Cyclerides.com Weekly Update
When I left you last week, Mrs. C and I had just spent the night in Cody, Wyoming after a beautiful ride through the Beartooth Pass and Chief Joseph Highway. If you missed last week's letter Click Here, or to see the photos Click Here. This week I was going to take you to the end of our trip, but as I started doing the photos and recalling the trip I was already at 175 great photos, so there was no way that I could get it all done in one letter. What I have decided to do is take you through Saturday including and our ride from Cody into South Dakota and Mt. Rushmore. Next week I will conclude with Iron Mountain Rd., Needles Highway and Sturgis.
As we were getting loaded up to head East toward South Dakota my excitement was again starting to build as I would finally be riding some the roads that I had heard so much about and to once again visit Mt. Rushmore, a place that I had not been to in over 40 years. When leaving Cody you have 2 choices to get to Sturgis. We chose the Northern route on 14A that would take us through Bighorn National Forest and eventually to I-90 into South Dakota. I haven't taken the lower route, but I can tell you that 14A through the Bighorn is a really enjoyable ride taking you as high as 9400 feet in elevation through some excellent mountain scenery dropping you off at Bear Lodge for lunch and then through some major twisties as you make your way down the hill to connect with I-90.
To make some time getting to Sturgis, we decided to take the super slab for the next 211 miles to South Dakota. So we hopped on and settled in for our next stop at Gillette Harley-Davidson for a break and some refreshments at the dealership. One good thing about the Interstates is that you can make some good time by not having to go through small towns, but the downside is that especially during this time of year, the local law enforcement is also keeping an eye on your speeds as you pass through the major cities.
Apparently the yellow Road Glide is not hard to spot and is easily picked up on radar. Sure enough, I spotted a Wyoming Patrol car going the opposite direction just 2 miles away from the Gillette HD exit and I took a quick glance at the speedometer to see that it was firmly settled on 87 mph. I knew that was going to be a close call, and sure enough in my rear view mirror, I see the U-Turn in the median and the lights come on. At this point, I figured it was probably not Ed McMahon chasing me down because I had won the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes, but in fact I was going to be officially notified that the speedometer was correct, and I was doing 87 in a 75.
So I pull over, take out my wallet and present the officer with my license and registration while he is giving me the bad news that my speedometer is right on the money. He was a really nice guy and we chatted for a while as I answered the usual questions about my travel. He took my information back to the car and about a minute later another officer pulls up and asked if we would step away from the bike. We did so as he went back to his car and got his associate "Jake". I gathered by Jake's actions that he was a really big fan of the Road Glide as he seemed very excited to thoroughly check out the bike particularly the saddle bags and t-bag. After a couple of passes around the bike, he sat and expected a pat on the head for a job well done.
Yep, you might have guessed by now, Jake was actually a German Shepherd Police dog that was looking for contraband heading to Sturgis. Since I always have my camera handy, I decided to take some pictures of Jake in action. Unfortunately for Jake, there were no bonus dog bones in it for him this time, as there was no booty on board. The original officer that stopped me came back and gave me an official notice of my time spent in Gillette, Wyoming with a written "warning" to slow it down. I knew I liked this guy from the start. Jake was pretty nice too. His handler told us that Jake had just scored a 300 pound bust about 2 weeks prior on this same road. After our visit with the local patrol and Jake, we rode the additional one mile to Gillette HD to unwind from this ordeal and grab a big cup of lemonade where we ran in to some Cyclerides readers from Arizona.
From Gillette, it was another 86 miles, at of course 75mph, to Spearfish. We took the very scenic Spearfish Canyon ride through the Black Hills National Forest to Lead and then into Deadwood, the home of Wild Bill Hickock. We had a place to stay in Rapid City, but we really liked the looks and excitement of Deadwood. So we decided to just stay there for the night and actually got a room at the old Franklin Hotel with the new million dollar renovated lower level. This was stepping right into old times as this Hotel was built in 1903 and the rooms still looked like they did back in the day with individual hot and cold faucets, bathtub, push button light switches and furnishings. We checked in, freshened up and went to dinner at the newly opened Deadwood Social Club located on top of Saloon #10. This is a great place to eat where we also ran into some Cyclerides.com readers from the Valley. We then walked the streets of Deadwood to soak in a little of the Wild West from 100 years ago. What a great little town. I will be staying there next time I go to Sturgis. Check out all the pictures I took of Deadwood in the Photo Gallery.
Saturday was the day that I was really excited about and had been anticipating for some time. After 40 years, I would finally be reunited with George, Thomas, Teddy and Abe. You might also know them as the faces of Mt. Rushmore. Yep, it had been 40 years ago, at the age of 10 years, that my family took the dreaded summer vacation drive through the Black Hills and the Badlands in a 1957 Ford Fairlane with no air conditioning and my recollection of it was foggy at best. Ironically, I had no air conditioning this time either, but I had plenty of wind in my face to cool me down.
