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My Maiden Voyage to Sturgis Beside a Harley
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Posted 11/26/2007 6:47 PM (#31276)
Subject: My Maiden Voyage to Sturgis Beside a Harley

The story below was written by my GF for Hog Tales but not knowing if they're going to publish it or not thought we'd share here. I posted several pictures over in the Album area of this trip:
Pre-Sturgis, 2007

In December 2006, I met a great guy on an online dating site. Turned out he owned and rode Harley-Davidson motorcycles and had been a rider for 50+ years. I had never even stepped into a Harley-Davidson Dealership. As fate would have it, he lives about a half-mile from where I work. We became best friends. Because we met in the winter months in the Panhandle of Texas, there were not too many days weather-conducive to riding. When Spring sprang, I rode with him several times but the farthest round trip I made on the back of a Harley was a little over 200 miles.

All the while, waiting for good weather so we could ride more frequently, he was diligently searching the Internet for a sidecar that would be comfortable and easy for me to get in and out of. I’m a 48-year-old single mom and have been diagnosed with a chronic illness – Multiple Sclerosis – for almost 14 years. I am unable to walk without assistance and for long distances I need an electric cart or scooter.

His diligence paid off in March, when he found a custom-made sidecar that seemed to be “just the thing” for someone in my condition. We hopped in his Jeep – ok, he hopped, I flopped and pivoted (his words) – and drove down to Lubbock to see one that had already been built and installed for a young man who was paralyzed due to a motorcycle/car accident. This young man was such a lover of the open road and the wind in his face that when he became paralyzed, the depression that set in caused his dad to search out and buy a sidecar for his son. We met his mom and dad and looked at the bike and sidecar. It was awesome! Carl had an Ultra Classic almost exactly like my friend’s and their stories of riding, mom and dad on the bike and son in the sidecar, were uplifting and plenty adventuresome – especially since adventure had never seemed to play a major role in my life. Seeing the sidecar attached to a bike like his, confirmed all hopes for my friend and we came back to Amarillo to order a sidecar via the phone and internet.

Somewhere along the way of this new adventure, my best friend asked me if I would consider going to Sturgis. I asked, “What’s Sturgis?” You would think a 48-year old woman whose parents had lived in Wyoming for eleven years, who had seen Rapid City (fallen in love with it), Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, Custer State Park, and Devil’s Tower numerous times would know “Sturgis”. But I didn’t. The whole Harley-motorcycle-riding world was alien to me. So I Googled Sturgis. OH MY GOSH! There it was right there in the middle of the country I had grown to love and wonder if I would ever see again. I emailed my friend and said “Sturgis? South Dakota? Mt. Rushmore? Rapid City? Uh, YES! I’ll go!”

The man who developed the Spalding sidecar, Roger Spalding, lives in Nacogdoches, Texas. He is a great guy and easy to work with. He, with a little help from his wife – who was getting tired of riding “bitch” (yes, my vocabulary has also changed somewhat) designed the sidecar to be comfortable, roomy, easy to get in and out, along with many other perks we discovered when picking it up. Only two things were lacking (I would find this out later during my Sturgis trip), a windshield wiper and air conditioning. Oh well, let’s rough it just a little.

My friend, myself, and another riding buddy headed for Nacogdoches the first weekend in May to have the sidecar attached and bring it home. We trailered the bike down and my two friends took turns riding it back to Amarillo. I rode in the sidecar maybe 50 or so miles, but because of the newness of the feel of “driving” a bike instead of “riding” it, we felt that it would be safer for my friend to gain some experience in handling his bike before we rode together. It didn’t take long for him to get comfortable and soon after

Edited by Texan 11/27/2007 5:48 PM
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Posted 11/27/2007 6:52 AM (#31285 - in reply to #31276)
Subject: RE: My Maiden Voyage to Sturgis Beside a Harley

That was a great story. I enjoyed the pictures too. Thanks for posting it here.
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Posted 11/27/2007 9:29 AM (#31286 - in reply to #31276)
Subject: RE: My Maiden Voyage to Sturgis Beside a Harley

Posts: 1145
Location: Williston, Fl
Great story. As a state rep my job for USCA is to promote USCA and Sidecaring. I can talk with the drivers of a rig but do not have much time IN a car. I now have some where to point the people that ask me about it to.


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Reardan Tom
Posted 11/27/2007 12:45 PM (#31293 - in reply to #31276)
Subject: RE: My Maiden Voyage to Sturgis Beside a Harley

Posts: 1198
Location: Reardan, WA
Excellent story! I forwarded the link to friends who would like to read it but don't frequent this board. Kudo's to your friend.
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