Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Maxi Pads, Boobies, and Christian Bikers

I have been on hiatus for the past few days, taking time out to spend with my dad and the extended family. Poor Skinny Kitty was left home, on her own, sans kid, hubby or dog for a week. So I’m sure it’s been a vacation for her as well.

On Thursday, I packed the bike and headed to Sturgis, KY for the Little Sturgis biker rally. It’s an annual event for me, dad, and some friends – an extended weekend of off-the-grid biker subculture. There are places in the US that common social rules and regs do not apply and Little Sturgis is one of them. No doubt you have heard of Sturgis (the big one), one of the major motorcycle rallies in the US. More commercial than biker, many have opted out of the South Dakota rally for a more grass-roots event. Enter Little Sturgis in Kentucky. This event takes place on the county fairgrounds, which is private land and free of law enforcement.

Little Sturgis is a strange place of biker counterculture, free from the box of social constraints. People come from all over to participate in a freedom rarely experienced by the rest of society. Think of Little Sturgis as a hillbilly Mardi Gras with no law enforcement: a tooth-free, clothing optional, camping trip with lots of partying and a big side of Christianity. Girls gone wild, indeed.

Partying and Christianity? Huh? I know, you read that and furrowed your brow, right? Me too. Biker culture is a strange sub-set of American life, a mini-community of radicals. There is something about an iron horse and black leather than frees the mind and soul from the constraints of modern society and allows one to live another life. Things that people do at a biker rally they would never do otherwise, such as showing off body parts normally covered by cloth.

Amongst the debauchery of the biker rally night-life are throngs of Christian motorcyclist gangs. Nowhere else in the world do devout Christians and secular party-goers get along so well as at the biker rally. The Christian biker groups set up tents throughout the rally serving water, coffee, lemonade, and also offering the Water of Life. Their ministry is not the evangelical shouting common with street corner conversions. Rather, these folks are bikers who enjoy the biker tradition; they simply offer a water ministry to keep people safe and hydrated (which is biblically-rooted). (As far as I could tell they did not party.) If one chooses to discuss Christ, they are there to help and offer literature, but only if one seeks it. The mission is clear and they are up as late as the partiers, some open 24-hours. I used them often, filling up my water bottle and thanking them for their water and their mission. These are my kind of Christians. Good, solid folks who were not there to judge the debauchery, but rather to have fun and follow their mission. It must be a hard job amongst the clothing-scant, inebriated lot riding the biker parade until the wee hours of the morning.

Christian Motorcycle Association filling up water containers.

Dancing the night away.

Drunken dirt drags. Most of the drivers were pretty ripped,
I think. Crazy but fun.

I would offer more details, but it would render the post “Not Safe For Work”. I cannot post most of the pics, but I wish I could. They are something to see.

I can tell you about our snafu. Dad’s Harley broke down. Actually, it started out with problems, but gained new ones toward the end. As we left, his rocker box was leaking oil, which is not good when that oil hits the back brake. Makes stopping a tad touchy. We made a make-shift maxi-pad out of a terrycloth towel and a small bungee cord. I can show you pictures of that, but I do that more to gouge him than anything else. I’m a stinker like that. On Friday night, we were heading out for a ride when he found he could not shift. The linkage was loosey-goosey. We had to call Progressive’s roadside assistance and had the tow truck take the bike to the Harley dealership. I also have pictures of that. Come to find out, they were swamped and could not fix it in time. A transmission is no easy tear down.

We tried to rent a U-Haul, a Ryder, and a Penske truck. No can do in Kentucky as it turns out. U-Haul would not allow us to rent a truck one way. What the Hell? Isn’t that the point of a dadgum U-Haul? Ryder never answered the phone. Penske required us to drain all fluids out of the bike. Crazy. So we decided to let the Harley dealership keep the bike and we would come back for it.

Now to rent a car. Not an easy task in Paducha, KY either. We called Enterprise as they will pick you up. It was no help. Although we told them exactly what we wanted to do on the phone (rent a car one way to Branson, MO) once they got us to the store, they told us they did not rent one-way cars. Again with this crap! Tough. They were closing in 20 minutes and we were stranded out-of-state. I was hot and I informed the manager than they had to do something as they go us all the way out there for nothing. Enterprise took us across town to the airport to another car rental agency (Hertz) and they did offer one-way rentals, but at the lovely cost of more than $400.

We made it back home safe and sound and with plenty of stories to tell. Most of which cannot be posted here. You’ll have to ask at the next blogger’s meeting. By the way, we need to do that before summer’s end. If you ask nicely, I’ll show you the pictures of the rally.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you even get to see any of the
Branson shows at all then? Or anything at all?