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Cannonball Characters: #67 Bill Rodencal

By Felicia Morgan

#67 Bill Rodencal
1915 Harley-Davidson

The Motorcycle Cannonball is well known as a family of sorts as riders form bonds while struggling their way across the country on their ancient machines. For Bill Rodencal, a two-time Cannonball rider, he’s taken the word “family” much more literally. His homeschooled daughters, Cassidy and Willa, along with his wife Diane, accompanied Bill on the original 2010 adventure but for the 2016 iteration, the girls came along to follow their dad without mom. At 17, Cassidy was a new driver but the very mature and responsible young lady signed on as support crew for her dad. She took her duty of towing the support trailer seriously as her little sister was tasked with navigation and moral support while their father worked to keep the old Harley between the lines. On vacation from his busy job at the Harley-Davidson Museum as a “motorcycle embalmer,” the senior Rodencal shared tales from the road with his children in the pits each evening as the team meticulously maintained the motorcycle and prepared for the next day’s miles, but there were still breakdowns. Early on was a story of a failure that had him near a driveway when the homeowner came out to see what he could do to help. Frustrated, Bill told the farmer that his breakdown was catastrophic and that would be the end of his ride for the day but the benevolent gent shrugged and offered that he had a TIG welder if he needed it and Bill was welcome to use it if he knew how. Within minutes the broken bike was back on the road and the happy rider was right on time for the evening check-in. Whether the Rodencal clan will be along for the 2018 Cannonball is based on arranging time off from the very busy museum, but we’ve heard rumors… 

1915 Harley-Davidson, #67 Bill Rodencal Bill Rodencal and his family

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