Jimmy Gammon's Sturgis Debriefing.

I feel that an after-action report is needed in regard to the Sturgis trip, so here goes:

Those planning such a trip:

1. Don't take anything just-in-case, like spare food. Don't plan to cook in your campsite. I wasted too much valuable packing space with a mini stove and MREs.

2. Don't allow yourself to be pushed into rushing, like by your wife. Don't do more than 650 miles per day. That is more than enough. Figure on an average of 55-60 mph, even if you travel at 75-80 mph. You have to eat, get gas and flex your body.

3. Bring extra gloves and boots. One set of light gloves and one warmer.

4. A good rain suit is mandatory.

5. Carry chain lube/wax and a spare oil filter.

6. Carry a can of fix-a-flat, just in case.

7. Figure on spending at least $250.00 a week on gas, food and such. Don't ask me where it goes. Maybe it's the Busch beer.

8. Make hotel reservations in advance. I was stuck in Wisconson one night with no room, and had a heck of a time finding one, a suite at $79.00.

9. Carry something to drink on the bike.

10. Make a throttle lock. This is simply 3" of 2.125" bicycle innertube slipped over the throttle grip and chrome end piece of the bars. It goes on like a toeless sock, covering the chrome piece, and the throttle partly. The tube should no be attached in any way. Tighten the screw that retains the chrome piece very tight so it can't slip. The throttle lock works by holding on to the grip, but slipping on the chrome piece just enough to allow cruise control.

11. A small towel comes in handy for many uses, but the best use is as a movable seat pad. In this way, you can change the pressure on your butt to allow circulation

12. When you find yourself trying to flip the clutch lever down as a left turn signal, it is time to get off the bike!

13. I really prefer to ride alone, not that I had any choice. A word of warning. People you meet while riding usually do not want to ride with you. I think it is just comfort zone, not bike brand, but don't forget that they may not want to ride with you.

14. California riders seem to think the dotted lines are a bike lane. Chicago riders think the shoulder is the bike lane.

15. Don't follow car, bike, boat or house trailers too closely, the dude who attached it likely didn't know what he was doing.

16. Look out for gravel and sand on exit ramps, a sure way to wake you up.

17. Get gas when you can. On gasohol, mileage goes down. I recommend a pint can of gas in a saddle bag.

18. Take a camera. A disposable flash camera (or two) is fine, Kodak offers digital and print developing.


20. Take something warm, regardless of the weather reports. Early morning rides can be chilly anywhere, and rain is cold anytime.

Forget what you've heard about Harley riders harrassing you. I never got more than a blank look. Be polite to the locals, hold doors and say nice things. You'll get along fine. Don't wear your helmet into stores, etc. If you do, you will get looks. Parachute cord makes a great tiedown cord. Easy to tie and untie, wears like iron, hold it's length, doesn't fray, doesn't slip. I got mine from Sportsman Guide (on the web, sportsmanguide.com I think).

One last thing, I did not take earplugs, and wish I had. Many hours of air and bike noise wears on you. They make them with a cord. Harder to lose.

'nuff said

JimG MIG #229