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Longest Journey in the Oldest Car

Carl Reese TDA Contributor

Earlier this year 2015 Joe Swann and his wife Betty claim to have set the record for the longest journey in the oldest car. Departing from and returning to their home in Wrightsville PA, they circled the lower 48 in their antique 1912 EMF. The trip took them 4 months and covered 10,750 miles.

Check out more on their blog:

Joe and Betty Swann
Joe and Betty Swann


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Longest journey on Motorized Bicycle

Carl Reese TDA Contributor 

The longest journey on a motorized cycle is 4,443.4 miles traveled in a span of a month achieved by Troy Rank in 2014.

Electrical Engineer Troy Rank started his journey on August 1st of 2014. He begun in Buffalo, New York and traveled through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, and Pennsylvania before making his way back to Ithaca New York on August 30th. This feat landed him the Guinness World Record for longest journey on a motorized cycle trumping the previous record of 4,000 miles. It’s also notable that he completed his journey alone, with no support.

Troy Rank
Troy Rank
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First Coast to Coast on Electric Motorcycle

Carl Reese TDA Contributor

In 2013 Terry Hershner became the the first man to drive coast to coast on an electric motorcycle. He rode a 2012 Zero S ZF9 electric motorcycle. Terry studied Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at North Carolina State University.  This knowledge came in handy as he made serious modifications to the Zero Motorcycle.

Terry’s solo trip from San Diego, CA to Jacksonville, FL in five days, or 135 hours.  He came in 36 hours before another team that was also out to set the record.

Terry did have some trouble along the way. One charging station was locked up and he managed to use a 240 outlet at a nearby welding shop.  He also had to swap out the motor due to a loose sprocket.  The mechanical problems were only compounded by the sleep deprivation.

During his trip used the existing charging network infrastructure that was available to the public to complete his run.  Terry did not a support vehicle for his run.

Terry lowered the coefficient by installing a Vetter Streamliner fairing, and installing two charging ports to increase charging time. Talk about hacking skills!  You can keep track of “Electric Terry” on Facebook 

Terry Hershner First man to cross the U.S. on Electric Motorcycle
Terry Hershner First man to cross the U.S. on Electric Motorcycle                    Photo Credit Wikipedia
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Coast to Coast on a $200 Motorcycle

Carl Reese TDA Contributor 

Jamie Robinson of MotoGeo has been riding motorcycles since the ripe old age of 3. In 2010, in the name of adventure he decided to challenge himself on a coast to coast journey, Long Beach, New York to Long Beach, California. The catch was he set out to do so with no bells and whistles. He budgeted himself to purchase a bike for $200 and planned to camp out next to his bike each night. He set out with a video camera and an ancient relic called a map, made of paper. I know, how primitive right?

Jamie Robinson
Jamie Robinson

Connie, as she was lovingly nicknamed, a 1989 EX500 Kawasaki was no stranger to Transcontinental trips, this would mark her 6th. But let’s be honest these were no longer her glory days. As Jamie already spent his entire bike budget, there was nothing left for repairs so they set off on 10 year old tires with a nail in the rear… No joke. Amazingly both tires made the 12 day and 3,986 mile journey… with a little help from slime and a patch.

For more on Jamie’s transcontinental adventure check out MotoGeo where you can watch his video and read his daily journal entries from the trip.


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Cross country Cannonball record trip you never heard about

Carl Reese TDA Contributor

Jacob M Murdock a wealthy business man from Johnstown PA and his family set out be the first family to drive coast to coast in a car.   I know many of you think Clark Griswold was the first, but actually Murdock gets credit for the very first family road trip in an automobile. On this trip he also officially secured the record as the longest journey by the same driver.

Jacob Murdock
Jacob Murdock

Murdock and his family would escape the cold winters of Pennsylvania and vacation in Southern California.   His second home was located in Pasadena Ca. The family would travel back and forth by train.

Inspired by a recent report of someone driving an automobile from Paris to Peking (Beijing today). Jacob decided to make other arrangements for getting back home to Pennsylvania in the spring of 1908.  Jacob purchased a used Packard with 5400 miles on it for $4200.00.

