Cannondale bikes are some of the best in the industry, and riding trails can be a really exhilarating feeling if you’ve got the right equipment. How do you get your adrenaline pumped up on your way to the trails? By driving a stellar and capable Keen Project Safari 911, of course. At least, that’s the answer for Allan Thom, who does just that. This short video shows off both of Allan’s rides in gorgeous detail shots that wouldn’t be out of place in a Hollywood film. The gorgeous forests of Southeast Michigan are quiet and still, but Mr. Thom’s 911 (which we featured in this story) is anything but. Ripping down some two-track trails toward his ultimate destination, the trailhead where he’ll begin the next leg of his adventure.
Allan, for years, was obsessed with Group B rally, and he wanted to learn to become a rally driver. Thom’s efforts in motorsport were always on a smaller stage, preparing race cars at his own shop, and running regional races with the SCCA in his own race car. While he never did manage to make his rally dream a reality, he instead started racing off-road bicycles and it turned out he was really good at it. Once he got married, and had a kid, he left his race shop and started working for an upstart floormat company called WeatherTech.
Allan helped WeatherTech grow from a small 30-employee shop to around 1200, assisting them to expand product lines and move manufacturing to the USA. Seven years ago, Allan was promoted to President of the company, and that’s when he became quite friendly with WeatherTech driver Leh Keen. If you’ve been following The Keen Project for the last couple of years, you’ll know how to connect the dots on this story. “When the concept of the Safari 911 came out, I was like, that’s exactly the thing I want,” Thom said.
“He’s the perfect Safari owner,” according to Leh Keen. “He uses his car a lot. He goes out and gets it muddy. And he enjoys it.” Leh still owns the first car he built, but Thom owns Safari #2.
“I drive it everywhere, even in the winter,” Thom claims. “I don’t care. I’ll drive it to the city, because if someone bumps into it, backs into it; I’m not going to lose any sleep. The car and the bike are metaphors for each other.” Allan lives in suburban Chicago, and we imagine his car is a bit of a wild scene driving around in the winter. “How does it drive? Well, those common Porsche attributes of understeer at the entrance of the corner and oversteer at the exit of the corner are still there. They’re just comically exaggerated. You’re laughing as you’re doing it,” he continues. This was supposed to be a marketing piece for Cannondale, but now we’re just sold on Keen’s Safaris.