I had seen pictures, but there is nothing like seeing Mt. Rushmore for the first time when you round the sweeping corner on Hwy. 244 that leaves you facing the Monument from the side. What an incredible site this is! After stopping for the customary photo ops, we were ready to go park and take a closer look at the memorial. As we walked through the gates and I got my first look up close, I got that rush of Patriotic Pride as I looked at this marvel of American ingenuity paying homage to the Father's of our Country. Click Here to see the reasons George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln were chosen for this project. It was a really humbling feeling to be looking at Mt. Rushmore as we walked down the memorial plaza with flags flying from all 50 States. I would recommend that everyone see this at some point in their lifetime.
After taking as many angles of this as I could dream up, we went to the visitors center to learn more about the building of this awesome monument. There is a 14 minute video that was excellent which gives you a great background of how Rushmore was built and then a gallery of artifacts for you to view. I just can't convey into words how awesome this was for me. I will visit Mt. Rushmore every time I go to Sturgis. In fact, it had been so long since I had been there that I didn't realize that the Parks Service had actually added a new head to the Monument. Check it out. Alright, so I had a little fun with Photoshop. If the AP can do it, I thought I could give it a shot.
As you can tell by the photos, it was a beautiful day with clear blue skies. I couldn't have asked more for my long anticipated reunion with Mt. Rushmore. As with all the motorcycle trips that I do, I tend to work myself up with anticipation of what I am going to see or experience. That is just part of the fabric of the ride for me. In this case I had high expectations for Mt. Rushmore and the riding in the Black Hills area. Both were greatly exceeded. I will be back next week to finish off this series with the ride through Iron Mountain Rd., Needles Highway and Sturgis.
If you would like to sign up for the Cyclerides.com Weekly Newsletter, Click Here.
Be sure and look at the excellent photos of Deadwood and Mt. Rushmore.
Click Here For Photo Gallery.
Click Here for Map of Route.
Click Here for Map of Black Hills Riding
Please go to the EXTRAS section below for an update on the rider that got the ticket for riding in the HOV lane and the Cancelling of the Rally In The Rockies Event.
This Week's Bike Night Events
Chesterís Harley Davidson Biker Night at the Tilted Kilt in Tempe! If you are looking for some fun on a Tuesday night, With 2 outdoor patios and plenty of excitement, This place is a good time! The Tilted Kilt is home to the best Scotch-Irish experience in Arizona, with an award-winning menu, classic pub fare, and signature Kilt items sure to please any palateónot to mention twenty four globe-spanning beers on tap! Biker Night Tuesdays also mean $3 Jack Daniels and half-price appetizers. And, with a Tilted Kilt Biker Night Card, you receive 15% OFF your total bill. So what are you waiting for? Come on down and have a craic with Chesterís Harley-Davidson! The Tilted Kilt is located at 660 W. Warner Rd. in Tempe, AZ. Just 1.5 miles East of I-10 on Warner Rd. 480-592-0102. Click Here for Map.
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located right next to Genesis Custom Cycles on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New Billet Bar Page with pictures.
Every Saturday and Sunday
The "Hog Pen" at the Roadhouse Bike Weekend.
Take a ride and stop by the "Hog Pen" at The Roadhouse, the Hottest New motorcycle patio in Cave Creek
where every weekend will be Bike Weekend. Now Featuring
a new Breakfast Buffet from 8am - Noon on Saturday!
Grab a seat at the new Hog Pen bar rail and watch the
bikes ride by. There is plenty of new concrete motorcycle parking right
out front. CCR is located on Cave Creek Rd. in the heart of Cave Creek directly across from Harold's. It is a restaurant
and bar that focuses on a broad menu of good food and has a large bar for socializing with your riding pals for
a good time. It is built to look like something out of the 1800's, but it is brand new. Stop by this weekend
for lunch, dinner or just to have a drink and take a look at the place. I can tell you that their hamburgers and
steak fries are exceptional. Mrs. C. had the swordfish and said it was very good.
Live Music Every Weekend:
Friday: Live Music with "Easton Ashe" 9pm - 1:30am
Saturday: Live Music with "Good Fight" 9pm - 1:30am
Click here for the Cave Creek Roadhouse website. 480-575-3098
Sugar Daddy's Blues Biker Sunday Brunch.
Looking for a place to start the day for brunch or to just cool down? Enjoy Sugar Daddy's patio for brunch ordered off of the menu, a $2 Mimosa or a $4 build your own Bloody Mary bar from 10am - 4pm. You will also enjoy Live Music while dining from 10am on the patio.
Our 5,000 sq. ft. temperature controlled patio has six air conditioning units, misters, and plenty of shade. Sugar Daddy's patio, food and entertainment is becoming a regular Sunday stop. If you haven't tried it yet, give them a try. Complimentary coffee is now served. Make Sugar Daddy's Blues your stop on your ride down Scottsdale Rd. for Brunch or Lunch from 10am - 4pm. Or maybe just relax on the patio with your favorite beverage and watch the bikes roll down Scottsdale Rd. Click here to see the awesome pictures and details of Sugar Daddy's located at 3102 N. Scottsdale Rd. between Indian School and Thomas on the West side of the road. Stop by and check it out. A great place to hang out. Plenty of Bike Parking. If you have suggestions, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org . 480-970-6556.