Even after reading about the arduous journey from Paris to Peking.  He was determined not to let difficulty stand in his way.  In his book he said “anything can be done, one way or another”.   When asked “Why he did he do it?”  Jacob felt he never had a satisfactory answer.  He claims “The idea of a transcontinental journey just built”.   In preparation he talked to western ranchers and others. They discouraged him from attempting it.  Surprisingly, when he talked to the family, they were “up for it”.

My favorite quote from Murdock….. “My mind got on the idea of a transcontinental journey until it became an obsession”  That statement embodies the American Spirit and the same reason records are broken today.  We as a human race will never be satisfied with the status quo.

Are you sure this is the road?
Are you sure this is the road?

Taking up six of the seven available seats in the car was his wife Anna, his three children Lillian, Alice and Milton, a mechanic and a friend.

In those days gas stations didn’t exist.  Murdock had to write letters to shop keepers along his planed route in advance to “order” gas from local hardware stores.  These stores would sell sealed containers of gas for machinery, little did they know that they would be the first “service/gas stations”.

Jacob Murdock Route
Jacob Murdock Route

In the early morning of April 24th 1908 Murdock loaded up his family and set out from Pasadena, CA on his way to New York City.  Driving only during daylight hours, Jacob took a leisurely pace.  Much like David Simpson, Jacob insisted on doing all the driving himself.  He took Sundays off and the family rested.  Once they reached their primary home in Johnstown, PA the family freshened up and took two days off to rest. After a two day pit stop they continued the final leg into New York.  With all that Jacob still managed to set a time of 32 days 5 hours and 22 minutes.   The family ended their trip at Central Park on May 26th 1906.  An overzealous police officer interrupted the interviews with reporters and told him to get his muddy car out of Central Park.  Thus starting the love hate relationship that continues on today.

Jacob Murdock secured two records:

  1.  First family to drive coast to coast.
  2. The longest automobile journey by a single driver.

You may think this is slow compared to Ed Bolian’s and Dave Black’s time in 2013 of 28 hours and 50 minutes.  You would be correct.  However, The majority of Jacob’s 3674 mile trip was across open country side, following railroad tracks and not any paved highways.  Whereas Bolian and Black put the petal to the metal on nicely paved freeways.

Jacob was driving an “Packard 30″ with a whopping 30 horses.  Ed and Dave on the other hand had a few more ponies under the hood.

Countermeasures included a Winchester 30-30 for his son Milton whom kept an ” Unavailing warfare on the coyotes”

Rolling road block
Rolling road block

The transcontinental runs will get shorter and shorter over time.  Perhaps Jacob didn’t understand the significance of his record.  But the human race wouldn’t exist as we know it if we were not compelled to do better.  It’s why the past and present records are important.  It’s in our DNA to improve on every aspect of life.  The bottom line is, men like Elon Musk will invent better technology to not only drive cars faster and more efficient, but into space as well.    One day our great, great, great grandchildren will be racing each other to the Mars colony if Elon has his way.

Source: “A Family tour Ocean to Ocean”  by J.M. Murdock

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Charles Glidden first man to circle the world in an automobile

By Carl Reese

Charles Glidden accomplished many significant things in his lifetime. Along with his wife Lucy, were the first to circle the world in an automobile back in 1902 they did it again in 1908. Charles was a billionaire that sponsored the AAA Glidden Tours.  An enthusiastic automotive pioneer, Glidden automotive endurance rallys paved the way for better roads.

Charles and Lucy Glidden
Charles and Lucy Glidden

Glidden tours were anything but a holiday.  The cars were far from reliable in those days.  The saying   “the motor car, after a woman, the most fragile and capricious thing on earth.” was popular in this time period.  The roads were to say the least were atrocious.  Some of the better conditions were captured in the film of the first Glidden tour imbedded below.

Glidden invited the press to ride along in the rally.  This press invitation proved to be genius.  Articles about the deplorable road conditions were effective in embarrassing local, state and government officials into improving road conditions.  You can read more about Charles Glidden  in my earlier post ” AAA Sponsored the Very First Automobile Cross Country Rally”

Please enjoy some footage  I dug up of the very first Glidden Tour.

