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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More on Sturgis

A frantic phone call from Stephanie resulted in my driving to Sturgis yesterday. It seems that she needed some lumber for a project she was working on and had no one able to pick up the lumber and transport it to The Buffalo Chip. Since Stephanie has always gone above and beyond for me every time I've been at The Chip, I saw this as an opportunity to return the favor. To a motorcycle enthusast, this might seem like a no brainer, but to me, it wasn't a lot of fun. I hate traffic jams, crowds, exhaust fumes, and moronic pedestrians, all of which are in abundance during the rally.

However, if you're into motorcycles. specifically Harley-Davidsons, Sturgis is a treat. Custom bike builders from all over the country display their latest creations for all to see. As if the bikes alone weren't enough to attract attention, they usually hire some attractive women to stand near the bikes to help catch the eye of passers by. These young ladies are no doubt amply compensated for standing in the hot sun and enduring the sweaty hordes of leering, leather-clad, lechers.

In an interesting moment of clarifying contrast, I observed an older woman, obviously someone who rode in for the rally, walk past one of the young models. The bikini-clad youngster barely noticed the older woman as she maintained that 1000 yard stare common to people that have to work with the public day in, day out, while the older woman studiously ignored the younger. Interestingly. they both had adorned themselves with the type of tattoo that has become known by the name "Tramp Stamp". They younger girl had some New Age design that had no particular point to the pattern, while the older woman had what no doubt had once been a graceful butterfly spreading its wings across her lumbar region. Now, however, it looked more like a menacing buzzard preparing to swoop down and devour whatever carrion approached from that angle.

Speaking of tattoos, whoever heads up the marketing staff for Harley-Davidson should forever be enshrined in the Marketing Hall of Fame. Harley tattoos were in abundance. The man that decided that the Harley logo should be fare for tattoo artists was a genius. I mean when was the last time you saw a guy with a Honda logo on his shoulder? How many women have 'Kawasaki' tattooed above their breast? Free advertising of that magnitude is no doubt why Harley-Davidson has become a lifestyle rather than a brand name.

To be honest, if it came down to a choice, I think getting a Harley tattoo makes more sense than getting some kind of Chinese character. It would be different if I read Chinese, but when I see a tattoo with a bunch of Chinese characters incorporated into it, I don't know if I'm looking at some profound bit of Confucius' wisdom or the instructions for how to set the clock on a DVD player. I'll bet the owner of the tattoo doesn't, either.

Anyhow, after cruising through Sturgis, I headed back to my hovel via the interstate. For those thinking about making it to next year's rally, I have a few words of advice;
  • Loud pipes are no substitute for turn signals, hand signals, and common courtesy.
  • Tailgating a pickup truck driven by someone who, during the rally, has to leave home twenty minutes earlier to arrive at work on time is not conducive to a pleasant, positive, rally experience for either of you.
  • Roaring through residential neighborhoods at 2 a.m. on a Monday morning? Do I really need to explain that one?
  • "Keeping hydrated" does not mean "increase your intake of beer"
  • Complaining about the high price of everything makes you sound like a whiner. It's a tourist trap, what did you think it was going to cost? Imagine living here and trying to make ends meet when prices increase by twenty percent for three months of every year.
  • When the light turns red, that means stop. That doesn't mean that you and thirty of your closest friends should complete the left turn anyway.
  • Motorcycles are fun, safer than people think, and very fast. All of that is null and void when a buffalo is standing in the road.
There it is, take it or leave it. Either way, it's worth ten times what you paid for it.

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