Saturday, September 9th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Wide-Open House. Visit our WIDE OPEN HOUSE event on Saturday, September 9th from 8am to 6pm and find powerful inspiration by checking out the new Twin Cam 96ô engine and exciting 2007 models. You could also win a 2007 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle, plus a consultation with the H-D Styling team in Milwaukee and $10,000 in Genuine Parts & Accessories to build your dream bike. You could also win one of two trips to the "Great Escapes" destination of your choice. Receive an additional 10%-30% off with your purchase of $96 or more in Motorclothes Apparel. Coffee Bar 8am-10am. Lunch 11am-2pm. Chester's Harley-Davidson is located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404. Click Here for Map.
Saturday and Sunday, September 9th & 10th
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson 4th Anniversary. Stop by Arrowhead Harley-Davidson on Saturday and Sunday to help celebrate their 4th Anniversary. Michele Smith, host of American Thunder on the Speed Channel will be in the store Saturday from 12-5pm signing autographs and will also be hosting and MC of the fashion show at 1pm. You will also find In-Store Specials, Vendors, Trip Meter Contest, Money Machine, Most Ride Pins Contest, Refreshments, Entertainment, Giveaways and More! You can also enter for your chance to win a brand new Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200C motorcycle September 9th at 5pm. You can also sign up for the Arrowhead Chapter 83 Round-up ride. Arrowhead Harley-Davidson is located at 16130 N. Arrowhead Ftn. Ctr. Dr. in Peoria, just South of 83rd ave. and Bell Rd. 623-247-5542.
Sunday, September 10th
911 Patriot Fifth Anniversary Ride. Ride with W. Steven Martin and Honor our Heroes. The ride starts and ends at Gila River Casino, located at I-10 and Maricopa Rd., as a tribute to our Heroes and Military. Many people have forgotten how the 911 attack has changed the world we live in. Check in at Gila River Casino Wild Horse Pass from 8am - 9:45am. Live Music before the ride from 8am - 9:30am by CTS. Full breakfast buffet special before the ride for $4.95. Ride starts at 10am for a 50-80 mile ride. Lunch special after for $5 per person. Live concert after the ride Noon to 1:30pm by Molly Hatchet. A $10 donation per bike is requested to join the ride. Proceeds benefit the WSM Police Memorial Program and Police & Fire Toy Drive in Arizona. Click Here for more information.
Sunday, September 10th
Arrowhead Roundup (Formerly the "Greasewood Poker Run"). Skills-based Poker Run. Cash Prizes for the top three poker hands. Ride Pins to the first 300 registered. BBQ Lunch and no host-cash bar. Large Vendor area on site. Live Music. Ride ends at Western Trails Ranch. Run Day registration $20 per person from 8am - 10am at Arrowhead Harley-Davidson located at 16130 N. Arrowhead Ftn. Ctr. Dr. in Peoria, just South of 83rd ave. and Bell Rd. 623-247-5542.
8/3/06 - RALLY IN THE ROCKIES HAS BEEN CANCELLED!! FOR REAL!
Click Here for Details.
HOV Lane Update.
I mentioned last week about a rider that got a ticket for riding in the HOV lane on the 101. I notified Ray Huston, designated lobbyist for the MMA and that started the wheels of justice in motion. He quickly contacted Bobbi Hartmann, lobbyist for ABATE and Steve Musgrave, lobbyist for ACMC and within 48 hours justice had prevailed. Seems as though there was a conflict between the Federal and State laws for motorcycles in the HOV lane. The Feds allow it and apparently, the State version was a little gray and that is what the officer was using. Some of our freeways even state that motorcycles are allowed. Some don't. The end result is that after all of the examination of the laws with all the powers that be, the rider was sent a letter stating that his citation was being dismissed. Come to find out, there were 2 others that also received a ticket. This instance is a good reason why these lobbyists from the 3 motorcycle rights organizations are so important. Thanks to all. Keep up the good work. You can join and support all three of these groups. See links above.
Since the Rally in the Rockies has been cancelled you might have some more time on your hands. Stop by the Sky Ute Casino Rolling Thunder Hall in Ignacio, Colorado from 3pm to 5pm to watch the premier of Motorcycle Memoirs. A movie that has been 10 years in the making and was produced by Barbara and Dale Cogswell from right here in the Valley. Click Here for details.
As always, I want to leave you with a couple of videos.
Here is a funny video of some kids having some good clean fun. Click Here.
Here is an example of a less than perfect landing. Looks like he flaired just a little too soon.Hope the guy was alright. Click Here.
Here is one for you Cat Lovers. Click Here.