I’m still here!

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!

1980 c. Bill on Blue Bitch grinnin' like a fool! 8.5 x 13'' a

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!

1980s Bill on Blue Bitch burnin' up the asphalt at Little River-Academy Drag Strip outside Temple, Texas! 8.5 x 11'' a

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!

Bill 1982 Sturgis Road Out of Town b1982-08 T.R. Evans leaving Sturgis, S. Dakota after Black Hills Classic Motorcycle Rally (1)

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.

Bill 1982 Sturgis Main Street 04 Black Hills Power and Light

Bill 1982 Sturgis Main Street 03

Had to do the tourist bits, of course:

Bill 1982 Sturgis Mt. Rushmore Full Frame (2)Bill 1982 Sturgis Mt. Rushmore Headshot a

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!