FARGO — Dave Currier is finally getting some feeling back in his rear-end. He is back in Fargo after competing in the most difficult, antique endurance race in the world: The Motorcycle Cannonball.
"I think this has been the toughest ride of my life," Currier said. "It is a real grind; I had about eight hours in the saddle every day."
Riding his 1911 belt-driven Harley-Davidson, Currier and 88 competitors crossed 11 states over 16 days. From Michigan to South Padre Island, Texas, they racked up just over 3,700 miles.
"The bike is tall. I have short legs, so I can't touch the ground," Currier said. "To start it, you have to pedal it to start it. It's a belt drive. The only way to move it forward is you pull the lever which tensions the belt, and then the bike moves forward."
Currier, who had a team planning and tweaking this custom bike, did more than compete in the race — he won.
"I had a police escort. It was an absolutely incredible deal," Currier said. "They closed all the roads off."
He crossed the finish line with the checkered flag, bringing home a trophy.
"Before the finish, they handed me the checkered flag, and I rode in with the checkered flag," Currier said. "It was incredible."
He credits John Rouland of Northern Crankshaft in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, for doing a lot of the technical and engine work on the 1911 Harley.
He said his local sponsors, Milwaukee Tool, Acme Tools, Dakota Fence and TechLine Coatings, all played a role in the win.
Currier, who turned 68 during the race, thinks he had a little help from angels above. His dad, Dick Currier, sold Indian and Harley motorcycles in the 1940s and '50s in Fargo. He raced them as well, and Currier believes his dad would be pretty proud.
"He was a big part of my life," Currier said. "And that's why I called it 'The Last Ride.'"
More information on the Motorcycle Cannonball can be found at motorcyclecannonball.com.