This thing grows! Always click this HOME button to ensure you see the most recent SC posts!

To see older posts, you can either use the date selector in the Blog Archive (RH side), or just click through using the Older Posts link at the bottom of each page.

Saturday, July 21, 2012



Last minute family-related issues have knocked out my riding partner, so I'm now riding solo to Sturgis, and come to think of it, that's how it was originally planned. Things have come full circle. And this gives me a half-day earlier start, so instead of rolling out early Saturday, I'm leaving Friday afternoon at 1PM from my office in downtown DC, six days from now. It might even be 5-1/2, not that I'm counting.

Yep, DC's the start point, and what a transition it will be. From a granite and glass office building, just blocks from the White House, to the wide-open party going on in Sturgis, South Dakota! I will figuratively and literally be traveling into another world.

I figure the 250 or so miles I cover in that extra half day takes some of the sting outa the three long riding days I have planned, and giving me a little cushion-time in case I have to wait out a thunderstorm or two. Or, as many friends joke about, the occasional tornado.

Great. I have a fucking tornado to think about!

As I write this, my friends Linda and Charlie are en route, spending their first night in Ohio, and Bev and John are loading up the trailer on Monday, I think, and hitting the road. I'm the straggler, and the only one of the crew riding the entire way, so I hope Big Blue takes good care of me. There ain't no one bringing up the rear!

I've spent the last few days gathering up odds and ends....things I might need on a lonely mountain road. I picked up a StopNGo tire repair kit that includes a compressor, a string tire repair kit for gashes instead of punctures, spark plugs, light bulbs, fuses, bailing wire, duct tape, electrical wire and a couple connectors, snap rings, nuts and bolts, JB Weld, tools, work gloves, flashlight, and spare brake and clutch levers. A first aid kit too. I also got one of those 1-gallon gas containers that fit into the rear of a Harley touring saddlebag. Now my left saddlebag is full to the brim with motorcycle repair stuff plus the first aid kit. I hope I never need to open the damn thing up.

I'm packing a bike cover on top of my tour-pack, not just to protect if from the elements, but also to hide the bike at night from prying eyes. No sparkly-shiny refections to catch the eyes of peeps passing by. I learned about this trick on the Southern Comfort 2010 ride. If I left my Softail Custom uncovered, there were always some people milling around it in the hotel parking lots, so I had to drag everything inside. But if I covered it up, no one paid any mind to it, and I was able to leave the bags on the bike. No, my cover for Big Blue doesn't have that Harley eagle on it. I don't want to advertise what's under there.

Up front there's a TomTom Rider 2 GPS and a waterproof iPhone mount, plus I mounted a cigarette lighter receptacle on the handlebar that I can use to keep the phone charged. If I want, I can pump some tunes from the phone to the Bell Shorty helmet via Bluetooth.

Mark at Patriot sold me a nifty new headlight bulb that he guaranteed would scare the shit out of any buffalo on the road.

So I have the tour-pack compartment and the right saddlebag left for an extra helmet, jackets, gloves, chaps, rain gear, clothes, and extra boots. Though it's overkill, I'll probably take an empty Saddlemen travel bag to carry all my t-shirts and treasures back!

There was also a critical fact omitted from this post when originally published. Charlie and Linda volunteered to take along a "Cowboy's Sturgis Supplies Tub" in their trailer, which contains an extra pair of jeans, a pound of decent coffee, plus ample supplies of non-alcoholic beverages and strawberry Twizzlers, none of which are likely to be available at the Buffalo Chip! I'll be set when I get there! Linda probably thinks there's medical supplies (Viagra?) in there along with hi-potency vitamins, clean socks and underwear, etc, but I left that stuff out so there was plenty room for Twizzlers.

Reluctantly, my S&W .357 will stay back in Virginia. Carrying was "iffy" since I don't have my carry-permit yet.

Now it's just a matter of laying everything out, running through the checklist, and packing the bag liners. Then on Thursday evening, I can begin loading everything. I actually want to load it now, but I'd just unpack it a couple times to make sure nothing's missing, so no sense in going through all that!



PS - Very best thoughts go out to Sol's Mom....Sol too. Hope everything gets sorted out, and Mom is on the mend. I'll leave Sol with the reminder that Sturgis will still be there in 2013.