A simply act of small-town friendliness and some casual conversation is bringing a coast-to-cost event to Graettinger next Tuesday afternoon. The 2012 Cannonball Motorcycle Run, a coast-to-coast ride of classic and vintage motorcycles, will make a rest stop on Robins Street down town around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
So how did Graettinger end up on the route of a motorcycle ride across the United States?
Simple. A few friendly words did the trick.
"This gentleman came into the store earlier this Spring one morning, and I?just said good morning and started chatting with him,"?explained Denise Flaherty, Manager of the Graettinger Country Store. "As we visited, I?asked what brought him to Graettinger, and he explained that he was planning the route for the Cannonball Baker Motorcycle trip across the country. I thought it would be a neat thing to see these old motorcycles and asked him if they would come through town, and the rest is history."
Flaherty's chat with route organizer John Classen resulted in the riders making their stop in front of the River Valley Telecommunications office next Tuesday afternoon. The riders and their classic motorcycles will spend about an hour in Graettinger, allowing the public to look over the vintage motorcycles participating in the ride across the United States.
On Tuesday, the riders will be making a noon stop in Mason City as they head for their overnight stop at Spirit Lake. The stopover in Graettinger is right on the route, and through Flaherty's small town friendliness, the riders will stop to return the courtesy.
The Cannonball Baker Motorcycle Ride is named in memory of E.G. Baker, a Superintendent for motorcycle testing for the United States Tire company in the early 1900's.
Baker rose to notoriety when he made a solo, trans-continental ride on an Indian motorcycle. Baker departed from San Bernadino, California and made the treacherous journey of 3,378.9 miles in 11 days, 12 hours and 10 minutes.
The 2012 trip to honor Cannonball Baker will begin in Newburgh, New York at the American Motorcycle Museum, and will travel 3,956 miles and finish on the Pacific Coast Highway in San Francisco 17 days later.
The public is invited to stop in Graettinger on Tuesday afternoon around 3 p.m. to view the 85 vintage motorcycles that will be participating in the Cannonball Motorcycle Run.
"I'm so excited that they're going to stop. I?never dreamed that we'd be able to see something like this in our little town,"?Flaherty said.