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Cannonball Characters: #29 Ryan Allen

#29 Ryan Allen
1916 Indian Powerplus

The 2016 Cannonball was not the first go-round for the gregarious rider #29, Ryan Allen. The New Mexico native cool kid had ridden a 1929 Indian Scout in the 2014 run so he was well aware of what to expect for the next iteration, all except for the part about riding a machine more than a decade older than the first bike and over a route some 600 miles longer than his previous transcontinental run. He found himself wondering what would break first, the man or the machine. Motorcycles built 100 years ago are cantankerous and Ryan knew that, but was philosophical about it all. He made his machine sound and mused at the juxtaposition of traveling in modern society on a relic. He arrived in Atlantic City with as many contingency plans as one can amass when staring down a 17-day road trip on a century-old time capsule. One couldn’t help but admire the unique and intriguing appearance of his personalized motorcycle. There was something about the old Indian that would radiate an aura of dignity, which instilled a sense of reverence any time anyone was near it. “Come here,” Ryan invited. “Come run your hand along the paint over here. You can feel it’s raised? That’s my Aunt’s ashes. Here’s my Dad, and his riding buddy. Their ashes are all mixed in with the paint. I figure with all of them riding with me, looking after me, nothing bad can happen, right?” The word “Ghost” is eerily etched into the headlamp lens. The typically irreverent and jovial architect suddenly becomes somber as he takes a moment to respect his family. “They’re all right here with me, every mile of the way.” Allen is known as a fun-loving smartass; you know, that cool guy that everyone wants to be friends with. As the father of two young children who were on hand to cheer as he rolled across the finish line in California, he views the Cannonball adventure as an opportunity to pass lessons on to his children about starting what you finish. He’s told his son that nomatter how difficult the challenge, a man gives his all and does his best to succeed. As for 2018, the Indian apparition will once again carry Ryan and his clan across America’s scenic back roads and we all look forward to watching his shenanigans

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