It’s over. A million riders left Sturgis with a million memories. Many rode to it, and from the amount of RV’s with trailers, and equal number hauled their bikes. The times they are a’changing.
The H-D store expanded to accommodate a single day’s crowd of 30,000 before the rally officially began, and the crowds kept coming. I met bikers from Main to California, and from Finland to the Philippines. Stories from Harley Tracks intrigued them and I was humbled to receive recognition and praise. Hell, I was in Vietnam with a Harley Davidson and did the most natural thing – I rode it like I stole it.
Store time ended and I rode where the buffalo roam, saw familiar faces, and met an old friend in Deadwood . The Rats Hole Bike Show at “The Chip” shined with art and imagination, and on Saturday, Sturgis was still packed, but not busting at the seams. Mike and I got in for a few scenes, and shelter while a storm blew through. And lastly, on Sunday, we rode to the Devil’s Tower. I was impressed with the ride and amazed at that tower of rock.
Once again, Mike and I bid farewell a day after the party was over 0 like we did the past years after Rolling Thunder; he went to Yellowstone and I hauled my bike and display stuff back to Minnesota. I enjoyed meeting many for introductions and sales of Harley Tracks: Across Vietnam to The Wall, and interests for reviews and interviews.
Checks out photos below and on my Sturgis 75th photo album on the link to Harley Tracks Facebook; and don’t forget to click the “Buy the book” button.
Thank you, thank a vet & never forget.
July 23 – 26: an annual brother’s weekend at the lake; it was such a hit last year that we added another day. On Sunday evening, after I drop Matt off at the airport, I’ll tow the trailer into the night bound for Rapid City SD. By Tuesday morning I’ll be set up for book signings inside the Black Hills Harley Davidson store. Tales from previous adventures entertained with comments such as Wow, or crazy; but reviewers have called “Harley Tracks” poignant and epic, brazen, brave and badass. It was all in the spirit of freedom and fun for those who couldn’t ride. Stop by and hear something about the spirits of those who died on that land, as I know them. I’d be happy to sign a copy of my trail tales for you. If you can’t attend the rally, you can purchase “Harley Tracks” exclusively from www.harleytracks.com
Thank a Vet & Never Forget.
Harley Tracks opened at the Birthplace of the American Biker, Hollister CA. Bikers converged on this little town, as they had done since 1947, for an innocent good time. My adventure through Vietnam on a Harley surprised them and I look forward to their comments on the book. Manny, pictured with me in the booth, stopped by a couple times to hear first hand tales and share laughs; and patrons of the Dugout in the VFW Club gave me an encouraging sendoff.
Now for my drive back to Minneapolis and prepare for Sturgis where I’ll do book signings inside the Black Hills Harley Davidson store from July 27 through the weekend, and then at the Buffalo Chip Campground on Thursday thru Sat.
Thank you for the visit, Thank a Vet & Never Forget.
A minor adjustment to the load in my trailer settled things for a smooth drive to Rapid City. At a SD Port of Entry, the trailer weighted in at 6,000 pounds even. The Trailblazer cruised at a surprising 11.5 mpg.
The Black Hills H-D store stands in gold anodize and glass like a monument on a plain of asphalt big enough for a 9 hole golf course. Wow, an impressive sight. Inside, 350 bikes sparkled on the showroom floor. I met Jim strolling among them, and he was quick to show off his new office-a big step from the closet he had used through renovations.
The anticipation for a gigantic rally crowd grows. We discussed details about my set up for the in-store book signings; compact and flexibility were key factors I must prepare for. This is going to be a really big show. I’ll unload a pallet of books in Jim’s warehouse tomorrow and have a larger load when I arrive for the rally on Monday night July 27.
In the meantime; I’m on the road to the Freedom Rally in Hollister CA–the home of the American Biker. Fifty to sixty thousand bikers are expected for the July 3 – 5 event. The Traveling Wall will also be there, and Harley Tracks will be presented at a premier location on the corner of San Benito and 7th St. After three and a half years of writing it’s finally available.
It’s also available through this web site, and arrangements for it’s availability on Amazon.com are in progress.
Thank you & Thank a Vet–Never Forget
Coincidences – my ride around Vietnam and a sequence of events through a manuscript have been full of them. So, it was natural that I carried the book’s proofs from the printer on my Run to The Wall. Wifi service at a rest stop in Oregon’s mountains allowed a final review and approval. HARLEY TRACKS: Across Vietnam to The Wall is on its print run as I ride. I’ll have books in mid-June. Wow! When my bike arrived in Hanoi on Jan 14, 2009 I could not have imagined this journey in my wildest dreams.
I stopped at the Black Hills H-D to talk with Jim, the owner, about my book signing during the Sturgis Rally. He was busy, to put it mildly, as they expanded the store in preparation for the million people they expect. Then I rode to the Buffalo Chip and met with Greg to talk about setting up on Thursday of Bike Week-their Military Day. Things are looking good.
I rolled smoothly into Oregon with visits to Roger & Ellen in Veneta – great friends and hosts with good tunes, Don & Joel in Roseburg for a great steak, and then to Grants Pass for a day tour with Aunt Martha & cousin Kariann. The CA Redwoods stand as grand as ever, and I laid my first tracks down the coast highway – a fantastic trail with spectacular scenery.
We’ve all heard about the drought in California, but last year it rained from the OR border to Petaluma, and this year, it rained from SF to Hollister. Go figure! After a visit at Johnny’s Bar in Hollister, I consider a return for the 4th of July (if so, they could expect rain) to join 100,000 for their Freedom Rally.
Monday I’ll join the NVAR in Auburn CA for our ride for veterans across this great land. We have thousands to visit before our arrival in Washington D.C. ten days later. I’ll make daily sit/reps for the ride; please visit nvao.us
The Memorial Day approaches; keep the vets in thought & prayer.
I’ve replaced the photo albums with an expanded selection of chapter pictures. Please check them out. I welcome comments – are there enough, are there too many?
harleytracks.com will grow in the coming weeks with excitement to offer, finally, after more than 6,000 hours of writing; HARLEY TRACKS: Across Vietnam to The Wall.