this summer, my son Taylor asked me if I would ride to the
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with him. As this would be his first
Sturgis Rally, he opined that as I had been before, I was
familiar with the events, the area and the best motorcycle
tours. I thought it was nice of him to ask, but in the back of
my mind I have the suspicion that it may have been a ploy to
have dad bankroll the trip. I agreed to go but told him that
since we were limited to 10 days that it would be best if we
trailered to N. W. Kansas, sharing the drive in a comfortable,
air-conditioned truck cab. I had ridden from Houston to Sturgis
previously and assured him that the ride back was not near as
much fun as the one going.
On August 3rd, we headed north with
bikes in tow. Everything went well until we got to just south
of Oklahoma City and the truck broke down. Three hours and two
tow trucks later, we decided to ditch the truck and pick it up
on the way home as we had no clue how long the repair would
take. We unloaded the bikes at a Chevy Dealership in OKC at
8:30 pm, left the truck keys and a note for the service manager
in the night drop, and roared north into the twilight. Needless
to say, I was pretty miffed, but Taylor reminded me that "this
will make a great story" for years to come.
August 5th, after a short tour of
the Badlands on the drive into Sturgis, we pulled into our
'camp'---a very nice rental
between Sturgis and Deadwood, a perfect location. We spent the
next 5 days touring: visiting the Badlands again, Devils tower,
Needles, Spearfish Canyon
and several other lesser known destinations. In addition, all
the motorcycle vendors are there with the latest and greatest
toys and add-ons, etc. and it is easy to spend money!
Although I was, of course, not
interested, Taylor found out that there were several bars,
staffed with young ladies who fly in to work Sturgis for the two
week party. We interviewed a few ladies who said they make
$5-7,000/week in tips--not bad!!
On the ride back to OKC the
temperature in Western Kansas and Oklahoma topped 110 degrees
and when added to asphalt reflection and bike heat, the
thermometer of my bike was maxed at 120 for over 6 hours.
logged 3, 200 miles in 8 days riding and Taylor agreed the ride
back would have been more pleasant in the truck which we enjoyed
for the last 8 hours of our trip.
As a side note--I asked Taylor to
ride with me one day from Sturgis to the Teddy Roosevelt
National Park, in North Dakota.
would be a special ride for me because North Dakota was the last
State I needed to visit to complete at least a partial tour of
all 50 States. I thought it was a pretty big deal, but my son,
although happy for
me, was not at all impressed. He said, "lots of people have
probably done that". To which I responded: "how many people in
the U. S. do you think have done it?" He replied, "more than
half". I told him he was full of crap ( but I used the more
common term) and guessed that less than 3% had accomplished that
feat. Does anyone care to add their opinion?