More history posts coming soon as I get time. Meanwhile, here’s a blast from my own past. Shortly after I rebuilt my 1974 shovel in the early ’80s – refurbished 1954 rigid wishbone frame, fresh motor, fresh paint, the works – I went on a group ride to Lake Buchanan in the Highland Lakes Region of Central Texas. A few weeks later a fellow who’d been on the ride with us – a fellow I didn’t even know – came in the shop where I worked and dropped some pics on me. They were all great shots, but the one below captures the pure joy and pride I was feelin’ that day!
A little while later I rode up to Little River, a little town outside Temple, Texas, and raced heads-up in the run-what-ya-brung FL class. Did pretty good, for a virtually bone-stock motor!
A couple years later I rode to Sturgis, South Dakota, for the big rally that city hosts every summer. I rode my shovel and my partner rode his rigid jockey-shift 1973 shovel chop. We lit out of Austin Friday night after work, took a leisurely ride up IH35 into Kansas, and then meandered west and northwest into Sturgis. We camped twice, and even stopped to visit my brother’s in-laws in Kearney, Nebraska, and still made it in time to pitch our tents before sunset on Sunday night!
Sturgis was fun – it was a blast having motorcycles outnumber cars, for once – but the only reason I’d go back during the rally would be to create a “35 years later” documentary film or photo essay. Wouldn’t mind getting up there to ride those roads when they weren’t packed with drunk bikers, though!
And speaking of packed: Here’s downtown Sturgis on the Monday night of the rally week. Remember, this was 1982, and 30,000 was a record-breaking crowd for the rally – the biggest in attendance (thus far, anyway) since the rally began back in the late ’30s.
Had to do the tourist bits, of course:
All in all I had a blast – put on some miles, saw some fun stuff while motoring through the always fascinating (to me) American landscape, and met some really cool folks. As stated above, I wouldn’t want to do it every summer, but I think every biker owes it to him or herself to make the scene at least once!
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