Mecca; Mt. Fuji; Jerusalem; the Ganges; Lumbini & Nazareth – all iconic or religious sites and a must-see for the faithful. For the worshippers/ enthusiasts of North American motorcycle biking it’s the Black Hills of South Dakota and Sturgis this August for the 76th anniversary and almost an 11th commandment. Close behind; any non-Winter Friday 13th means mandatory pilgrimages to Norfolk County’s PORT DOVER, especially as this 57th such celebration is the last for the next few years! Alas, age & infirmity deny this rider’s participation.
It may paraphrase a religious Hajj in its obligatory stipulation, but these events are totally secular and definitely social in characteristic. While there are swaps; purchase opportunities and advance product projections – especially in Sturgis; it is the camaraderie and fellowship among people with the same diversion and mindset that makes these occasions so much more than just an indulgence… they are a bonding experience.
The last time this old fart attended a PD13 jamboree was for the 50th anniversary and I and my beloved ‘Vicky’ VESPA™ made the trip before dawn. A group of about 2 dozen Gold Wing™ riders insisted I lead their posse gleaning hilarity from the OPP officers guarding the Highway 6 & St. John’s Road intersection. Then, there was the father explaining to his son that the funny little red bike was a “HARDLY” Davidson! The tent breakfast; the free shoe polishing and the chats with numerous booth operators as well as complimenting some of the amazingly detailed motorbikes made the day truly memorable. Being one of only three scooters among 180,000 Big Boy Bikes also made this scribe feel somewhat unique!
My muse Terry aka “Biker Chick” wrote an article about the people with whom we shared our passion. Professionals from all spheres of industry and vocations, being with and among them even WITHOUT such means of conveyance, still stimulates and arouses the exhilaration I felt when I bestrode ‘Vicky’. That emotion was especially felt when I promoted myself to ‘Rhonda’ the black Honda™ “Shadow 750” on which I felt secure enough to challenge the 403; QEW & even the 401 with its 125+kph actual traffic speed. Like Roger Miller; I WAS “ King of the Road
Back in my yacht racing days it was ‘de rigueur ‘to wish one “Fair winds, calm Seas”…to my friends the biking enthusiasts –Dry roads; no traffic & an eternal summer”