Riding to Sturgis Diary 2016 – Part 2

Alright campers, the other day, I told you how I’m driving to Sturgis and, just like I said, I made it to Nashville with no issues. Oh, I hit the usual traffic in Atlanta, which if you know anything about Atlanta, Georgia, you know that traffic there is bad any day that ends in “y”.

The biggest problem was that stop and go traffic is tough on air-cooled engines when the weather is near 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so I pulled over, got a Coke and a smile, and smoked my lunch. Once I was through Atlanta, no problems.

No, the real problem was that somewhere near Joplin, Missouri, I hit a bird.

Let me explain.

I think it was a bluejay flew across the road and I smacked his ass doing about 65 miles per hour.

He hit me nearly square in the chest and about knocked me off the bike. Knocked the breath out of me and the bike got a little wobbly, but I made it to the side of the road with no issues for a smoke and I picked feathers out of my jacket for the next twenty minutes (I had it partially unzipped to give me some ventilation). Now, a few hours later, there is a blob-shaped (Or bird shaped?) bruise forming on my chest as I write this. It felt like I’d been beaned by a fastball in the big leagues.

Now, I know that this critter couldn’t have weighed four ounces, but I was leaned up like some brand new rider, stretching my back, and out of nowhere, here comes the suicidal bird. I’ve come close to hitting lots of stuff, and I even seem to recall smacking some small bird at low speed back in the day, but let me tell you what, friends and neighbors, hitting a bird at highway speed will really test your mettle.

It hurts like a sumbitch.

It hurt so bad I needed two cigarettes to get back on the bike.

So now I’m sitting in a cheap hotel not far from Omaha with an ice bag on my chest and trying to decide on taking the day off tomorrow or pushing through. The good news is that I know I didn’t crunch anything, but deep breathing – like that first drag on a cigarette with your coffee in the morning? Nope.

Nope, nope, nope.

That hurts.

The best part, though, is that I’m only a day’s ride from Sturgis and I’ll be there early enough to grab a little R and R and catch a couple of days of good sleep before things really get rolling on Main Street. Another thing I’m looking forward to seeing is the H-D Rally Point – 11,000 square feet to commemorate the brand and, of course, the new version of Full Throttle. I may go to my grave thinking the fire was a little suspicious, but from what I’ve seen, it is awesome.

I can’t wait.

I’ll give you a full report back on everything, including my wildlife adventures, but I’m looking forward to getting there.

Ride safe, guys… and I’ll tell you everything that you need to know as next week happens!

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