Every interest has its mecca — the place people need to experience if they’re truly fans. Theater fans head to New York City for a chance to see a Broadway production. Gamblers test their poker face in Vegas. And motorcyclists like John McCabe make the trip to Sturgis, S.D.
“I’ve ridden since I was 10 years old and I’ve probably had, oh, 35 bikes,” McCabe says. “My grandparents bought us Honda mopeds. Back then those were the kind you pedaled or you could go by gas. So you could switch off. It had a front basket on it (they lived in the country), and we’d take them and go fishing.”
These days McCabe is more of a Harley-Davidson kind of guy. Nestled under a green slipcover in his garage is his 2011 Harley Street Glide, which he road to Sturgis in the early part of fall 2011 with his buddy, Dean Lambert.
“He’s a real bike enthusiast. Probably rides 25,000 miles a year,” says McCabe. “Having him lead the adventure going out there was a lot of fun.”
Now there are many ways to Sturgis, and no one route is right. McCabe and Lambert headed out from Des Moines to Nebraska and up to South Dakota. Their ride took the two through the spectacular Midwestern landscape, the Nebraska Sandhills and Rapid City “Gateway to the Black Hills,” until settling in Keystone at the Roosevelt Inn, located near the base of Mount Rushmore.
“Each morning we’d take off and go ride; taking a new route every day,” says McCabe. “Meeting and talking with people, seeing the sights, taking pictures. The weather was absolutely perfect every day of the trip.”
And forget about any stereotypes. McCabe says everyone was friendly and looking to enjoy the company of fellow riders. And the police? When McCabe was going about 75 mph down the highway, he noticed police lights flashing behind him. After pulling over, the officer simply came up to mention McCabe had left his saddlebag open.
“How cool is that?” says McCabe. “So, that’s the temperament there.”
Aside from some chilly temperatures on the ride home and a lost hat out of his open saddlebag, McCabe is ready to make the ride again. Still, now that the hat’s mentioned…
“That was my favorite Harley hat. Got it in 2003. (Losing it) really bummed me out,” he says.
Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”