My story of Sturgis and strawberry truffles

Thursday, August 8, 2019
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Dino Dave’s Adventures

VAROOM!!!!! This week, the Midwest highways will be filled with the compensating thunder of Harley motorcycles on their way to Sturgis. Long hair, scraggly beards, bandanas, faded leather, dark sunglasses, I never considered myself tough enough to drive a Harley.

In fact, the only fight I was in, was in second grade. Kyle and I swung as hard as we could that January day. As the crowd of 6th graders gathered in a circle and cheered, we both relished our new playground street cred. The best part was that neither of us could feel a thing as we swung our 2nd grade jabs unto each other. With our thick 1980 winter coats, we may as well been pillow fighting.

That was the last tough thing I’ve done.

Years ago I owned a Yamaha VMAX. If motorcycles were drinks at the convenience store, the VMAX would be the 20 oz. Red Bull. Rollercoasters now make me yawn. I used to meet with several rich country club tennis players every week and decided to drive my VMAX to practice. (This is the part where I lose all tough guy credibility whatsoever). A player who owned several fast food joints in the state noticed and said, “Hey, I didn’t know you drove a motorcycle! I am going to Sturgis next week and have a hotel there if you want to go.”

My ears perked. I knew how tough it is to get hotels during bike week in Sturgis. Sturgis was also a bucket list for me, I had to go at least once. I agreed immediately. “C’mon and bring your bike by in the morning and we can load it in the trailer.”

Ok, time out……..time out!! There are rules I live by. I don’t wear a shirt with the same band to their own concert. I don’t cry at the movies when on a date (Toy story 3 doesn’t count). I don’t eat strawberries from Jose at the beach in Cancun (anymore) and I for surely will not trailer my motorcycle to the biggest bike rally in the world! In my best Easy Rider voice I replied, “This guy rides his motorcycle to rallies. I’ll meet you there. Where are you staying?”

My rich country club tennis buddy replied, “At the Sunnyhill Bed & Breakfast!”

Ok, time out……time out! This was my one chance to be a tough guy. There was absolutely no way in Hells Angels that I was going to stay at a sissy Bed & Breakfast at my first bike rally! I took my voice down another octave and put on my $10 shades without a smile. “We’ll see about that.” Then took off towards the candy store to get my first fake tattoo. I hoped peeling it off wasn’t going to hurt.

Like a lone wolf, I headed to South Dakota from Montana on my own. My rocket VMAX wasn’t exactly built for long distance comfort. I had to put an extra cushion on my seat and pull over every 100 miles walk off my aching vibrating rear end. My attempted tough guy image has now somehow dropped between a florist and a librarian. I noticed that all bikers wave to each other. However, there was a direct correlation between the amount your hand moves to how cool you are. I had to actually practice my wave. At first it was like Gomer Pyle. I think I saw a couple face palms in my rear view mirror. I eventually got my wave down to just a couple fingers raising in the air. Just enough to say that I care, but not really. I then bought a bandana with skulls on it. Only 100 miles to go and my tough guy stock was on the rise again. Now, how to get out of this bed and breakfast thing? There was absolutely, positively, no way this rebel soul would stay in some sissy bed and breakfast.

But, the next morning I had the most exquisite strawberry truffle of my life. The savory cream had the most elegant consistency with the fluffy shortcake and perfectly ripened strawbe……wait, time out……time out! My tough guy stock dropped again, but I did feel sorry for every Hells Angel who didn’t stay in a bed and breakfast that night. The guy sitting next to me at the breakfast table next looked like he had already done 10 years. He dressed like he came straight from the set of Sons of Anarchy. He should have been snorting strawberry truffles, not eating them. Turned out he was the nicest accountant from London and had never ridden a bike before. My tough guy stock further plummeted.

Sturgis has become more tourist attraction than bike rally now. Filled with wannabe posers like myself, the guy from London, my tennis buddy and other lawyers and doctors who trailered their bike from wherever. But still, it had its share of the real deal. I found this out at the gas station. It was a battle to gas up. Like the runt of the litter, I kept trying to squeeze in only to be pushed out by someone who has been arrested 10 times more than I have. This dude with mirrored shades just pointed at me with a glare and moved in when it was clearly my turn. What was I going to do, challenge him to a tennis match?

I eventually filled my tank and headed for the highway. Then, from nowhere, these punks in a Volvo cut me off and almost sent me crashing but I swerved just in time! “Gol’ darn it!” I mumbled under my breath. I’m usually pretty mad when I say the “D” word. Then, from nowhere, the same guy who pointed at me and stole my spot in the gas line came zooming right next to the Volvo! He rode inches to their window, pointed right in their face and cursed up a storm! He actually went to bat for me! I now had the courage of a barking Chihuahua to a mailman. I then rode the leather coattails of my new tough guy friend and gave Mr. Volvo my own quick king of the road stare and then accelerated away like a boss. Where’s Kyle?! This tough guy is ready for my second grade fight rematch!

Dave Fuqua is a Glendive native. You can find out more about him at dinodaveadventures.com . He can be reached at Makoshikadave@gmail.com.

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