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Miles: Sturgis to Murdo ; total miles: 1,; moving violations: 0; hours driving: 3; hours of sleep: 4; women spotted wearing chaps and thongs: two dozen; Most impressive tattoo: Woman with the Twin Towers in flame across her entire back, with an eagle shedding a tear and the words, " Never Forget"; Diet Pepsi: 5 units; Buffalo Ka-Bobs: 2 units at Tatanka Express; "Grapes of Wrath'' cassettes: 1 the Jo reach California, but Grandma dies crossing the desert; miles to go: 1, approximate We've never done that before but I thought, 'What the hell, why not?
Eighty dollars in 10 minutes? Obviously, Scott Boras is representing the wrong people.
Don't you think that's the s? Women in zebra-striped bikinis are commonplace on the streets of Sturgis.
After I agreed that, Yes, that is the s, Middleton informed me that she is a chemist for a power plant in Topeka, Kan. The next thing I knew, I was leaving a bar with two women who were wearing thong bikinis.
Let me assure you, this was a career first. Sure enough, her motorcycle was impressive -- a glimmering, powerful beast with a plate that read 2QK4U and a tail light in the shape of a skull. I complimented Middleton on her work and said the skull was an especially nice touch.
Like I said, nothing like this has ever happened to me before, but then again, I had never been to the Black Hills Motorcycle Rally before, either. Around a half-million bikers will roll into Sturgis this week for the Black Hills Rally. Now in its 62nd year, Sturgis is the most famous motorcycle rally in the country, with this little town of around 5, being host to upward ofbikers over the course of nine days each August.
All event publicists are notorious for inflating attendance figures, but I don't doubt the accuracy of the Married lady looking sex Sturgis, estimate, because every single one of them was revving his or her engine outside my hotel window this morning! In fact, I can still hear several, which is truly remarkable considering that I left Sturgis several hours ago and am writing this from my motel room in Murdo, which is miles and another time zone to the east.
All remaining interviews on my day drive across Interstate 90 no doubt will be limited to me asking questions and shouting, "what!?!? But I'm not complaining. Driving 1, miles to the world's most famous motorcycle rally and complaining about the noise is like flying to Paris and complaining that the people speak French.
How big is the Sturgis rally? I can write downbikers, but I cannot begin to adequately describe how truly immense this rally is. And that's just one of several surrounding campgrounds overrun by bikers. There are so many motorcycles -- almost all Harleys -- parked one next to each other on Main Street that someone erected a temporary tower so people can fit the entire scene into the camera frame.
People literally come from around the globe to attend the rally. The rally headquarters has a map of the world with pushpins ifying where all the registered bikers are from. I noticed a man listed Kansk, Siberia, as his hometown, which seemed like a very impressive distance -- imagine, all the way from Siberia! And all the bikers -- and I mean all -- wear leather and tattoos there are more tattoos than at the NBA draft. Just in case the bikers run out, the streets are lined with tattoo parlors and stores selling everything from leather chaps to leather underwear.
This is a point that does not elude PETA's Lisa Franzetta, who walked around downtown in a most sensual faux leather halter top and bottom to draw attention to the assortment of simulated leather gear available. She is a very attractive woman with a great figure, and if she wasn't winning converts to her cause, she was at least getting a lot of people to momentarily consider her point of view.
The Sturgis rally is a true slice of Americana. Unfortunately, not many bikers shared Franzetta's figure but nonetheless aren't shy about showing what they have anyway. Not to say there are a lot of sagging breasts here, but looking at some of these bikers must be like seeing Phil Mickelson in leather and chaps. Consider the Full Throttle saloon, billed as the world's largest biker bar, and truly the place to go if you think the waitresses at Hooters dress a little too conservatively.
The Full Throttle is a couple of miles out of town, and you know the final scene of "Field of Dreams," when there is a seemingly endless string of headlights approaching the baseball diamond? That's what the road to Full Throttle is like. The bar is so big and so popular that traffic backs up bumper to bumper two miles to its entrance. The dirt parking lot is Married lady looking sex Sturgis large enough for a football stadium, and when I finally drove in, there were men with little bulldozers clearing mud to make more room for parking. In other words, it's a big place.
Picture the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville, Fla. Then picture all the fans wearing leather instead of Gators shirts. Then put all those fans on the field with a concert stage and full-service bars and women dancing in bikinis and chaps on top of them. And gosh, one of those women looked an awful lot like Middleton, our chemist from Topeka. That doesn't adequately describe the Full Throttle, but it's a start. And the really amazing thing is it's a temporary structure. A crew comes in a couple of weeks before the rally and sets it up, then tears it down the day after the rally ends.