More Info go to or

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Tesla Reduces The Chances For Breaking The Cannonball EV Record

December 10th 2015

New constraints are coming soon to Tesla’s Autopilot feature.   A post to Telsa Owners forum this evening show leaked images of Version 7.1 software for Tesla vehicles.  Images clearly show limitations will be placed on autopilot; directly effecting what speed it can be activated. Purportedly this limitation will be controlled by the cars ability to recognize the posted speed limit.  Thereby maintaining the posted speed while in autopilot mode.

This update is currently in beta testing and has not been released to Tesla owners in the 90,000+ vehicle fleet.  Telsa releases new features “over the air” (OTA) to their customers via Wifi or cellular connection.  Telsa owners get” improvement” to their vehicles several times a year thru this method.

The last Tesla update (7.0) came to owners in mid-October of this year.  That release gave owners a long awaited feature know as “auto-steer” as often referred to as autopilot.  Autopilot gives the owner the option to activate a self steering feature while traveling on well marked roads.

New restrictions in the 7.1 release will make breaking the current Autonomous Coast to Coast record very difficult, if not impossible.

Leaked Tesla beta software version 7.1 Showing restrictions to autopilot
Leaked Tesla beta software version 7.1 Showing restrictions to autopilot

As the autonomous car market evolves, legislators will likely put additional restrictions on all manufactures offering “self driving”.  Thus closing the door on future autonomous record attempts.

Some Tesla owners that are aware of the leaked images, say they have no desire for 7.1 update.  Stating that they would not download the update into their cars, if it will restrict autonomous features .

Telsa Autopilot was first released in the fall of 2015.  Within days of that release,  an autonomous coast to coast record was set by a team using autopilot.

The record was set by Deena Mastracci, Carl Reese and Alex Roy in October 2015.  The Trio officially set the “Semi-Autonomous Automobile Record from Los Angeles to New York City” with a total time of 57 Hours and 49 Minutes.  Not only setting a new semi-autonomous record, but also setting a new EV coast to coast record as well. During this journey the autopilot drove 96.1 % of the time.

Mastracci and Reese bested their previous EV time set back in April of 2015 with co-driver Rod Hawk of 58 hours and 55 minutes.

Yet a third record was set in Oct 2015 when Carl and Deena set the “Double Transcontinental EV Record” during the same trip.  After arriving in New York City in record time, the couple briefly rested overnight.  On 22 October 2015 the couple turned the car back towards Los Angeles after less than 28 hours in NYC. The couple drove the Tesla back to the Portofino Hotel, in Redondo Beach, CA. Where Chis Bischoff Notarty was standing by to officially log the couple in. Witness for the return to Los Angeles was an employee at the Portofino Hotel. The couple managed set the Double Transcontinental Record for an Electric Vehicle with a time of 6 Days 6 hours and 22 minutes. Beating Dan Edmunds and Kurt Niebuhrs time of 6 days 23 hours and 4 minutes.

Rod Hawk, Deena Mastracci and Carl Reese hold a Guinness Book of World Record for Shortest EV charging time coast to coast  of 12 hours 49 minutes during their trip in April 2015.

More Info go to or

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Larry Printz gives us the best Cannonball Story this Holiday Season

I wake up nearly every morning the same way.  Before my eyes are fully opened, I reach for my phone.  With running my own business this has become normal practice.  You’re always concerned if a client may have had an issue with their home; during the course of the night.   I wake up usually with the a message or two that will require me to put my boots on and rush out the door. Perhaps to light a hot water heater or turn off a water main.

This morning I was delighted to see everyone got through the night without incident.  My second order of business is to scan the news before Deena and the dogs wake up.  Browsing thru my Google news alerts, FaceBook and some days Twitter.

This morning a friend of mine Victor posted a gem on his FaceBook.  An article written by Larry Printz of The Virginia-Pilot newspaper. I honostly thought I’ve hear or have read all the stories… wrong I was.  Larry article takes transported me back in time.  Preserving history, his piece is one that I enjoyed thoroughly.  It’s a detailed glimpse of what it was like to participate in the Cannonball Event held by Brock Yates in the 70’s.

