1914 Harley-Davidson

If there is ever an official Good Will Ambassador of Antique Motorcycling, the charming and convivial Victor Boocock would certainly qualify. The California resident came to America from England in 1964 but he and his wife of over 46-years, also an England native, planned to return to their homeland after retirement. That doesn’t seem to have worked out. “We’ve had such a great time here we just keep putting it off and putting it off,” the cheerful Boocock chuckled, but in 2008 they made plans to return home so Victor mapped out ride, a Cannonball Baker route as his “Farewell to America.” It was to be a personal, introspective journey spent quietly making his way across the land he’d come to love. In the spring of 2010, the seasoned rider set off alone from New York, pointing his front wheel towards San Francisco with no publicity or support. As a matter of fact, his wife was the only one who knew where he was and that was only through sporadic calls when cell service allowed. The trip took its toll on both man and beast, but the pair arrived on the West coast intact. Victor was already registered to ride in the inaugural 2010 Cannonball that fall, but by the time he’d made the personal cross-country trip, his geriatric motorcycle was exhausted and required extensive repairs. As riders took the green flag from New York in the fall of 2012, however, Victor and his faithful machine were ready to across the continent once more. And then disaster struck. For over 30 years Victor rode his 1914 with clincher tires but on day two of the 2012 Cannonball, a newly mounted tire simply rolled off the rim and wrapped itself like a snake around the frame. The rubber had to be cut off with a saw. “It was really scary. When those tires come off, they come off right now,” Victor explained. He flew home the next day, suffering road rash and muscle tears that required surgery. As riders set off for the 2014 Cannonball, Victor rode again and was plagued with tire trouble immediately. And the same two years later for the 2016, but he crossed the finish line in his home state with a perfect score. Victor will celebrate his 76th birthday in September of 2018 while on the road with another pack of diehard Cannonballers. 



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