It was a cool morning with a light sprinkle of rain coming down as we began the ride, but spirits were high and not a discouraging word was heard. By the half-way point the sun had come out and it had warmed considerably. After a quick break to get our cards signed at the ever-popular Lewie's Saloon and Eatery, it was on to our second stop at Trevino's Leathers on Highway 385 south of Deadwood. I never knew Rhea Trevino, but I know a lot of people who did, and it's clear that he was a good man who touched the lives of many people. He was also a master craftsman in a world where it seems there are few left. His obituary in 2010 contained this quote by Bob Dylan - "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do." Seems to fit.
I try to ride as much as possible these days, and wish I would have done more riding in the past. I have never been overloaded in the spare time category and it's not like I didn't have other things to do, but still, I think I missed a lot. Most of all the comradery, or "brotherhood" if you will. It's events like this one that illustrate that point so well. The diversity of riders and machines is nothing less than amazing. Of course there were the big chromed up V-Twin Harley Davidsons with their pipes belting out that familiar rumble. But there were also Hondas, Kawasakis, Suzukis, BMWs, trikes, custom choppers, crotch rockets, and at least one Boss Hoss. And they were all welcome. It is not unusual on charity or memorial rides rides like this to see an Electra Glide and a Ninja ZX going down the highway side by side. In all honesty this kind of mixing may be frowned upon in some circumstances, but not here, and not on this day. Even the Sunkist twins showed up.
I realize that those of you who don't ride can't really appreciate the sights, sounds and smells that provide a feast for the senses on even a short trip. And I'm sure there are other things you do that provide your own personal enjoyment. But even if you have no interest in the ride itself, surely you can appreciate good art. You will find it anywhere a group of motorcyclists are gathered. The colors and details you will see are as varied and impressive as what you might view on the walls of a fine gallery.
So that's why I like to ride. There are more reasons, but some are harder to explain so I won't try. But, getting back to the main subject of this essay, one more reason is that I am able to participate in events that allow me to give a little something back. To become more aware of worthy causes and perhaps help out a little bit. I smiled when the following comment was posted on Facebook by Nick Cramer of Dakota V-Twin, the main organizer of this particular event:
"Thank you EVERYONE! HAD AN AMAZING TURN OUT! over 150 bikes, and guess what! We met our goal and the kids slide will be ordered this week!"
Now that's what it's really all about.