WELL, HERE I SIT AFTER WORK HOURS — actually I don’t really think I have specified work hours, as I seem to be answering emails, posting to social media, or setting up shoots at all times of the day every day of the week, but based on the fact that I am sitting in my office and there is no one else around, I am going to assume it’s after normal people work hours — trying to wrap up the few remaining bits of this issue before I load up and hit the road for Sturgis. As always, I’ve procrastinated to the very last minute to fulfill my editorial obligations and get things in line so that the magazine puzzle pieces will continue to fall into place while I am on the road. Not only do I still have a few things to wrap up for this issue but I’ve got stories to send out to freelancers and images to load up for the next issue. Then on top of all that I still have to pick up some supplies for the trip, pack my gear, change the oil in the bike, and do who knows how many other things I am forgetting. But in a little more than 24 hours, it will all be behind me, with editorial due dates a temporary fond memory as Jordan and I hit the road to Sturgis for the rally (it’s Aug. 1 as I write this).
The shortest route from Southern California to Sturgis is about 1,300 miles running north up the 15 through the bottom of Nevada then diagonally northeast through Utah and Wyoming and arriving in South Dakota. It’s a decent ride traveling mostly on the interstate with some two-lane highways mixed in. I’ve done it back and forth many times. However, Jordan and I are going to take a more scenic 1,600-mile route traveling north through the eastern edge of Nevada into Idaho, then across Wyoming with a quick trip through Yellowstone, then blasting into South Dakota. We want to enjoy the time out of the office and on the road so we plan on stopping for a lot of photos and what not, so we are going to break the trip up into four days of riding ranging between 400-500 miles each day.
During the week I’ll hit the bike shows, do some photoshoots, and attend a myriad of events. But I’ll also make a point to take in the beautiful scenery and roads afforded by the majestic Black Hills. I typically put on another 500 miles visiting some of the historic monuments and landmarks as well as trying to sneak away from the crowds on some of the lesser-known roads.
This year our three-day schedule to ship this issue to the printer falls on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday immediately following the rally. So come Friday August 10, I’ll load up the bike and bomb home by myself. For the trip home I’ll take the “short” route and hopefully put down between 800-1,000 miles, getting as close to Vegas as I can to beat most of the desert heat as I ride the rest of the way home the next day.
While the week will go by within the blink of an eye, I know it will be a great and relaxing time meeting up with old friends and meeting new ones. Having done this routine for so many years I know nothing will be as satisfying as the ride home. Homeward bound I’ll be excited to see my beautiful wife, hold her in my arms, give her a big kiss, and forget about all the old, dried-out leather I’d seen staggering around Main Street in dirty thongs and ass-less chaps.
I’ll spend Saturday evening and all day Sunday relaxing and reflecting on my 10-day, 3,200+ mile journey. Then come Monday morning I’ll roll in to the office, and I’ll be back to the reality of deadlines and most likely procrastinating all the way up to the next road trip. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love this job!