Featured Sturgis Trip On My (non) Triumph

Discussion in 'Triumph General Discussion' started by Sandi T, Aug 17, 2019.

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  1. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    #1 Sandi T, Aug 17, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2022
    Hey, gang! It's good to be back. I've missed you all! :) A couple weeks ago in the "What are you doing with your (non) Triumph?" thread I promised some photos and info on my Sturgis rally trip. We left on Friday August 2nd and got back this past Monday August 12th. I started a new job the very next day so I'm running a little ragged and a lot behind. Figured I'd post comments and pics from each trip day on the forum each day rather than try to jam it all into one or two posts. So this will be a bit "blog-like" but with about two weeks lag time. :cool:

    Day #1: Tucson, Arizona to Albuquerque, New Mexico (approx. 430 miles)

    Five of us met up at our usual QT gas station with plans to be on the road no later than 6:30. It was me and four guys, one of whom (thank God) was my husband and best riding buddy, Mr. Sandi. There were originally ten who had planned to go. What the feck were we thinking?! Well, the five of us didn't get rolling until about 7:15am, a harbinger of things to come. : unamused: The person leading our ride had gone to Sturgis 12 times prior to this trip so we all figured we'd follow his lead. It gives the saying, "Ride your own ride" new meaning! :scream: We spent the whole day on the interstate (not my favorite to put it nicely) with a short jaunt through Hatch, New Mexico. Fortunately, Mr. Sandi had scouted out a terrific burger and BBQ joint in Hatch, New Mexico--Sparky's-- that turned out to have the best green chili cheeseburgers I've ever had. Salvation! :grinning: Stay tuned for Day #2 mañana.

    Oh, I couldn't resist taking photos along the way for my Spirit Thread, "What you drinking tonight?" so check out that thread in a few days for more Sturgis trip photos that are specifically bar and spirits-related.

    QT on Day 1.jpeg

    Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 9.24.56 PM.png

    Sparky's

    Sparkys.1.jpeg

    Sparkys.2.jpeg

    Sparkys 3.jpeg

    Untitled.png
     
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  2. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Oops! An error already. Long week..... Here's the correct map for our first day on the road. We took what we call "the Hatch cutoff" and the first map showed us going through the mountains. Hmmm, that would have been nice! And our actual mileage on the day was closer to 450.

    Tucson to ABQ via Hatch.png
     
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  3. OsteKuste

    OsteKuste Intergalactic Warlord
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    Looks like the route through Gila National forest would have been fun.
     
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  4. Sprinter

    Sprinter Kinigit

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    These place names are from movies to me.
    Its weird to think their real places.
     
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  5. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Yeah, Sprinter. It was sorta weird for me, too. Just wait 'til I post some photos of Deadwood--we loved that place! I thought it would just be totally kitchy and touristy (which it kind of is) but it was really fun and cool! Great architecture and history--and bars. ;) Did you see the TV series "Deadwood"? The characters in that show were actually real folks in Deadwood's heyday and history. :)
     
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  6. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    I think the route through the Gila National Forest would have been fun, too. And I was there! Sigh. As I mentioned, we were somewhat beholden to our ride leader on the way to Sturgis. And he was all about the freeways and getting there as simply and quickly as possible. We did NOT do that on the way home. And we probably won't ever do it again. Mr. Sandi and I are of the philosophy that it's about the journey, not just the destination. That was the thinking of three of the five of us and not the other two. Made for some "interesting" dynamics! I'll share more of that in coming posts. :p
     
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  7. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Thanks, DD! I appreciate your welcome back. :kissing_heart: There were numerous time when I thought, "Oh, my Triumph Forum buddies would love that"! Can't tell you how many times I wished I was a big more nerdy and had a GoPro attached to some part of me or my bike. I'll send along more photos and stories in the next days.
     
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  8. joe mc donald

    Dec 26, 2014
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    Sandi T
    Had a good time then. Yes do wish I could do something like wise. Couple more years toiling at work then its my time. Some thrilling pictures there. Can't wait to see them all.
    Ride Safe & Enjoy
    Joe.
     
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  9. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    #9 Sandi T, Aug 18, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
    Sturgis 2019

    We had a lovely evening in Albuquerque last night. A dear and long-time friend from my grad school days who now lives in Albuquerque joined us all, along with her hubby, for dinner at a craft brewery/Mexican restaurant. Hit the local Harley dealership before the brewery--both within walking distance of our hotel.

