It's Sturgis this week and as you know the ole Captain does attend Sturgis from time to time. Not so much during the rally because I like to drive more than 10 MPH in the Black Hills, but I still see those attending the Sturgis rally as they are enroute to it and drive through my little town.
In the past I've made some observations about the Sturgis Rally, notably economic. 1. Sturgis will die in about 20 years as a) Harley motorcycles are priced out of the range of any youth and b) this recession, combined with student debt, will more or less spell the future demise of Harley Davidson. 2. Sturgis is not really for badass or real bikers any more. Like last year this time I saw a record number of brand-spanking new trikes being driven by aging baby boomers in their mid-life crisis (remember what I said about 10MPH?). It's worse this year.
Regardless, this year I shall make some additional observations about the rally so as to benefit those of you kicking around attending and those of you who do attend, but really shouldn't.
"$25,000 and 25 miles don't make you a biker"
I saw an older, rough, gruff gentleman wearing the above quote on his this shirt. I wanted to go up to him and say, "that is the most kick ass shirt i have ever seen."
but I didn't.
Want to know why?
Because I was dressed in khakis and a polo shirt at the time and didn't want to look like a moron. This guy was old school and could crush me in half a second. If I had my motorcycle gear on or just plain ole jeans, I would have complimented him. But I know enough that he would dismiss me, if not punch me for daring to make it look like I was being cool.
Regardless, his shirt says it all.
For those of you who think you're part of the Sturgis Rally (or Beartooth or Dragon's Tail or Daytona, etc.) and you just spent $25,000 and HAULED your bike in a trailer to Sturgis, you did not officially "do Sturgis" in my or most other real bikers' opinion. You're a hazard. You don't have enough experience riding. YOu're probably causing a disproportionate number of accidents on the road because you are not only driving too slow, but you really don't know what you're doing.
In short, me driving my piddlely Ninja 250 to Sturgis twice, tightening the chain up every 80 miles, is more manly and real than you dropping $40,000 on a 1200 cc cruiser that you haul in a pretty little trailer, drive in Spearfish Canyon in pristine conditions, only to haul it back to Winnekta or Edina.
You want to really do "Sturgis," then drive your ass out there on your bike. Don't haul it.
Lot's of New Leather Chaps
For those of you who decide you're going to do Sturgis at the last moment, rush job your way to a motorcycle license, and buy whatever Harley you can get, can you do me a favor and at least rough up your leathers first?
The reason I request this is the glare off of your BRAND NEW leather jacket and BRAND NEW leather chaps tends to blind me. How about instead you take your chaps and jacket and roll around on a gravel road for a couple minutes to give it that worn look, and then put a big sign on your bike that says, "Noob," that way I don't have to suffer the glare but still know you can't drive a bike.
Trikes and CanAm Spiders
If you are old and a veteran rider of motorcycles who happened to end up liking trikes, then this critique is not for you.
If you are the idiot who couldn't pass the motorcycle riding course and decided it was easier to get a trike or a CanAm spider, listen up.
You aren't a biker.
You're lazy and unskilled. You either couldn't or you wouldn't spend the time it took to learn to ride a real bike. And since you don't need a motorcycle endorsement on your license with a three wheeled vehicle, we all now get to suffer you thinking you're part of Sturgis or any other kind of motorcycle rally as you have that dopey in awe look on your face when you pull into town on your Playskool tricycle.
But that's alright, with "Ma" and "Pa" stenciled into your matching helmets as you drive 9 MPH with a traffic jam 4 miles long behind you as "Ma" films the ride with her smart phone, we can all easily identify you, avoid you on the road, and maybe fetch you some Metamucil to go with your white wine.
Police and Crotch-Rocketeers
Dear Police. There are a handful of us crotch-rocketeers that like to attend these rallies. If could could please note the following items, we'd appreciate it.
1. We're not going faster, we just look like we are. Additionally, most everybody else is really going about 10 MPH under the speed limit.
2. We're usually the ones wearing helmets, so please don't lecture us about how many people you've seen die on crotch rockets.
3. On a related note, when you pull us over for passing "Pruny Boobs Ma" and "Alzheimers Depends Pa" in a passing lane and you give us the line "I've seen a lot better drivers than you die on these bikes" (I've received this twice now), you have no idea how tempting it is to say to you "Well then how come they're dead and I'm still alive?"
4. Do you like all that overtime? Then STFU and lay off the crotch rocketeers. We're the only ones that are going to be around when "Ma" and "Pa" die in 10 years and nobody else can afford replacement Harley's. Instead of Jack Daniels sponsoring Harley's in Sturgis, it may just be Sapporo sponsoring Suzuki's and KAwasaki's.
5. Crotch Rocketeers, just smile and obey what the nice officer says. I never received a ticket. Just a lecturing about safety while I am wearing my pads, jacket, armor, helmet, gloves...while 50 60 year olds without helmets, pads, gloves and armor, tanked up on booze and driving dangerously slow drive past the safety-concerned officer.