I was also shocked to see two more photos of the cannonball participants that I haven’t see before.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.   Read the full story here

Left: Terry Baker and Chris Romine in his Ferrari 308 GTS Photo courtesy of Andrea Atwell

Left: Terry Baker and Chris Romine in his Ferrari 308 GTS

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 1.00.27 PM
Chick Stanton and Jim Atwell   Photo courtesy of Andrea Atwell

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The Ultimate U.S. Road Trip

Carl Reese TDA Contributor
Randal Olson, a data expert and self proclaimed geek, was more than up for the challenge of computing the optimal road trip. Tracy Staedter, of Discovery News, and Randy collaborated some ground rules for the trip.

1. There must be at least one stop in each of the 48 contiguous states.
2. Stops would fall into one of the following categories: National Natural Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Parks or National Monuments.

Tracy came up with 50 stops and Randy got to work on devising the route with the least amount of driving. The entire trip racks up 13,699 miles and a little over 9 days of driving time.

Map by Randal Olson
Map by Randal Olson

The stops include:

1. Grand Canyon, AZ
2. Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
3. Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID
4. Yellowstone National Park, WY
5. Pikes Peak, CO
6. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
7. The Alamo, TX
8. The Platt Historic District, OK
9. Toltec Mounds, AR
10. Elvis Presley’s Graceland, TN
11. Vicksburg National Military Park, MS
12. French Quarter, New Orleans, LA
13. USS Alabama, AL
14. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL
15. Okefenokee Swamp Park, GA
16. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC
17. Lost World Caverns, WV
18. Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center, NC
19. Mount Vernon, VA
20. White House, Washington, DC
21. Colonial Annapolis Historic District, MD
22. New Castle Historic District, Delaware
23. Cape May Historic District, NJ
24. Liberty Bell, PA
25. Statue of Liberty, NY
26. The Mark Twain House & Museum, CT
27. The Breakers, RI
28. USS Constitution, MA
29. Acadia National Park, ME
30. Mount Washington Hotel, NH
31. Shelburne Farms, VT
32. Fox Theater, Detroit, MI
33. Spring Grove Cemetery, OH
34. Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
35. West Baden Springs Hotel, IN
36. Abraham Lincoln’s Home, IL
37. Gateway Arch, MO
38. C. W. Parker Carousel Museum, KS
39. Terrace Hill Governor’s Mansion, IA
40. Taliesin, WI
41. Fort Snelling, MN
42. Ashfall Fossil Bed, NE
43. Mount Rushmore, SD
44. Fort Union Trading Post, ND
45. Glacier National Park, MT
46. Hanford Site, WA
47. Columbia River Highway, OR
48. San Francisco Cable Cars, CA
49. San Andreas Fault, CA
50. Hoover Dam, NV

Though the drive time is only 9+ days the road trip would take far longer when you take the time to enjoy each stop. The trip can be a bit more to bite off than most can chew so Randy posted a link using his algorithm for others to plug in their own stops and it formulates the most efficient route to take. In the wise words of Randy “Every major journey begins with a plan.”


More Info go to or

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Motorcycle World Record from Los Angeles to New York

Trailer for “History of Transcontinental Motorcycle Records” Is Now Available

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 11.47.15 PM

Entire team helps one man with his attempt to beat George Egloff’s 1983 U.S. Express Solo Motorcycle Record.  Driving a BMW K1600 from Los Angeles to New York a total of 2829 miles.  Faced with obstacles and unbelievable odds, the film captures edge of your seat drama as it unfolds.  The group now raising money to make a full length documentary. DVD’s, T-Shirts, and other perks are available to those that donate.  In the meantime enjoy the trailer.  The goal is to showcase America’s 100 year old fascination with transcontinental records.

See video here:

Share with motorcycle enthusiasts you know.

For interview or questions contact Josie Hankey at Fallston Group 443-807-0804

For more information about Carl Reese, visit or

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