Roadside Cuisine – Motorbike trip – Coast to Coast – USA, Aug 2010 – Story by Bill Budd

A lot of wine was drunk on the Buds deck early this year and the suggestion was made to visit ‘Sturgis’, in the Black Hills of South Dakota USA,  the biggest bike rally in the world. A few more bottles and this grew to doing back roads and small town America, and eventually to doing it ‘Coast to Coast’.

Mike Gaines and Patritzia, Al and Geraldine Gaines, Logan Surgeson and myself were the intrepid explorers  and we set off from L.A  on hired Beemers, which was good for safe reliable riding, but bad at a rally with 800,000 bikes of which 99% were Harleys!.

First stop was Vegas to do the tourist bit and see the Grand Canyon etc, but relieved to be out of there we headed for Death Valley and temperature highs of 53 degrees. Starting early we beat the worst of the heat, but were made to understand how it got its name. Stunning riding in vast wilderness areas until we hit Manhatten, gold mining town, Pop 50. Two pubs, two churches 150m apart and our host in the 1st pub hadn’t visited the north side of town in 4 years so couldn’t  give us much info on the happenings there. I swear I could hear dueling banjos in the background!

In Goldfields, another old defunct mining town, I watched a grizzled old prospector giving directions to a really cool looking [red] Indian dude. After listening patiently for a while, he finally rummages in his pocket and says “GPS”.

At another stop, an old lady looks at me all dressed up in riding gear and asked where we were from. “Africa” elicited a blank response and she turns to her husband and, sotto voce, says “he does rather look like a pirate in that striped shirt you know”.

And then there were the Menonites who explained that they were like the Amish, but they did use technology and they followed Jesus, and as an afterthought said “you may have heard of him”

These were the little cameos that added spice to the trip.

Sturgis – the bike rally was mind boggling. Imagine a place the size of KZN, incredibly scenic and with the biggest town the size of Umhlanga. Add 800,000 bikes and fill every road for 200 miles with the rolling thunder of all those Harleys. Add a tribe of people who all dress much the same and where half mill around watching the other half who are parading in the craziest outfits and riding the most amazing customized machines. Ride to the remotest spots up to 200 miles away and you will find masses of people gathered with food booze music and loo’s aplenty. And we thought we did an amazing job with the world cup!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>