We started the day by making pancakes. I'm sure any real bikers who may be reading this just rolled their eyes. Regardless, they were delicious and we were stuffed. We sprinted our first 15 miles of the day to the town of Moorcraft, WY: we all needed to poop. Apparently, too much coffee this morning.
After were properly settled in Moorcraft we did some number crunching for how many miles we needed to do in order to reach Rapid City, SD by early afternoon on the 31st (it was the 30th). It was a lot. We were meeting Kyle's dad, Scott, in Rapid City and had a full day of sightseeing planned. But we are not very prompt in our daily lives let alone on bicycles, so we needed to get creative. That's when we met Bruce.
Bruce will likely become a legend within our friend group. Kyle asked him if he was headed east, and he responded with "get your ass in the truck." We loaded the bikes in the back, Bruce cracked the four of us beers, and we hit the road. It was barely noon. We slowly got buzzed as we listened to the legend of Bruce: his restaurants, his award winning kids, his recent year driving a coal truck for the hell of it, and his amazing ability to work the word "shit" into most sentences. It was all validated as he pulled off the highway and bought us a beer at one of the first restaurants he opened.
There is an episode of Seinfeld that reminds me of Bruce. George goes out drinking with a crazy bunch of Texans who work for the Houston Astros. The Texans call everyone a "Son of a Bitch" or a "bastard," so George starts doing the same. This is what hanging out with Bruce was like. We scurried out of the restaurant cracking up after Bruce flipped off the bartender for one thing or another and got back on the road. We had our chauffeur drop us in Sturgis, a short days ride from Rapid City. We took a picture, hugged, and waved goodbye to Bruce for what will likely not be the last time.
Sturgis, for those who do not own any leather vests with patches on it, is the home to the largest motorcycle rally in the U.S. and possible the world (neither of those fact have been checked). This year is the 75th year anniversary and we just so happened to be there 3 days before it started. If you ever want a lot of strangers to look at you, just ride you bicycle through streets lined with thousands of motorcycles. Though the real events was for another few days, the town was already full of the constant roar of engines and bikers who had been there a week or two already. We took in the sights and spent the night behind a church just two blocks from all the action. They say over a million and a half people will visit Sturgis this year, I'm glad to say we were part of it. We vowed to make a trip for the 100 year anniversary.
Our pride is slightly hurt for not riding the long long miles to Sturgis, but it was well worth it to get to experience the generosity of a stranger and share an experience with them.
See you in 25 years Sturgis!