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July 29th, 2008

Broke Down

There is a song by Texas songwriter named Brian Burns that has a line that goes:

"I don't know why the hell I drove this far, and I wish I could be back there where you are, but I'm broke down in Tulsa, on a cold and rainy morning, crying on the shoulder of an Oklahoma highway, hoping I can get home.."

Well it isn't quite that bad, I'm in a hotel parking lot in Huron, SD.  However the bike's  electrical problems have resurfaced, and she won't start, and I don't get any indication of any sort of electrical system or indication of power at all. My ignition key has been sticky for the last few days, so I'm suspecting that's where the problem arises.

I have Harley Road Side Assist, (sort of AAA for Harley owners) which will tow the bike to the nearest Harley-Davidson dealer. From Huron, South Dakota, there is one in Watertown, SD, which is 112 miles back the wrong way, or one on Pierre, SD, which is 119 miles the right way we are headed - West. In dealing with Roadside Assist, the nice lady, who stuck religiously to the script she was given, insisted that they tow it to Waterton, even though it's the wrong direction, because it is the closest dealer. I offered to pay the 7 miles difference. I suspect that HOG will get a strongly worded letter when I get home.

But right now we are back in the hotel room waiting for the tow truck to show up.

What NOT To Sing While Riding....

So the bike got towed 120 miles to Pierre, South Dakota (does it still count for my corner to corner ride?  technically the bike and I rode a tow truck for 120 miles!)  The Harley Dealer worked on it all afternoon and of course could replicate the electrical problem ONCE, did some tinkering and it never did it again.  They couldn't figure out what was wrong, and charged me $60 bucks and sent me on my way.  The goal today was Sturgis, SD, where the large biker rally is getting underway.  The town already is crawling with biker dudes galore, and the roads leading to Sturgis were packed with bikers.  Because we were so late leaving Pierre and still needed to do 225 miles, we got on the God Damn Interstate.  225 miles of hot, dusty, windy hell -- with SD's 75mph speed limit!  All that wind noise makes the I-pod a bit difficult to hear unless you have really loud tunes going.  I had a playlist that is hard driving Rock 'n Roll (by my definition anyway), things like Steve Miller Band, Eagles, Styx, and of course things like ABBA, and a few other oddities mixed in.  (Yeah, I'm gay - deal with it!)

So here I am, roaring through the South Dakota Prairie at 75 mph, feet up on the travel pegs, fists in the wind on the ape-hanger handle bars, arms tanned and bulging from holding on, looking like an old grizzled biker -- and the I-pod brings up tunes from Rocky Horror Picture Show.  So I start singing along, not realizing that here is the biker daddy bear headed to Sturgis, singing "I'm just a sweet transvestite...from transexual, Transelvania"...bopping along doing a seat dance.  No wonder the truckers were giving me odd looks....

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