Well, I’m finally on my way to Sturgis. Got out of Bismarck around 2:30. Was actually trying to grab a bite to eat when I checked the radar. Pretty much dropped everything and hit the road trying to beat out a rain storm. Headed south out of Mandan and stopped at Flasher as much to check the radar again as anything. Topped off the tank and while I was there met a biker from Grand Forks who was heading home. Talked to him about the weather (he had run into a few sprinkles). And while we were talking another couple pulled up and joined the conversation. Turns out they were from East Grand Forks and heading to Lemmon just like myself. While it was a nice conversation, I decided to hit the road and headed west trying to avoid the rain, which looked like it was going south and east. The couple from Flasher caught up with me just before New Leipzig, but I decided to pull into town for a few minutes and wait out the rain. I had caught a few sprinkles already and really didn’t want to put on the rain gear. Sat in front of the post office in New Leipzig for maybe 20 minutes, which must have done the trick because I didn’t hit any rain the rest of the way. It did get interesting with the 19 miles of new chip seal and the herd of horses loose on the highway. But those hazards were negotiated with caution and turned out well.
Got into Lemmon around 4:30 (Mountain time). The couple I had talked to in Flasher were staying at the same hotel and greeted me with a hearty “Looks like your radar was right” when I arrived. Checked in, hit the Internet for a bit, and the couple were just leaving for dinner and invited me along. Rode up the street to a place called Benny’s. Not a bad place. Good food for sure. Found out their names too: Tim and Steph Stevenson. Maybe I’ll run into them again, either in Sturgis or down the road.
I should mention that the short little 6-block ride up the street to dinner was my first without helmet and gloves. Had left them in the room and didn’t want to go back and get them. Now I can see the appeal. However, I also know the two rocks that bounced off my helmet on the ride it, so I’m not quite ready to go totally without. And I should mention that there was another chip seal right outside the hotel that was pretty thick. Made for some interesting riding. Thank goodness it was slow speed and not very far.
Of course, now that I’m off the road the sun has come out and it’s looking pretty nice out there. Haven’t quite figured out the plans for tomorrow, but hey, that’s what it’s all about. Just let the good times roll. God it’s good to be out on the road.