Cannonball Characters: Jon E. Neuman #99

By Felicia Morgan

1928 H-D JD

Cannonball Characters: Jon E. Neuman #99

This Texas rider joined the Cannonball in 2014 and, like most others who have made the run, has developed an addiction for the excitement of the challenge. When asked what he likes about the endurance run, his answer comes with a grin. “The Cannonball is, for me, a fiscal and mental challenge. Can I go 17 days mistake-free?” He’s logged two perfect scores on his well-built, reliable bikes and is expected to do the same for the 2018. As the owner of Sagebrush Cycles, where he specializes in 1915-1936 Harleys but has worked on all brands with machines as old and rare as a 1904 Rex, Jon is deeply involved in the mechanics of the run since he has done engine work on several of the competitors’ bikes as well as keeping his own dependable machines on the road. His sage word of advice to anyone who tackles the grueling race is simple: “Ride your own Cannonball. Don’t worry about anyone or anything else.”

Numo, as his friends call him, is famous for his sense of humor and ability to laugh his way through most challenges and life is always an adventure when you look at the glass as being half full. In 2016 his gas tank developed a leak and needed to be soldered. With no practical way to clean the gas out of the tank, the heuristic guy took advantage of the fountain in front of his hotel to rinse the leaker. Needless to say, he finished out the run just fine but jokingly suggested to bystanders that they not drink the water after several dunkings. During the 2014 he was pulled over for speeding while riding with another Cannonballer. Regulations for the competition clearly state that if you receive a traffic citation during the race, you are immediately disqualified, a rule that both riders were well aware of. As they waited for the officer to approach them, Jon’s buddy suggested he leave the talking to him since his dad was a cop and he felt he knew the correct verbiage to get them out of a ticket. It worked and Jon rode off with a warning to watch his speed, which is tough to do when you’re riding an old bike that wants to stretch its legs along the back roads. Jon will pilot a different machine again this fall and you can bet his adventure will be remarkable. His teammate is #25, Joe Burch, with support coming from past Cannonballer Scott Byrd and Jesse Law, and Doc and Karen McCormick will be manning the support gear booth for the Team White Trash. And yes, they have gotten a good amount of crap for their tongue-in-cheek name.

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