My friend and motorcycle riding partner Hoppy is going into the hospital Thursday for angioplasty or possibly stint surgery. Worst case scenario could mean heart valve repair. My wife and I wish him the best and a very, very fast recovery – let me explain the very, very fast part.

August 1 is saddle-up day for our ride to Sturgis, South Dakota. We have been planning this trip for a year and it is very important to both Hoppy and me. Hoppy has never been to the rally and his excitement is similar to when he met his future wife for the first time. I, on the other hand, have been to the rally, but I have a son in Rapid City, South Dakota, that I haven’t seen for years and nothing on this planet (short of death) will keep me from seeing him.

If Hoppy ends up with heart surgery and has to miss the rally, I planned on riding alone to South Dakota – which is not going over well with my wife. It’s not like she is forbidding me to go alone, because if I feel the need to – it would happen. Instead, she is pointing out that at 70 years of age, perhaps I should consider that “A man has got to know his limitations.” This is where reality sets in and macho bull poop leaves the building.

Instead, my wise wife is suggesting that we postpone the trip until Hoppy can go and while we will miss the rally, we will have riding rights to the Black Hills of Dakota all to ourselves. There is magic in riding those hills and to ride them alone is an interesting proposition. My son knows all the great riding spots and finding food and fuel will be a snap – unlike when there are a half million other bikers on the road.

Of course Hoppy and I are thinking positively and we are sure the trip will happen as planned. His techno Harley trike is ready with GPS, cameras and satellite radio; and my bare bones V-Rod is willing and raring to hit the road in August. OMG, that is just a few short weeks away – saddle up!

Ride on,



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