New LA to NY Solo Cannonball Motorcycle Record Now Stands at 38H49M

Carl Reese on his BMW K1600GT 3 photos
Photo: Carl Reese on Twitter
Carl ReeseCarl Reese
The "cannonball" record for crossing the US that stood for more than three decades was blown to smithereens. California-based Carl Reese set a new benchmark others who want to have their names written in the record books must fight against... and it won't be easy.
Cross-continent rides have been the object of multiple records during the 20th century, and from the initial 11-day crossing to the last record that stood for 33 years, such tasks have been undertaken by countless riders. Crossing the US from LA to NY solo is a grueling task even inside a car, so you can imagine how much worse things are on two wheels.

However, Reese, who is no stranger to such rider or record-breaking undertakings, can be compared to the original Cannonball. Erwin "Cannonball" Baker is the only man in history that holds more cross-country records than Reese, and that may even change in the future.

Carl Reese set no less than six records in seven months last year, and the Guinness World Record for the shortest charging time from Los Angeles to New York City in an electric vehicle is also among his accolades. However, between Baker's 11 days in the saddle of an Indian and Reese's 38 hours and 48 minutes astride a BMW K1600GT is a huge difference.

Reese abandoned all stimulants before the run, including coffee, tea and sugar to get his body used to what fatigue really means

With experience in cross-continent travels, Reese knew that this particular ride would be far more difficult than anything he had done before.

His preparation included cutting off an intake of stimulants, such as coffee, tea or sugar, because his body needed to endure the grueling race with its own resources. He also says that his former military experience helped him a lot getting into the physical and mental state to complete the run safely.

Even though he was alone on the BMW, Reese was not alone on the road. Localization specialists GPS Insight provided telemetry equipment, while West Valley Cycle Sales, the oldest BMW Motorrad in the US West Valley, where Reese bought the bike, also provided support and assistance.

"There is a reason this record has gone unchallenged for over 30 years. Unless you have completed Army boot camp, it is difficult to relate the mental and physical exhaustion," Reese added. "The immense level of fatigue driving a motorcycle solo for 38 hours is like finishing a UFC fight, then getting hit by a freight train. This was far more difficult than any other transcontinental record I’ve set to date," he concluded.

According to motorcycleclassics, notaries and film crews, as well as transcontinental record holders and members of the TransContinental Drivers Association, Ed Bolian, Dave Black, Deena Mastracci, Alex Roy and Vic Manuel, were present at the start and finish locations.

A documentary on Reese's epic 2,829-mile (4,552 km) journey is also in the making, and you can watch the teaser after the jump. You can also help the filmmakers by donating money.

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