A bad day on a motorcycle is worse than a good day riding in a car, unless you crash, then riding a motorcycle sucks, but what is the worse that could happen?  You could crash and die, or even worse yet you could crash and live but be paralyzed or brain damaged, but all these things could still happen to you if you were involved in a major car accident.  All though riding a motorcycle is a high-risk activity, there are things you can do to reduce the risk.  Ride smart; don’t speed in traffic, watch out for people in cars who either don’t see you or don’t care and pull out in front of you.  These are just a few things you can do to ride safe.  Some people think that crashing is something that happens to the other guy; I’m too good a rider for that, they think, but they’re wrong.  It can happen to anyone no matter how good you are.

My older brother died in a motorcycle crash, I slid off a curve on a mountain road at thirty miles and hour, and I’ve seen my brothers go down on the road, but I still throw my leg over my motorcycle every day and ride because it’s what I do; it’s part of who I am.  I have no desire to go bungee jumping or to sky dive; that not what I’m into: I ride motorcycles.  I refuse to live the so-called safe life, because that kind of life sounds boring.  I believe in living life to its fullest and enjoying every minute I have here on Earth.  Even if I do go out riding a motorcycle, at least it will be while I was doing something I enjoy.  I plan to die when I’m ninety-three, sitting on my front porch after I just took my last ride on my Harley.  Until then, I’ll keep hanging with my bros and keep my face in the wind.

We met at the Valero’s gas station in Barstow California at five AM on a Thursday morning.  Due to working the night shift, I don’t normally crawl from my cave until after eleven.  We headed out on the I 15 freeway and we hadn’t even made it out of town when a semi truck tried to come into my lane and take me out.  I goosed the throttle and got out of his way quick.  The weather was good and we made good time stopping near Las Vegas for our first gas stop.  In Utah, we took the I 70 east and that was when the weather turned bad.  One thing that you can count on when going to Sturgis, is rain and hail.  We got caught in a hailstorm that was so bad that I thought I was going to crash.  My buddy Lobo, pulled over to the side of the road and road along on the shoulder at about twenty miles an hours.  I followed him, figuring that if I crashed it would be better to crash on the side of the road instead of in the traffic lane.  The hail stopped, we crossed into Colorado and staid the night at Grand Junction

After sleeping in a nice warm bed, we woke up the next morning and headed east.  At Denver, one of our bros split off and headed south to see his brother while three of us headed north toward Wyoming.  After passing through Cheyenne, we got caught in another hailstorm and had to deal with strong crosswinds.  By this time, I was starting to wonder if the trip would be worth all the hard riding we’d been doing.  After taking a wrong turn and having to double back at a town called Lusk, we took a two-lane highway leading into the Black Hills of South Dakota and arrived at Randy’s ranch after dark.  We set up our tent, visited with the other campers and then hit the rack.  Saturday morning we went into Sturgis and checked out the sights.  If you’ve not been to Sturgis, you can’t image how many motorcycles you see.  Sunday we went into Deadwood, did some gambling and ate at the Gem Hotel and Casino.  That night we partied At the Broken Spoke Saloon.  On Sunday, we headed into Rapid City and spent most of the day at the Harley shop.

The next morning we went to see Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monument.  I had a tense moment on the way there when we passed a woman driving a three-wheeler.  One of my bros, pulled out to pass and I followed him.  A bike came around a curve approaching at a high rate of speed, so I gunned the throttle and we passed each other next to the three-wheeler. I pulled back into my lane and slowed down, trying to let my heart rate get back to normal.  The next morning we went back to Deadwood and in the Number Ten Saloon, I sat down at what I thought was a quarter slot machine and started gambling.  After I while I realize I was playing a dollar machine, but I got lucky and won two hundred dollars.  That night we headed to the Buffalo Chip campground and saw Bob Dylan and Kid Rock in concert.  They kicked ass, but we left before Kid Rock finished.  By that time we were suffering the agony of de feet.

We headed for home the following morning, after stopping at the Post Office so Lobo could ship home some of his gear.  We were approaching Deadwood on our way home when we stopped at a signal light.  When the light turned green, I pulled in the clutch to put the bike in gear when I heard a snap and the clutch went slack.  I had broken my clutch cable and there I was stuck on the side of the road.  My two amigos went on through the light and only realized that I was not with them when they arrived at Deadwood.  An old boy with a Christian Motorcycle Association patch on his vest pulled up next to me and asked if I needed help.  I told him about my clutch cable.  He headed down to the ABC Emergency Service Center in Deadwood and came back with two other guys in a Suburban pulling a trailer.  They took my bike to Fathead Choppers.  I sat and waited while my bros went to Rapid City for the clutch cable.  After waiting around for most of the day, they finally fixed my bike and we headed for home.  After riding hard for two days, stopping well after dark, we arrived home safely Friday afternoon.  If you chose to go to Sturgis, the ride is rough, but the experience is worth the trip.  It's wid good time that you'