Sturgis Ride

by

Barbara Zimmerman

Trip Photos I
Trip Photos II


The "Sturgis Ride" was absolutely fabulous, thanks to all the riders - Alex, Cathy, Jan, Linda Marlene and especially Laura who led the ride and mapped it with Pita and Danny. Pita and Danny also rode, drove the chase vehicle (shown in the right picture), lugged water, ice, bags, loaded bikes on and off the trailer, made hotel reservations, shared laughs and their good nature!! (Photo right - Lining up for departure in front of Soda Butte Lodge, Cooke City Montana)

We had a great ride and excellent weather for all but a few hours of the three-week adventure! We rode over 5, 800 miles. After having my right hand wrapped around the throttle for three weeks I had to retrain it to hold a pen, knife and turn the ignition on my car. Thank God for the gel seat several of us bought in Rapid City.

After passing through the Badlands and Wall Drug we spent six days in Custer, SD and used it as our base of operations. The roads were mah-ve-lous for motorcycling complete with hair pin and pigtail turns. We rode Iron Mountain and Needles Highway and the nature loop in Custer State Park. We rode to Spearfish Canyon, Deadwood, Hill City, Rapid City, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse - my favorite, and Sturgis, of course.

The "Sturgis Rally" has gone from a week to a two-to-three week event. The majestic beauty of the Badlands and the mountains are beyond words. Riding in the spires of the Black Hills is unbelievable!! The whole area for about a 100-mile radius of Sturgis is geared up for motorcyclists. Cars on the roads were the oddity! Each town had motorcycles lining the streets, shops filled with motorcyclists and vendors everywhere. The picture on the left and the one below on show the streets lined with motorcycles.

We went to Devil's Tower in Wyoming on the way to Yellowstone. The temperature the next morning was 39 degrees at the Ore House where we stayed in Montana. We saw buffalo, antelope, elk, comical little prairie dogs and three bear cubs run across the highway in front of us in Canada. We ended the trip in Toronto and Niagara Falls coming home through NY after visiting my niece and her family in Grand Island, NY. (Photo above - Looking West, Main Street Sturgis, Jan in yellow)

My bike stopped shifting into gear a short distance from home. Alex pushed me into a gas station and caught me when the bike started to fall over. Ten to fifteen minutes later Honda Riders' Club had a tow truck there and my sister, who lives about three miles away, picked me up. The bike got a new clutch probably due to the 81,000 miles on the bike and all the clutching on the mountain curves. The bike was also riding hotter than usual from a mud-clogged radiator. (Photo right - Looking East, Main Street Sturgis)

We rode through lots of major road construction - a lot like off-road riding - especially the seven miles of slick mud in Yellowstone and after the Ore House! The ride schedule was arduous - a new motel and/or state each day - so there was no opportunity to wash the bike. We pulled in about 8:00 p.m. each night, ate around 9:00 p.m., got up between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. the next day, and did it all again. It was fantastic!

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