The main street in Sturgis is dominated by an event that lasts for one week a year. Back downtown, Sturgis has an almost state fair feel to it. There are concession stands selling roasted corn and buffalo burgers a Sioux organization runs the lattervendors hawking their wares and various people pushing their causes. There is even a carnival show called the Wall of Death.
This is a foot high, foot diameter wood-planked barrel -- or motor drome -- in which motorcyclists ride around on the vertical walls, held up by nothing more than centrifugal force and guts. It's quite a sight. Racing at speeds up to 45 mph, they zoom up and down the walls, first singly and then two riders at the same time.
I was a little skeptical when I bought my ticket, but by the time Sunny Pelaquin slowly edged up to fellow cyclist Jay Lightnin, touched him on the shoulder and then sped past him while both continued driving horizontally on a vertical wall, I became convinced that there could be no wilder or more dangerous act that anyone could perform on a motorcycle. It's true. Her father performed in such an act, and she has photos of the lion drome to prove it on her website, wallofdeathonline. She runs the site to preserve the history of motor dromes, which have all but disappeared from this country.
Pelaquin says only three remain in the United States, and two of them are in Sturgis this week. Hey, check out the background: A few folks in Sturgis are actually driving cars. I told him that as long as I'm alive, there will be. A teenager working the pump at the gas station said Sturgis residents are about split on the rally. The vendors pose another problem. They make so much money during the rally that several wound up buying many of the downtown businesses just to have the storefronts available for this one week. That leaves residents with a downtown that is barren the entire year except for one week, when it is devoted to leather, alcohol and tattoos, and is too crowded to enjoy anyway.
Eventually though, the rally ends and everyone goes home. Within two days, the town looks as if it was hit by a tornado, with street after street littered with the sort of garbage and rotting food seldom seen outside the back seat of my rental car.
To gain a better idea of the rally's immensity, I took a walk through Buffalo Chip, which is out past the Full Throttle next to a frontage road. Make Married lady looking sex Sturgis to remember where you parked your bike. The camp goes on for acre after acre, with tents and RVs filling every bit of available land. I walked up to one group of bikers who were grilling sausage and enjoying the stars filling the South Dakota sky. The group eyed me a bit suspiciously when I introduced myself and one of them, Tony Married lady looking sex Sturgis, asked me for my credentials.
It seemed a little weird but was perfectly reasonable after they told me about the people in the RV one site over. Those people initially claimed they were from CNN, but as it turned out are instead with a website for swingers. That they weren't with CNN became very clear two nights ago when they put on a rather adventurous sex show with several dozen men watching through the windshield.
I'm sure if it was Aaron Brown in the RV, he would have at least lowered the shade. Buffalo Chip has a reputation for that sort of thing. It holds a Miss Buffalo Chip contest every night, which is essentially a topless beauty ant. And occasionally bottomless, too. During a drenching rain Wednesday night, the contest broke up into smaller groups and one woman wound up dancing naked on a bar top. I laughed when I heard the guys at Buffalo Chip tell the story, but then I thought about the conversation I had with Pearl Gulbranson, who was working at the Crisis Intervention Center for domestic abuse, which is located in a house across the street from the Broken Spoke.
Gatherpeople in one spot, feed them a lot of alcohol and there are bound to be some serious problems. They get left behind with no way of getting home. So we're here to help. Bikers flock to the rally from all points of the globe. And so, I think it's probably time to make a confession. I've never driven a motorcycle. I've only ridden as a passenger on the back once, and that was when there was absolutely no other way for me to get where I needed to go.
You see, former Minnesota Viking Karl Kassulke was one of my favorite players when I was a kid, and when he was paralyzed from the neck down in a terrible motorcycle accident, I lost all desire to ever ride one. And I never have. When I reluctantly admitted this to bikers, they shook their he in disbelief. Clearly, I'm missing something. It's just you and the bike and the road. Wherever you go, you're a part of the environment. You're not sitting in an air-conditioned car.
You feel the weather. You can feel the temperature change. And if it rains, you get wet. But you dry off as quick as you got wet. There are other huge motorcycle rallies -- Daytona, Fla. You can get out and ride, and it's beautiful.
The scenery is the big thing for me. I know it is.
Despite having never driven a motorcycle, I understand. The appeal of Sturgis is the appeal of our country itself -- open ro, loud engines, rock music, good food, the frontier, the Black Hills, sex and even capitalism. It's like what Diego Sandoval told me. He lives in Costa Rica, where he owns a motorcycle shop. This is his first visit to Sturgis, and he says he'll be back. And next time, he wants to build a motorcycle so he, too, can drive these ro. Everything is so wide and open. Getting an eyeful in biker heaven By Jim Caple 2 columnist.Married lady looking sex Sturgis
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