauling little more than his ass.
Come September 10, Knoop will be the only Australian in the gruelling 15-day endurance race which covers 5317 kilometres from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Carlsbad, California.
“The entry requirement for this year’s race is that your motorcycle must be built before 1916, so every motorcycle entered is over 100 years old,” he said.
“It’s being promoted as the race of the century. There’s about 95 entries from nine countries. I’m still the only Australian entry.”
It will be his second time competing and he will be riding a 1914 1000cc V-twin Jap.
In 2012, he finished 58th out of 75.
Knoop says his V-twin Jap is lighter than his previous bike.
“It’s got no pedals,” he says.
“It’s basically just a ‘bump and jump’.
“I like the ability to take something that’s fairly broken and abstract and turn it into a thing of beauty that is reliable enough to compete in the hardest international event in the world for reliability and endurance.”