August 10, 2014

The Road To Sturgis

Sturgis 2014 is in the bag and frankly, I'm just plain tired. I'm certain I'm not the only one. Now that I'm winding down and getting down to some work, I find it a struggle to keep my heavy eyelids open.

On my way to Sturgis I picked up a nail in my tire on I90 riding from Mitchell, SD after the Klock Werks Pre-Sturgis Party. Steve and I had opted to ride from Mitchell with Kevin Bean're the morning after the party, having Steve leading the ride. Kevin followed me and we both goofed around a bit along the way. I passed the time taking in the scenery, shooting photos of packs of riders heading to the Rally, and making a few dirty gestures with Kevin, both of us laughing most of the way. Steve is a pretty focused and serious rider, so it was fun to have another joker to goof off with.

But things became serious quickly when my bike started to wobble.

About 10 minutes after fueling up my entire ride began to feel loose. I let off the throttle and gestured to Kevin that my ride was funky. He pointed to the side of the road and we made our way over, with Kevin escorting me.

Since Steve was leading, he didn't notice until we had moved into the right lane. My entire ride became unresponsive and unpredictable and I feared pushing too hard into the shoulder, opting to ease it as gently as possible.

In the mirror, I saw the large, orange semi heading towards me, so I leaned my fully-loaded V Star over as quickly and gently as I could without losing control.

Once I was on the shoulder I was grateful the scare was over, but the disappointment settled in. Kevin stayed with me until Steve could turn around and come back. We sent him on his way, as calls came in from The Sturgis Buffalo Chip from folks waiting on him to arrive. With a call to AAA, a tow truck came 2 1/2 hours later. Steve loaded my bike on the truck and I sent him ahead to check into our cabin at the Sturgis RV Park.

I arrived at Rosco's Motorcycle & ATV in Rapid City about an hour later. Now nearly 4 hours behind schedule I was grumpy, tired and hungry. The guys at Rosco's not only fixed my tire in a flash, they tightened my clutch lever and front brake, lubed up a number of items, tightened some loose nuts, and lubed my sticky back brake lever and kickstand.

The owner/mechanic Ross gave my bike a complete once over, making certain I was safe for my remaining journey, all at no extra charge, even staying 45 minutes after closing to take care of me.

I really appreciated the kind service and exceptional generosity.

This all resulted into me riding from Rapid City and arriving to Sturgis on my own. There was something magical about the moment, riding my own motorcycle, overcoming adversities, and reaching the Rally of the Pilgrims at the Motorcycle Mecca on my own two wheels.

The Rally was unsettling, amazing, boisterous, exciting, dramatic and exhausting. I'm glad I attended for many, many reason. For now, I'm glad it's over. It became overwhelming as time wore on. The quiet of our hotel in Spearfish is refreshing and peaceful.

Now I know why they only have it once a year.


  1. Glad you had company to help you. Adversity makes the adventure all more interesting.

    1. Oh I wasn't complaining. :) I thought, "Well, this is all part of the story, huh?"

  2. Nice thoughts. I wonder if in God's grand divine plan that the flat tire happened as a way of getting your motorcycle in the shop to have the mechanic fix/adjust those other "loose" of which could have been worse than a flat tire. I love reading how you got to experience the kindness and generosity of strangers at that service shop, how the grand plan included having Kevin behind you on the leg of your trip where your mishap happened, and how you were "forced" to ride into Sturgis alone producing a new mix of thoughts and observations that bubbled to the surface for you. Good stuff Sash. Keep thinking, seeing, and observing as you are.

    1. Thanks Genevieve. I thought the same thing as I rolled in alone. There was something about coming in on my own that was important to me. Steve had referred to it as a "coming of age" for me and I think that moment is really when that event occurred.

  3. Is the silence deafening after all the excitement and hubbub of there rally? Glad you made it safe and sound and got the tire fixed with no problems other than the tow truck wait.

    1. Yes Trobairitz, it was deliciously quiet. Not deafening in a negative sense. Simply worth savoring, for both of us. We stood in the parking lot of the hotel and smiled at the silence.

  4. That's one of the things I love about being a motorcyclist... The community. Everyone looks out for and helps each other out. Glad you're safe and enjoy the road ahead of you!!! Xo


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