Thursday, September 28, 2006

First Sturgis Run

I travelled to Sturgis, South Dakota for the first time in 1997. Yep, and that was on the 'new' Sportster that I had bought in 1996. Many people thought I was nuts for riding a Sportster all the way to Sturgis from Oregon, but it was suppose to be an adventure right? And that it was.

I rode with 3 other friends, two of which had Harley Softails and one of them (like me) was nuts enough to ride a Sportster also. He only had a Peanut Tank though so we had to stop alot for gas. Not a problem because we got to meet alot of people along the way and thats what it was all about. I was actually pretty closed-up to talk much with folks on the road, but this trip regained my faith in human kind and it was exactly what I needed.

We rode the Lewis and Clark Trail Highway (Highway 12) through 3 States before entering into Northern Wyoming and it was a dream come true for me. We rode the Columbia River Gorge scenic byway along the Oregon/Washington Border along Highway 84 before getting to 12 and then headed off into Washignton's wheat lands and corn fields which is all you see forever out there. Then into Idaho at Clarkston and Lewiston and up into the Clear Water River Canyon. This is where we entered into the most beautiful mountain road riding I've seen in years. Up over Lolo Pass into Montana and you see some real beauty along the way. There's not much gas between points, so beware of your mileage in these parts.

Riding across Montana is like going through every topography you could imagine, we ran mountains that were 12,000+ feet in elevation and we ran through some plains that must have been below sea level. We found people in the smallest of towns that were ready to take us in and 'adopt' us as their own, feed us, fill us with drink, fill our tanks, and send us on our way. It was a pleasure meeting many of these folks in Montana. One of the greatest places we visited is Martinsdale, Montana.

It's right about midpoint of the state within the Crazy Mountain Range, which is what the Native Americans named them because they say they saw ghosts there. The Crazy Mountain Inn is a place right out of the old west and the Innkeepers there are the greatest. We make it a point to visit there every once in awhile to see what's going on. The town town has a bar, a church, an auto repair shop and a fishing hole, what more could you ever need?

We made it finally to Sturgis in 3 days at about 500-600 miles per day and stayed at the Bear Butte Creek Campground. Nice place with 3 bars, live bands, dance floors and an early morning cannon shot to get everyone riled up first thing every day. All we kept hearing was "MORE POWDER" from the crowd after they shot it off. We spent 3 days there running through all the local sites and towns and then hit the road back taking a more southern route through Wyoming this time due to the northern route through Yellowstone being closed for road repairs.

We made it back in 3 days, the last day being a total of 688 miles for me from Arco, Idaho and it was a jaunt.

Great ride guys!!!

Travelin' Oregon

Since 1996 I have been on quite a few rides, mostly around the Western United States but hope to get further East with my travels as time warrants. I have also made it a part of my life to collect 'things' from places I get around to so that I have some little token of where all those places are. I'll put some of those up here someday soon.

1996 I was in Oregon and that is a beautiful place to get on the road and go places. It truly is "God's Country"... It has all the makings of what biking is truly about from all the sensations that you can exeperience; sights, sounds, smell and feel. We lived in the Northwestern region of Oregon towards the coast from Portland. We made many trips along Highway 26 (The Sunset Highway) to the coast to visit the coastal towns like Lincoln City, Seaside, Astoria, Newport, Tillamook and Cannon Beach just to name a few.

Many Bike runs are held in Oregon, we traveled state wide to join in the poker runs, campouts, support rides and toy runs that benefit many riding groups including Oregon ABATE, Harley Owners Group, Northwest Veterans Association and many others. The people of Oregon, the riders of Oregon are true blue Americana. I am proud to be able to say I ran with some of the best people available in this country right in that state.


I began riding again on the street back in 1996 when I purchased a new Harley XL1200 Custom Sportster. I had to make some personal changes to it obviously because that's just what we guys do to brand new things... right? I added a 4 gallon tank and a bob tail rear fender, new bars and a new paint job. I see now that Harley produces the same bike from the factory in this style, Hmmm imagine what I could'a done with the idea years ago. Anyway, before that I was on a 1974 XL1000 (a beater) and a couple Kawasaki KZ900 and I started on a Kawasaki KZ400 when I was newly licensed at 15 1/2 year old. That was alot of bikes ago


First Entry: Welcome to Street Bike USA, where I will take you on some travels that I've experienced over the years and plan some new ones for the future. Come Along!