The Biker Chef and I attended the annual Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, SD again this year. It’s about the 20th rally for the Chef, and the 3rd one for me. The first two years that I rode along, we just passed through, got a patch commemorating the event from the Jackpine Gypsies, who started the whole thing back in 1937, and didn’t stay. This year, we stayed a few days in the Hills, so we were able to enjoy some of the amazing sites, sounds, and culture of this place. The real motorcycle folks are there for the rides and to be part of the big event. It really is something to see all those motorcycles, thousands of them, lined up and down the streets of, not just Sturgis, but every small town throughout the hills. And, riders come from every state, Canada, Mexico, and beyond, and represent people from all walks of life. I’ve overheard cell phone calls wishing someone Happy Anniversary, and asking how are the kids, the garden, etc. These people make up about 99% of the folks you see all leathered-up taking two wheels on their vacations. The other 1% are members of the scary biker gangs, and you don’t want to mess with them.
While I was on our trip this year, I started reading the first book in a detective series by Sandra Brannan, set in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Her main character, Liv Bergen, helps run the family mining business. When one of her employees, a beautiful young woman, is found murdered, she finds herself more involved than maybe she should be. I was completely captivated by Brannan’s writing, characters, and story. Then, I picked up book #2, a murder/mystery, set during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. OMG! I could not put this one down. What made it even more fascinating for me is that I’ve been to the rally, and brushed elbows with some of those scary guys. The Biker Chef has told me a couple stories, too, so I just had to keep reading. In her book, Lot’s Return to Sodom. Brannan weaves an expert plot line with twists, turns, and switchbacks, that give you the feel of riding on the Needles highway, passing through Nemo Road, and stopping for a beer at the roadside biker joint. She provides some grim, and disturbing, details of Biker culture, so keep reminding yourself this is only 1% of the people who ride.
Start with the first one, In the Belly of Jonah, then grab the second one and your favorite furry friend, be it breathing or stuffed, and get ready for a wild ride.
If you’d like to read about our riding adventures at the rally, in the Hills, and beyond, visit my website Play off the Page, and look under the heading Ride off the Page. We have a review of a very fine restaurant under Dine off the Page, The Deadwood Social Club, a hidden treasure in the Hills. You can read a review of In the Belly of Jonah, as well as other entertainment reviews, under the heading Play off the Page.
I hope you all are enjoying the last dog days of summer with maybe a few last adventures before winter sets in. We’re already back in school mode here in the Brainerd lakes area with football practice well underway. My boys are sporting the bruises and sore muscles to prove it!
Go. Create. Inspire!