Billings to Sturgis
Today’s the day!. Finally Sturgis! I’m so excited! This is what we’ve been preparing for since last year!
We headed out early as usual. Leaving early in the day is serving us well as the temperatures climb high into the heat index in this part of the country during the hot months of July and August.
Grabbing breakfast in the hotel lobby after enduring a lecture on the inner workings of the pancake/waffle maker machine, we loaded the bikes early. For me with a new bike, I had to formulate a new plan on how to pack things. I had a system down to almost a science with my other bike, but this one is still inthe ‘introduction’ phase for me. She’s still getting to know me and I’m still getting to know her. Although I’m discovering she’s being a bit tempermental right now. .
We headed out I90 with a host of other bikes and soon was presented with the “mentality” some bikers have. At all costs – be in front. One group in particular had is scratching our heads. Alberta plates – and obviously becoming one with the world of no lid laws – they played hopscotch with us until they got bored and we left in our tracks. It’s amazing when you have cruise control set that you soon realize how inconsistent some riders are. Whatever! We were on our way!.
Once we were all loaded up properly, we headed out on the highway again and on to Sturgis. Gas mileage is a major problem with us. Hubby and I can easily get 280 – 300km on a tank before any warning lights. Actually Hubby can get closer to 400k – one of the things I miss about the Glide – and with my smaller tank I can get 280 – 300k as long as I’m not bucking a headwind. RC on the other hand has a much smaller tank, which makes it imperative that we plan our route around the gas stations. At 150km he’s starting to fret and whine.
As we get closer and closer to the Buffalo Chip and Sturgis, the line ups at the gas pumps have become noticably l0nger and longer. And 80% of the line ups are bikes. We traditionally pull up to pumps side by side and fill two bikes at once, that way we dont hold anyone else up and don’t hog a pump. Our techinique of “get-in-get-out” has served us well in the past. Why mess with perfection? Unless each and ever gas stop turns into a dog and pony show of having to use the bathroom, then cruise the aisles then talk to the bikes beside us then wander around with our head up our butts talking to all the cars…… well you get the idea.
We gassed up in spearfish along with about 70 other people and headed for the gates. Unfortunately because of timing and roads, we ended up going through Sturgis itself. 1/2 hour to go through 5 blocks is way too much for me. People and bike and cars everywhere. Unnerving – even more so when one of the bikes in front of us seems to get it’s throttle stuck, jump the curb and somehow get the motorcycle stuck on its side between the curb and a rental car in front of us.
I’m totally paranoid about getting separated from Hubby because he has the passes, tickets and receipts from the online purchases so I’m bulling my way through traffic to stick to him like glue. He switches lanes to change places andthere is only room for a bike and a 1/2? DON’T CARE! I’m right tjhre on his wing. It was wall to wall bikes. And heat. And exhaust. But I didn’t care. I was in STURGIS!!!!