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Article And Photos By: Jack Shit
Originally Published In The November 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Well, actually, that title should have read, formerly the 50-year-old virgin as I fi nally popped my Sturgis cherry in a big way! Those of you who know me may be asking themselves, “Self, what the hell is Jack talking about now, he goes to Sturgis every year?” You are in fact correct, for the last nine years I’ve been going without fail, but I’ve never done Sturgis as nearly everyone who goes to the rally does. I normally get there the day before it begins and leave the day after it ends. I get up and go to work, go to bed, repeat for ten days then go home. The 78th Sturgis Rally was going to be different for this guy on many levels. Until this year, my lovely wife Diane, had more miles ridden in the Black Hills than I did and she’s only been there once! On the 11th of August, I hit that magic milestone that I’d been dreading, the big 50 and all I wanted to do was ignore it, let it pass with little to no fanfare and move along. I’ve been accused of no longer being romantic as well as never being fun anymore. I was all set to change that and once again be the romantic, fun fool that I used to be. The plan, simple, load up the bike and the lil’ woman and ride to Sturgis, sleep on fl oors somewhere, get drunk, be silly, take pics and make memories. That simple plan died a painful death this year. In rapid succession, the plan went from a bike to the bus, to the truck, trailer, fi ve bikes, and airport pickups and from sleeping on fl oors to renting a house for fi ve grand… how the hell did we get to this? The answer, two words, THE WIFE! Just the two of W us became 8 of us and a monumental amount of stress. I returned home from Mountainfest with one day to pull this all off!
Before I go even a word further, I want to go on the record and say that it was hands down the very best Sturgis Rally that I’ve ever had thanks to so many incredible people’s friendship and love and I will never, ever forget it! Back to the virgin part, what does that have to do with anything? Until this trip, I’d never seen A N Y T H I N G up there, never ridden A N Y W H E R E in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I never saw Rushmore, never saw a buffalo in the wild, never rode Needles Hwy, etc. Now you see where I’m going with this? This trip forever changed that, and although I didn’t get to do all the riding I’d have wished for, the riding we got to do rekindled my fi re for all things two wheels! Not working the rally was entirely new for me and it took a bit to get used to not having a timeline to live and die by. Our fi rst ride up Vanocker Canyon led to one of the greatest Sturgis discoveries since they found gold in the Black Hills. It was the Pasta Corral, and it was mind-blowing! The food was amazing, the family that runs it friendly as hell and the property was incredible right down to the glacierfed pond with monster fi sh that swam right up to you begging for food, I could have sat at that pond for days, but there was riding to do! For me, the best part of Sturgis is getting to see the friends you may only get to see once a year and this year it seemed more were there than ever!
As usual, the Spoke / Iron Horse was our base camp. It seemed every day both began and ended there. As you know they crush it with their always free concerts and Grease & Gears Garage all day helping to keep the ORIGINAL downtown Broken Spoke alive. Without fail, the single best day of Sturgis is the Cycle Source Run To The Line ride and Rodeo out at the Spur Creek Saloon where lunatics on bikes compete against cowboys on horses and in my opinion, this was the very best one ever! My boy Big Sexy from AZ just stone killed it in every single event and had people near crying with his antics on that mad motor scooter! For the fi rst time, Diane got to attend and earned that press pass with her exceptional videography! My second favorite day of Sturgis is the Lichter exhibit at the Chip. On display were, without exception, some of the fi nest bikes I’ve ever had the honor to view! Those two events alone coupled with the riding would have made this unforgettable but there was one giant surprise in store for both me and our dear pal Xavier. That was our dual 50th birthday party that was held upstairs at the Iron Horse! I can’t believe I spent the week around every single person in attendance and not one of them blew it and spoiled the surprise! For those who were there, they got to witness something that may never be seen again, me, totally speechless! Till this day, I really don’t even know what to say but thank you! Thank you to all who shared this day with us, to all who helped pull it off from the invitations to returning cupcake towers, you are all amazing, and I love you guys!
So as of now, I’m no longer a virgin! I got to roll down roads I’ve only dreamed of, got to see buffalo in the wild, got to see Rushmore, rode Needles Hwy, Custer, Deadwood and so many more things that I’ve never been able to do, and I got to do them with my girl for the very fi rst time! I had no idea that in every direction for hundreds of miles, the Sturgis Rally is held in every place you look! Anywhere you went, IT WAS BIKE WEEK! I had to go all the way to South Dakota to fi nally go riding with Jack from the Dirty Dogg in Scottsdale, AZ, go fi gure. Billy Grotto, thanks for the hookup for Kid Rock, you sir are a gentleman and scholar! We got to wrap up the rally with an incredible, traditional meal in Deadwood with Chris and Heather and hell; we even got to tease Kid Rock at dinner about his 70’s porn star mustache! This was hands down the most incredible Sturgis ever and all because of the people I got to share it with! I can’t wait to do it all over again and again! Now that I’m no longer a virgin, I’m open to more new and exciting adventures! See ya on the road soon!