Article By: Lemme
Photos By: Bart Mitchel, Darren McKeag, Kerri Schindler And Sara Liberte
Originally Published In The November 2012 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Once that truck driver figured out that I had pissed my shorts less than twenty hours ago, he booted my ass out of that Petercar along I-90 somewhere near Nothing, South Dakota just as the sun was going down. Thank God for that crazy old lady in the run-down Ford Molester Edition van from Wisconsin. She reminded me of the lunch lady serving up Sloppy Joes on that Adam Sandler flick. I had to hitchhike that year because I had broken my leg the week before kickin’ my evidently female Shovelhead. I had decided that enough was enough when I made the trek to the interstate to start thumbin’ a ride. See, I had woken up the night before on a gas station floor in a puddle of my own piss, using a case of Budweiser as a pillow. The employee kickin’ me in the ribs to wake me up was not impressed.
Last year, I lost all of my clothes at the campsite and just wandered around naked for a night, which is a great idea in hindsight. See, this way you don’t have clothes to soil. Then three years ago, I woke up in a ditch on what appeared to be a logging trail, cuddling with my bike. A couple of the friendly locals had decided to stop and rob me at knifepoint. It was so nice of them to help me out. I was really getting sick of having all that money weighing me down. Sturgis, for me anyway, has always consisted of pissing my pants at least once during the week, but this year was the one exception. I’ve never had to really work ‘round the clock at a rally before. It used to be just sitting at a trailer and getting drunk. This year though, my time was filled with running around trying to get good photos for the mag and some good footage for Rally TV. It seemed like we were being pulled in every direction possible, but it paid off. Check out the Rally TV coverage on Youtube. There’s some really good stuff on there from this year, like Darren’s technical overview of this television-ruined club bike for instance.
The week started out as any other pre- Sturgis fiasco as everybody came barreling in to town, full throttle, as they tend to do. Note* If you’ve ever ridden with Roadside and Darren, you’d know that anything less than wide-f**king-open is unacceptable! It’s always an adventure. They arrived safely with soggy hair-dos in the blown back position and commenced to drink every single beer in SFSD. Paul and Will showed up in the middle of the fiasco poised to compete in the destruction. We decided to call it a night once we were certain that we had offended every single last stripper, bartender, and innocent bystander in town, and headed back to Dan’s house where Paul began harassing him about his skin color, which is the same color as Paul’s. I have no idea what was going on at that point, but I did get a text from Wes saying that he had decided at the last minute to participate after all, and that he was on his way, despite rain and extreme cold. He did end up making it just before we were waking up to leave.
Either way, we hit the road, at breakneck speeds of course, and set our sights on Sturgis. With the group of them on bikes, Sara, Curt, and I jumped in my Kraut-mobile, stuffed to the gills with everyone’s shit, and did our best to keep up, keep traffic off their asses, and get some footage for Rally TV. Everything went fine aside from Roadside’s bike cuttin’ out real bad when it would fall below a half tank of fuel. Despite our best efforts, having the tank completely off the thing on the side of the interstate at one point, it kept being picky. We all ended up making it in one piece, and the insanity began at once. Things all kicked off with the Cycle Source 15th anniversary party, and it went off without a hitch. Everybody reminisced about this and that, and Chris handed out awards and thanked everyone. The best part was hangin’ out with the greatest people in the world to me. These few at the magazine are my family, and I cherish every minute with them all. It was a great time, and thank you Chris for putting the whole thing on. The people at the Easyrider’s Saloon were kind, accommodating, and willing to ease any stress there may have been, and we thank Steve and his crew for this. It was a great time there and hopefully we can do it again next year.
I’m not sure what came next, but The Horse magazine’s ride-in chopper show rings a bell. They put on one hell of a good event each year, and give away plenty of cool shit. Plus, you get to watch Roadside yell at stupid people, which is always fun. Thank you all over there at The Horse for the accommodations and fun; I’ll be back for sure. It’s always a good time. As far as the Cycle Source annual ride, I can’t really tell about it because we brought up the rear of the hundred and a half strong dirtbag convoy and stopped to help Mike with his Flatty. When we got rolling again, the dozen or so of us had lost the group, so we found the nearest outback watering hole and enjoyed the searing heat. With dehydration and/or heat stroke becoming a very real possibility, the only thing left to do once we made it back to the saloon was drink plenty of luke-warm beer. Billy kept pouring his Twisted Tea down our gullets, and enough of that shit turns you into f**kin’ Beetlejuice! Aside from that, Darren bought a whole smörgåsbord of different combinations of alcohol because that’s always a good idea after a dozen beers and a case of Twisted Tea. So, other than some good material for RallyTV (go check it out…it’s funny watching Darren try to speak English) we sat perched on the second level boardwalk running parallel to Lazelle and did our best to offend the squares. It can occupy a fella all afternoon.
At some point during the week, there was what they called a “burn out contest,” but it was mostly an engine revving competition. I wandered [stumbled] across the street to procure a can of ether and an extra lighter. When it was all said and done, Darren dragged his Twin Cam up there and we lit the thing on fire. To me, it’s not a burn out unless you melt electrical components and brake lines, or blister some part of your body in the process. Last year at the Cycle Source chopper show, which was held at noon, we drank every last drop of moonshine from the entire case that Darren bought, and blacked out before the awards. Apparently we went a little overboard…I guess I was puking all over the place, taking articles of female clothing in exchange for Slingin’ Ink pasties, and offending the help. I got emails from a plethora of people I had never met. Well, as far as I knew anyway. Darren took off on his bike, wide loose, after fifteen hours of hooch consumption, bounced off of Kai who was doing a burn out, blind drunk, lost control, and launched him and his bike off of a hill and both came crashing down. I hear it was quite the spectacle. Thank God I had decided earlier on in the day to set up my house out at the Chip. This tent was 4 ft. wide by 5 ft. long and I had literally lived in the thing for almost an entire year. Having spent that much time in that damn thing, meshed with my very rare hygienic maintenance on the road, it made for quite an interesting smell.
Anyway, in the spirit of stupidity, we started drinking very early on for the show this year. The rain came down just before the event, and it was beginning to look like it might be a bad turn out, but with an hour or two to go for registration, the dirtbags came rolling in, and we were ready to go. We all took our time selecting the perfect bikes for all of the right reasons and awarded them appropriately. There were all kinds of great prizes to be had! I couldn’t believe half the stuff they were giving out! Literally thousands of dollars worth of prizes from: Sucker Punch Sallys, Progressive Suspension, S&S, Bates Footwear, JIMS, Stage 5 Paint, Helmet- Division, Twisted Tea and the list goes on and on. Before we knew it, the week was over and we had to yet again endure the difficult goodbyes. It always sucks leaving my family after each of these events, but it keeps us all jacked up for the next gathering. It’s really a strange prospect to sit and cogitate the endless insanity of such an amazing gathering of people in the name of fun, but it’s almost a slap to the pecker watching it all go down behind the scenes. See, we rarely slept. When the day was through, we all did our thing well into the wee hours of the morning, whether that consisted of editing and posting videos from the day, or planning and plotting the next day’s insanity. Whatever the case may be, the shit didn’t end until 0500, and things commenced again two or three hours later.
But, it was really cool. There was something like six or seven of us sleeping in that camper, several constantly working, and people were coming in and out all day. It was like mission control meshed with the Waltons; I mean, if the Waltons had a collective drinking problem anyway. In the end we got it done, and said our sad goodbyes. I can’t wait to see what Vegas has in store for us! Now, the cup is raised, the toast is made yet again… stay armed & hammered.