My original post idea for this photo was going to be “Perfect song to begin a perfect day driving to an uncharted Adventure…”
But then I hesitated. I decided I wasn’t going to post anything at all. I even put my phone away.
Why? Because I caught myself in time – I was afraid if any bikers or sarcastic individuals who know what the Sturgis tradition is, would make fun of me. Mock me. Belittle me publicly behind a faceless user name. What if they notice the picture of our radio means we aren’t riding our bikes the whole way?
I rationalized my delete button with “I’ll have a thousand things to post anyway. Between the past weekend with my grandkids, kids, hubby and our parents in Iowa (half way point to Sturgis from Ohio) or what’s to come ahead this next week. Eff it. I won’t risk it.”
Then I sat in the passenger seat of our Dodge Ram Hemi 1500 4×4..Go Rocky Go .. and before we made it to the highway, I thought of six reasons why the haters can hate and I’m posting this mother trucking perfect Willie Nelson song to kickoff the drive out to South Dakota. Badlands. Mt. Rushmore. Hundreds of thousands of adults on a midlife summer break…. hecks yeah insta people. It’s happening. I’m posting this picture and I don’t care. Here’s why.
1. We seriously talked about it. Seriously. Let’s ride all the way out there and own that badass badge of honor. We could’ve left our teen sons at home with aunt Sherry and she wouldn’t mind. We could finally attempt our first self-contained motorcycle-only trip. First one being 20 hours away but you know. #goals. But no. Taking the boys to the Iowa point allows them to spend a full week with grandparents, their sister, nephew and a spanking brand new niece while we’re gone. We have to haul the bike to at least Iowa. At least.
2. We could go from Iowa to Sturgis. That’s only ten hours and park the truck and trailer at my moms for the week. Four couples of mixed family and friends headed out yesterday to Do just that. They broke up the ten hours with other sights along the way and got a hotel somewhere in between. We could’ve joined them…but no, that adds another day to the trip. The only day I get to see my daughter’s new home, snuggle my new-to-the-family granddaughter and best buddy grandson. I couldn’t hang out with my kids with our parents- it’s always a fun time to mix generations with conversations. No. We will go ahead and leave the actual day we get the keys to the cabin house. Even just that one day with my kids felt rushed or forced when all I wanted was more time.
3. My awesome father-in-law is coming with us. And one of my many brothers-in-law. My FIL is a tough dude and if I were a stranger I would not guess he’s 72. You know, like Cher or something. Well he’s not riding his Harley there. He co-purchased a double trailer for Kevin and him to haul their bikes and drive the F150 together. They’re also hauling stuff for the weeknights in the cabin for fun. There’s 12 of us. Light up cornhole and Cousin Todd’s cooler of Fareway’s best steaks. He’s a meat manager there so he knows how to hook you up. He and his wife Theresa left on their bike yesterday.
We are also about an hour from the epicenter of Midwest-rooted grown ups acting like there’s no tomorrow. Hopefully in tasteful biker clothes, but somehow I doubt that.
Concerts and drinking activities commence in the dark. An hour from our cabin. We agreed that at least one night we will go to the rally of hundreds of thousands for a concert, hopefully Toby Keith. Even though he starts at 10:30?!
Hello. Cinderella becomes a pumpkin at midnight and we have a full day of riding each day. Maybe I’ll try 1 am. Maybe. It is vacation. We’ll see.
Ten people can fit in trucks, plus we have another friend couple who drove out two days ago and are staying near by so technically we can all drive together. Ain’t no way I want to ride a motorcycle home at that hour.
Alcohol, night roads and animal ambush alerts everywhere. Anywhere. Anytime. Elk. Deer. Coons. Buffalo. Yeah. It happens.
That’s a lot of As to explain that situation but two full size trucks solves that date night issue.
4. We have six days of explorative, open roads throughout God’s country and I’ve heard five star reviews from anyone of any age who has ever been. I can’t wait to see beauty that touches your soul. This is goosebump Christmas-Eve-can’t-sleep syndrome type anticipation to bucket list stuff I didn’t know I’d want to see so bad.
We are going to be riding as a pack away from all the packs every day except for one day at Sturgis taking it all in. Some sights are three hours away or more and that’s a day trip each. I’m guessing I’ll be riding beyotch (that’s a whole ‘nother tangent story, why not having my own bike is cool). For around 1,000 miles this week, a passenger. Those who left ahead of us yesterday will have approx. 2,300.
If something happens to someone’s bike- Lord forbid- we’ll switch out trailered bikes. We have the capacity to haul up to three bikes and carry ten people. If who rides home versus who drives homes gets shuffled around, so be it. Better than being stranded.
By us bringing our truck and trailer, we are helping carry that assurance plan out for the whole group. And we can truck pull all the way there with my father-in-law playing ebony and ivory between our white truck and Kevin’s black truck. I have a lot of gratitude to be at a place in life to have such nice things to transport us to adventurous experiences in this short life.
5. Interstates blow. Biker destinations do not.
There really is a population out there that can’t for some reason see two wheels like they can four. I guess as member of a family of motorcycle enthusiasts and the capabilities of peripheral vision, I don’t get it.
Hectic traffic, rubber necking, a lack of lane education, semis passing semis on hills (I bet they hate civilian driving – third shift all the way)
Who wants to navigate that chaos with a half helmet and shades? I know it’s inevitable when I start self-contained trips. It’s inevitable on our current bike trips and we have to get from one beaten path to the next and we have a couple miles of interstate as a bridge.
But it’s not as fun.
Sadly, the chance of encountering our nation’s finest of inconsiderate, angry, incompetent, oblivious people is guaranteed if you’re going to be on the interstate for any period of time.
So we drove to Sturgis. Yep. We trailered our bikes to the outskirts of the biggest event for motorcycle in the country. The 79th annual rally. And we will ride only bikes once we get there – pending a date night concert- with our heads held high.
Willie Nelson’s gentle voice, followed by some Dolly and Reba since I’ve been writing this story in the truck- fits this morning of calm Sunday driving, beautiful skies and bike strap ties to the Wild West.
I hope Willie is there. Snoop will be.
Once we get there, I’ll be riding on the back of my partner’s Harley. Soaking in the sun, the air and the whole beautiful landscaping experience. I think when we’re physically unable to ride someday we should get a convertible. And still check out the badlands.
Bonus mention- All the chicks on this trip are chill and real, too. Just like a lot of my coworkers and a lot of chicks in my life . There’s gonna be laughs, beers and a lot of amens.
This post kicks off a week with no regrets. Or as I love plagiarizing – No Regerts.
As I wrap this story up, I asked Mark why he thinks it’s acceptable that we broke tradition and trailered our bike to Sturgis. Without a pause he said, “I don’t care. It’s fricking hot out.”
He later added, “here’s another reason- I can have a Shasta if I want.”
Carry on my wayward friends. I’m leaving this post as it. Sing it Willie.
It’s Rumble and roar in the canyons time.