Cruisin’ Down the Highway

It’s been a busy summer. Since April I’ve been to Minneapolis (twice), Seattle, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Milwaukee. All were business trips and none of them was by motorcycle. But I went to South Dakota by motorcycle. Sadly, not Sturgis this year, but still an important trip.

If you’re familiar with previous posts on this blog, you know I’ve had troubles with my handlebars the past few years and just got them replaced over the winter. After being confined to in-town trips only because of them you’d think I’d be rarin’ to hit the highway finally.


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She’s home.

It’s April 11th. It’s not the earliest start to the season. It’s not the latest start to the season. It is very likely the most joyous start to the season.

After the past couple of years of not enjoying riding very much and being pretty much limited to riding in town, it didn’t take me 10 seconds to figure out I’m free again. Free to ride as far as I like. Free to get out of the house whenever I choose. Free to not spend unnecessary time getting around by bus.

It’s glorious.

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Hello. It’s been a while. For many reasons. One being those doggone handlebars that really, really killed the joy I had in riding.

But no more.

I just paid off the Harley. AND I just paid off the bill to have the handlebars replaced, including heated grips. And new tires. And a few other miscellaneous bits and bobs.

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Ad for sales assistant job

Follow Where The Path Leads

I have written any posts this summer because there’s been nothing to write about. Other than riding back and forth to work and running errands, I haven’t ridden anywhere or had anything notable happen. It’s been boring and frustrating, as it’s been a beautiful summer.

Yesterday that changed.

Sometime mid-morning I was reading the local newspaper online and in one of the sidebars they list job openings. There was something listed that either said motorcycle or Sturgis or something else that caught my eye. I clicked on it. Seems the local Indian/Triumph dealer was looking for help with their stand at the Sturgis rally. Hmmmm.

Ad for sales assistant job

Background: I had by now given up on making Sturgis this year. While things are FINALLY starting to turn around, finances really won’t start improving until September which is too late to make the trip. And I still have an issue with my handlebars that makes me a bit wary of taking long trips with them.

More Background: The last time I was at Sturgis may have been the first time I became aware of the Indian Triumph of Fargo dealership. They had a big, impressive display at a great location during the rally. Was one of the best there. Rather chuffed that it was from Fargo. But I hadn’t ever gotten around to stopping by the dealership in town and checking it out.

So there I sat at work mulling over whether to check out what this “job” was all about. There was no phone number listed; they wanted you to stop by.

I had just begun this week to workout at the gym over lunch, so one thought was to go to the gym and mull it over and then stop by after work. But something kept gnawing at me and I finally convinced myself there was no harm in finding out more about it. So forget the gym and head down to the dealership.

Walked in and asked for the person listed in the ad, who I needed to wait for until he was finished with some folks. When he finally freed up, he handed me a standard job application form and asked me to fill it out. OK. But as I was filling it out, it was pretty obvious that it was totally irrelevant to what I was applying for. Really don’t need a listing of my grad degrees to work at a stand during rally.

So he asked if I had time to chat with himself and one other person. Sure. So I was introduced to what I assume is the owner or manager of the place. He opened with some info including that they would give me a ride down to Sturgis and the phone rang. I had jokingly begun to say “but will you bail me out of jail?” and he managed to get in an emphatic “NO” before he picked up the call. Ooops?

The interview continued with some more information about the job and the accommodations. They will provide a ride, trailer my bike, provide housing, provide food, give me some time off, and possibly have access to some events, possibly including concerts. Plus pay a flat salary.

So, my turn to ask questions. “When do we leave and when do we come back?” (I have a rather big project going on at the day job at the moment which has some deadlines in the middle of rally week. I’d need to get that squared away before I could leave.) “We’re talking 12-15 hour days, aren’t we?”

Basically, it came down to a week and a half of long hard days with very little recreation time and even less drinking. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Honestly, the opportunity was so perfect I could hardly believe it. Everything they were looking for are things I’ve done before, and I’m no stranger to long days of hard work in the open air with an occasional belligerent soul or two.

I told them as I left that I needed to check with my current employer. It wasn’t about the time off, it was about being gone during a somewhat important time in the big project. I also wanted to talk with the boys since there were some repercussions there too. They responded by saying that if I could make it, I’d be high on the list of candidates they were considering, but that they were looking to make a decision by the end of the day.

Honestly, I loved that interview. No BS résumé. No scripts to follow. Just a good old handshake, a general sizing up of each other, and deciding whether to give it a go.

So I left pretty much knowing the job was mine if I wanted it. Headed back to work, immediately had meetings to distract me (well, not totally), but did finally get a chance to talk to the project manager. He said as long as I could get some things done before I go, he wasn’t going to stop me. Called the dealer back said I was able to make it and they should continue to consider me for the job.

I got a message on my phone as I was riding home from work. Called them back and they offered me the job, which of course I accepted. I’ve got a quick orientation to attend before we leave, but otherwise I somehow managed to finagle a trip to Sturgis less than a week before it starts. I did not wake up with any hope of that happening.

Now all I have to do is learn everything I can about Indian and Triumph motorcycles, past and present, in the next five days.

You know when life puts this stuff at my feet, I feel it’s my job to pick it up and run with it. Don’t know where it leads, but the journey looks to be fun.

And finally, I’ll have something worth writing a blog post or two about.

Odometer: 11,334 miles