    Day #2: Albuquerque, New Mexico to Ft. Collins, Colorado (510 miles)

    Today was the highest mileage day of the entire 11 day trip and it was straight up I-25 which is pretty darned straight. Not the most "challenging" route. However, we did have some challenging moments!

    ABQ - Ft. Collins.png

    When we got close to Colorado Springs, the traffic became a nightmare but for no visible reason. Turns out we were going right by the turn for the summer "Renaissance Faire". Holy moly! It was bumper to bumper traffic for miles and miles. And through a gorgeous area that would have been great fun riding--had we been going the speed limit. Or even 20-30 miles an hour! I'm glad my clutch held out, not to mention my clutch hand. When we could finally move relatively freely again we were coming into Denver. Denver drivers make Phoenix drivers look tame. I won't belabor that point but we had some a*s-puckering moments, that's for sure!

    One of the things we learned on Day #1 that was confirmed on Day #2 was that our ride leader likes to make a lot of stops. And I mean A LOT! Except for one guy with Heritage Softail who has a 5 gallon tank, the rest of us have 6 gallon tanks. I don't think that until Mr. Sandi started leading the ride the last two legs of the whole trip that my range ever indicated less than 200 miles. I like a break as much as the next guy (well, maybe not all of the next guys!) but, I'm just sayin'.

    Our evening was uneventful. And nary a beer except for convenience store next to our hotel. And this in a town with two major craft breweries! New Belgium and O'Dells. Alas, we ate in a Denny's and got said beer in a can at the Shell station mini-mart next to our Days Inn hotel. At this point we were running on "It's not the journey, it's the destination." We did hit another Harley dealership just north of Pueblo, CO on the way to Ft. Collins. Our stops at this point were freeway off-ramp gas stations and Harley dealerships. But, tomorrow is a new day! :grinning:

    Ft Collins hotel lobby.jpeg

    Ft Collins HD.jpeg
     
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  10. OsteKuste

    OsteKuste Intergalactic Warlord
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    I never run the freeways unless there’s no alternative! I made a trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina which is a 7 1/2 hour drive from where I live in Tennessee. I ran all secondary roads through some really nice country, which turned it into a 13 hour trip! I’m currently looking at doing the same to Wilmington, North Carolina.
     
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  11. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    I'm with you OsteKuste! As I've said, we felt beholden to our ride leader as we were sort of "tag-a-longs" in a way--at least for the outbound trip. He had done Sturgis a dozen times and invited us to join him. My husband and I have done two thousand mile trips in the past and been on freeways for maybe only 30-50 miles of all those miles. While I-25 isn't horrible, if you look at the maps I post you will see that it parallel some mountain backroads that would have been GREAT alternatives to the freeway. Oh well. We were still riding and not at work! ;) Your trip to the Outer Banks sounds beautiful!! Have fun on you Wilmington trip. :)
     
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  12. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    #12 Sandi T, Aug 18, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
    Day #3: Ft. Collins, Colorado to Lead, South Dakota (320 miles)

    The bulk of our miles today were in the wide open spaces of Wyoming. I thought the landscape would seem boring but instead I found it very meditative. The sky was expansive and beautiful. There were many cattle dotting the pastures along the road and we noted a lot of beehives of all things. Well, I actually didn't notice those until I got stung on my legs right through my protective riding jeans!

    As we got closer and closer to South Dakota we started seeing more and more motorcycles--some were heading towards Sturgis and some were evidently heading back home. I've been told that a number of folks who have been to the rally multiple times often start going towards the end of the week prior to the official opening of the rally. I can see why now. Being there a few days prior to the opening weekend would make for wide open roads to the "hot spot" destinations such as Mt. Rushmore.

