The Cannonball is coming

COURTESY PHOTO On July 17, Huron will be among the stops on a Scooter Cannonball coast-to-coast challenge. Pictured are participants in the 2018 ride at one of the stops.

HURON — The city of Huron is about to inundated by nearly 100 bikers, riding in a coast-to-coast challenge. On scooters.

Yes, that’s right, scooters.

The 2021 version of the Scooter Cannonball will make an overnight stop in Huron on Saturday, July 17, after the Fair City was chosen as one of the 10 control checkpoints for the event that begins July 12 in Bar Harbor, Maine.

In addition to the 10 control checkpoints that are also overnight stays, riders will need to hit a total of 76 other checkpoints along the route. Huron’s control checkpoint is at 373 Wisconsin Ave., S.W.

Participation is limited to scooters with an engine displacement of less than 280cc, so these are not the average scooter buzzing around town for a quick trip to the store.

Scooters must satisfy at least three of the of the following five conditions — they must have unit construction of engine, transmission and rear swing arm; the wheels can be no larger than 10 inches, the scooters must have a step-through style frame or it must have been part of the original equipment, it must be originally equipped with running boards or leg shield and have a single-cylinder engine.    

A check of the Scooter Cannonball website (https://scootercannonballrun.com) shows that a broad selection of different scooters are registered for this year’s event, with a heavy leaning toward Vespas, some of which boast a 278cc engine, which can generate 22 horsepower and cruise at 80 mph.

While the object is to travel the 4,500-mile route from Maine to Eureka, Calif., in the 10-day period, the Scooter Cannonball is not a race.

Riders are awarded points based on their ability to ride and navigate their scooter to predefined checkpoints each day. The Scooter Cannonball began in 2004 and has been held every two years, until COVID forced cancellation of the ride. As of May, approximately 180 riders had registered.

Each day riders start and end at a predetermined hotel location. In-between they travel along a common route to mandatory checkpoint locations and visit optional bonus locations.

Points are awarded completing each segment and claiming bonus locations. To be awarded points the rider must provide photographic and/or GPS location data as proof that they arrived at the designated location.

Winning requires navigational accuracy, eliminating mechanical breakdowns, accurate fuel planning, and general traveling efficiently for 10 days to almost 100 checkpoints across America’s back roads.

A rider’s ability to navigate between checkpoints efficiently is critical to earning points in this event, and riders are responsible for their own navigation planning.

Failure to satisfy the logging requirements at each location results in zero points awarded.

There is a recommended route each day that is defined by mandatory checkpoints, however the roads riders decide to take to arrive at these checkpoints is entirely up to them.

A rider’s ability to navigate between checkpoints efficiently is critical to earning points in this event.

Navigation directions provided by the event are considered to be advisory only. Riders are responsible for their own navigation planning.

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