September 17, 2011

Ride to Sturgis

 Early 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 halfway between Sturgis and Deadwood, a perfect location.  We spent the next 5 days touring: visiting the Badlands again, Devils tower, Mt. Rushmore, the 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.  We 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.  It 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?


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