Well, I figured I’d go ahead and document my ride to Sturgis this year, especially since I’ve gotten the crazy idea to drive it on my bike. For the four of you that regularly read my column, you know that it’s a long ride – about 1,750 miles, and that I’ve shipped all my “vacation” crap by UPS and will catch up with it when I get there.
I’m actually carrying just some basic tools with me, along with a couple of changes of clothes. The biggest challenge? Weather. It’s hotter than Hell here and that leads to some pretty harsh storms in the late afternoon. Thunder and lightning I can handle, but torrential rain? Nope.
Those guys in the cars can’t handle it and while I’d like to think that I’m bullet-proof, I know that I’m not sedan-proof. My goal is to actually make the ride in three days – Nashville on day one, Omaha day two, and then get into Rapid City at the end of day three. That’s where I shipped my junk to, so I’ll stay there for the night and have a little time to enjoy before the festivities really get rolling on August 8th.
So what have I done to get the Sportster ready for this ride? Well, you know that I’m rolling on a newer engine with full synthetics in it, and I’ve rebuilt or serviced everything else in the drivetrain. I have no qualms about the tranny or the clutch holding, and the brakes are in great shape. I put on new rubber a few weeks ago, so that should be good, too. My only real fear in all this is what could break that I didn’t already think about.
We’ve all been there when some silly-assed thing like a cotter pin walks out and we are stuck trying to cobble something together on the roadside (Pro tip – I’ve got a little prescription container filled with oddball cotter pins, grease fittings, and some braided stainless wire in case that happens … it just sits there in the bottom of the saddlebags). If all else fails, I’ve got a cell phone and a credit card. I’ll rent a U-Haul and drag the bike to Sturgis. I’m not missing it again.
I may or may not ever drive to it again on a bike, but I’m not missing it again.
For the most part, though, I feel that there is no reason that the bike can’t make it and the iron butt of the driver should still be there when its all over. Besides, anybody can trailer a bar hopper to Sturgis and make it look fantastic. I’m going to go, bugs and all, and have a great time.
To be continued…