Article By: Matt Reel
Originally Published In The November 2012 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
I have always been an “it’s the journey, not the destination” kind of person. Maybe it comes from all the family vacations growing up, or maybe it’s from being the son of a Greyhound bus driver and brother of a truck driver. I don’t really know, but as much fun as the final destination may have been, the trip there was as much fun if not more. While packing up on Sunday at West Virginia’s Mt. Fest., I mentioned that I would like to check Sturgis out some time. Chris replied that there was still room in the van (The White Dragon) and they would be leaving Wednesday. Luck would have it that I was on vacation from the fire dept., but I still had responsibilities at the shop, so I thanked him and declined. Tuesday morning comes and I go to the shop and check the calendar. No major jobs on the board; screw it, I’m going to Sturgis! The decision is made so I head home, and tie some clothes to my bike. Now it’s haul ass to Pittsburgh.
Glitch #1 (yes there are more to come): About an hour from home, I realize I have my contacts in and didn’t bring my glasses. Screw it, I’ll deal with it later — I’m going to Sturgis. After arriving at the Cycle Source headquarters, we load the bikes and Mailman packs the trailer. Chris is going to work through the night finishing up some magazine work and I’m gonna grab some sleep so I can do the driving; we’re heading out at 4 a.m. So, 4 a.m. comes, I get up, wander into Chris’ office, and no Chris. Out into the garage I find him, Mailman, and Seth sitting around talking; gonna be a little while longer so back to sleep for me. It’s now 8 a.m. and finally we’re ready to go.
Glitch #2: About 5 miles down the road, Chris sits up in the back seat and yells, “Where are the keys to my chopper?” I slide off the road into the first wide spot and we search the van and trailer finally finding the key packed away in a bag. Back on the road again. After a day of uneventful driving, we arrive at Led Sleds – our first destination. The plan for the day is that Pat is having a buddy put a stereo in the White Dragon. After a few hours of running around, the van is done. We pick it up and then go to a local bar to meet Pat and the Led Sled crew.
Glitch #3: We pull into the bar lot and Chris gets out and opens the hood; the transmission will not shift into high gear. After trying to find the problem, and a couple of calls to the stereo shop, we have no luck. Now the saving grace: Ever notice how in a group of bikers someone always “knows a guy” that saves the day? A guy steps up, calls his buddy, and in a few minutes we are on our way to his house/shop. About 30 minutes and a handful of fuses later, we are back on the road. Now we are off to Defiance, Ohio to pick up Kerri. We roll into the Pandemonium compound around 4 a.m., load up Kerri and hit the road again. Next, we roll into Viola, WI at the S&S engine facility. We take a quick tour, do an interview and we’re on the road again. A few hours later it’s time for some real rest, so we get a hotel. The next morning we head to Kevin Baas’(Teach) place so Chris and Kerri can shoot a couple of Teach’s bikes. Now at this point, many miles have passed, days have run into nights, we have made about 100 U-turns, we are outnumbered by the flies in the van, and Mailman has built an apartment in the back. We are all getting stir crazy and just want to reach our destination. Then it comes…
Glitch #…who knows? About 50 miles outside Sioux Falls, there’s a blow out on the trailer. Easy enough if you travel with a spare, but not us. Luckily, the trailer is a tandem axle, so we pull the bad tire and nurse it down the road. Somewhere around here I fall asleep in the back. A couple hours later the sun comes up and I see we are in the parking lot of a Goodyear tire store. Lucky for us the manager came to work early that morning and took care of us first thing. The last leg of our trip was pretty monotonous. Doing the tourist thing, we checked out Wall Drug and The Corn Palace. By evening, we rolled into Sturgis and got ready for a week of good times and good friends, livin’ life the Cycle Source way. So if you get the chance to travel with the Cycle Source crew, my suggestion is this: Step back and take a look at yourself. Are you a journey person or are you a destination person? After you have answered that question, close your eyes and say, “Hell yeah, count me in,” ‘cause you never know what tomorrow holds — live for today. Oh, back to my whole contact lenses situation. I’d like to thank my friend Rebecca for getting my glasses and having them shipped overnight to me in Sturgis.