Cannonball Characters: #13 Dean Bordigioni

By Felicia Morgan

1914 Harley-Davidson Single Belt Drive

Cannonball rider #13 is a Harley dealership owner turned California founder/owner of a winery who has been a four-time competitor of the endurance run and has been a very visible figure in the overall history of the run. Having won Class II in 2014, the first-ever Spirit of the Cannonball award issued by founder Lonnie Isam Jr. himself in 2016 as well as the 2016 Class I award, the California vintner was already quite accomplished before he set off from Portland, Maine, this past September. Being the competitive athlete that he is, Bordigioni determinedly headed for Portland, Oregon, with winning on his mind. And win he did. Dean is the very first Class I rider in the history of the run to ever make all the miles, and while he was just one of 45 riders who successfully labored across all of the 3,441 miles of the arduous route to meet the checkered flag with a perfect score, his was the oldest machine to do so and, consequently, he won the 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball.

In 2016 Dean entered this same machine in the race from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Carlsbad, California, and arrived at the West Coast finish just one mile shy of a perfect score. He immediately announced that he would compete no more, but time has a way of easing letdowns. For this year’s run, the leader of Team Vino had a change of heart and made a public confession on his Motorcycle Cannonball website profile page that the Cannonball has become a bit of a disease. “We’re not sure there’s a cure for the Cannonball bug, other than to saddle up and do it again, so we’ll be anxious to see what Dean’s plans for the 2020 will be. But for this year, a hearty congratulations to the guy who didn’t give up!

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