CANNONBALL CHARACTERS: #96 DOUG JONES

By Felicia Morgan

1914 Indian Hedstrom

Our Dalton, Georgia entrant is a three-time competitor who embraced the Motorcycle Cannonball with every ounce of his being from the very start. After first hearing about the run in 2012, he set out to find a machine that would get him across this great nation and with the help of his sturdy 1929 Indian 101 Scout, he managed a perfect score and ranked ninth in the 2014 run. Not too shabby for a first time effort. He knew he was hooked and immediately signed up again, but the 2016 run would prove to be more of a challenge. The second adventure included a trip back in time to an earlier machine that came with a few more difficulties. His Class II Indian Hedstrom was a 1914 single speed twin and caused Doug some trouble from the beginning, with brakes being a constant problem through the mountains. The cure entailed the chore of adding new brake material each night, which kept man and machine on the road, but still he struggled to make all the miles. Even so, Doug graciously helped others, even loaning a spare magneto to a fellow rider in need. Towards the end of the run, the old bike’s clutch bearing was complaining loudly and the machine gave up just 28 miles shy of the finish line. Though disappointed, Doug was still proud of the accomplishment of running an all-original 1914 Indian for 2,702 of 3,300 miles.

For the 2018 run, Doug and his crew tackled the Portland-to-Portland challenge with the same sweet Indian that he rode in 2016. The old gal struggled hard and kept her rider on edge, but she never missed a day on the road despite creeping into Sturgis for a day of rest after a tense ride that included two broken intake valves, a stuck exhaust valve, and a leaking fuel tank. Doug repaired an intake manifold with a Mountain Dew can and ran out of gas before blowing a head 60-miles from the finish that day. Needless to say, the day of rest was anything but. The team #96 crew, consisting of friend Mike Podger, Doug and his wife Patty, tore into the old Indian and by the next day Doug hit the road with a newly rebuilt engine. The crew worked hard to keep the Hedstrom on the road every day of the run and in that they were successful, but the final score was 224-miles short of perfect, with a hard-earned total of 3,217. Still, not a bad ride for a 104-year old machine.

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