    The difference in the landscape when we went from Wyoming into the Black Hills of South Dakota was stunning. The "hills" of the Black Hills are more like small mountains. They are green and lush and there are twisties galore. We went over a pass that was over 6,000 ft and then descended Lead, the town in which we stayed. Here's today's route:

    CO to SD.png

    Two guys in our group stayed at a campground near Lead. Mr. Sandi and I and our buddy, Larry, opted for a hotel with nice bed, a warm shower, and a great breakfast in the morning. And considering it was rally time, it was not crazy expensive either! Lead is an old mining town and is about 18 miles from Sturgis. The population of Lead is about 3,000 and Sturgis has about 7,000 residents. Here are a couple of fun facts about Lead from Wikipedia.
    Screen Shot 2019-08-18 at 12.59.58 PM.png
    I don't yet know the 2019 Sturgis rally numbers for 2019 but last year there were approximately 490,000 in attendance. Mr. Sandi did some research and there are about a half a dozen measurement strategies that are used to estimate rally attendance. One of them is to weigh the amount of garbage that is collected and divide it by 4.1 because they estimate that every person generates about 4 pounds of garbage a day. I'm sure Mr. Sandi must generate 6 or so pounds per day because I couldn't possibly generate that much garbage! ;)

    Here are a few pics from our first day in the Black Hills in Lead. Tomorrow we head into Deadwood and Sturgis itself and that's when things get pretty interesting!! Stay tuned.....

    2 Lead city sign.jpeg Screen Shot 2019-08-18 at 12.50.27 PM.png

    4 White Tail Creek Resort.jpeg

    1 Our hotel.jpeg
     
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  13. joe mc donald

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    All I can say is I am envious.
    Regards
    Joe
     
  14. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Hi, Joe. Maybe you can come with us sometime! :)
     
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  15. joe mc donald

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    Sure thing. We can go together one day when my ship comes in. Sandi T and Hubby can show us around.
    Regards
    Joe.
     
  16. joe mc donald

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    There sorted already. But won't be riding one of those monsters like you have. Bonnie or WideGlide.
    Regards
    Joe
     
  17. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Excellent, Joe! Mr. Sandi and I would be happy to talk about the opportunity to share some southwestern and western U.S. motorcycle rides with you and Bikerman. Today I rode my Speed Triple up our local Mt. Lemmon and must say it was sure nice to be on a smaller, lighter bike. That said, I was VERY happy on my "monster" Road Glide for nearly all of our 2800 mile Sturgis adventure. :) Especially through areas like Wyoming where the wind was sweeping across the plains and we were doing 80-85 mph for long stretches at a time. My big orange bike just eats up those miles and is very steady and stable. Plus I don't feel completely battered and ragged at the end of a 400-500 mile day! It is a little unwieldy in podunk gas stations and crummy parking lots, though. ;)
     
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  18. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Hi, DD!

    Thanks for your kind comment on my moto wrestling. ;) My Road Glide literally weighs about 7 or 8 times as much as I do depending on whether it's packed for travel or not. I do try to not wrestle it about but rather "ride smarter, not harder". I learned early on when I began riding to be very mindful, purposeful, and planful. And I always think about where to park, how to get in and out of those "podunk" gas stations, and the like, even more so when I'm riding my big bikes. Some people, women non-riders in particular, ask me how I "hold up" such a big bike. I smile and tell them that balance, not strength, is key. I do know that at some point a bike like my Road Glide will be too big for me and will be prepared to scale down when that time comes. Until then, I'll ride my big orange beast and love doing it! It does give me one more source of motivation to keep fit and keep lifting weights. :blush:

    Yep, "podunk" does mean off the beaten track/backwater gas stations. There are a ton of podunk gas stations out West. Some of them don't even have high(er) octane gas so we carry octane booster just in case. But along the interstate highways there are also a lot of really nice gas stations with numerous pumps (no waiting in line behind some guy with a 20' trailer!), nice facilities (aka, bathrooms), and a good selection of beverages and snacks. Some even have small restaurant chains inside them such as Subway. Seems on this trip we wound up at a lot more podunk gas stations than the posh ones.: unamused:
     
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  19. Bad Billy

    Bad Billy Baddest Member

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    #19 Bad Billy, Aug 19, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
    Well Sandi, I just read the thread start to finish & enjoyed reading about your Sturgis adventure! :cool:

    The route there would have driven me quite mad as I hate Motorway (Interstate) riding, I understand you had no choice, the part about the amount of stops made me laugh, as gentlemen of a certain age do seem to be looking for a bathroom more often than you need to look for fuel!

    Thanks for sharing, would love to ride out there, maybe not Sturgis as big Rallies not my thing, but to ride out in the Black Hills sounds more like fun! :p
     
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  20. Oldrookie

    Oldrookie Member

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    Look forward to the rest of your report. I was in Spearfish Canyon and Keystone the week prior to the rally. Think I saw three Triumphs during my time there.

    I, unfortunately, was in a rental car---but the area is definitely riding paradise.
     
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