Days 4 and 5: Sturgis 2022

(C) 2013, JJ Shaun

The temperatures were predicted to climb into the triple digits on Thursday, so we decided to run errands instead of riding. My chore was to get my light bulbs replaced and the cooling system checked on my bike. I feel like she’s been running hotter than she should (not into the danger zone, but she smelled hot). So I thought I’d have the local Honda dealer, Rice’s Rapid Motorsports, look at her just to be sure the coolant levels were good and that we wouldn’t have any surprises on the way home.

(C) 2022, JJ Shaun
Bitchin’ while my bike is at the shop.

The service department didn’t look too busy, so we initially sat down to wait. After the service rep told us it would be a few hours, we decided to head out to the Gaslight Dining Saloon in Rockerville and pick my bike up Friday morning. After supper, we stopped for gas and a couple of bottles of wine at the nearby C-Store in anticipation of our South Dakota extended family visiting. As we unpacked all our purchases, I noticed my glasses case was not among the items brought into the cabin.

We were going to hang out at the pool because of the heat, but it was just my rotten luck that First Reader and I had to retrace our steps to find the lost case. The case itself isn’t as important as the case’s contents—my prescription glasses. I am farsighted and have astigmatism, so going without means, I need someone to read stuff for me. My riding glasses will work in a pinch I’m in if I need to see something clearly, but those will only work during the day. At night I need something different.

First Reader uses the over-the-counter reading glasses, which magnifies any print enough that I can manage. However, they don’t account for my astigmatism, which makes everything a bit blurry. As long as I don’t try to focus too hard, I won’t give myself a blistering headache. That’ll teach me to slow down and not get in a bleeping hurry. I have a backup pair at home, so I’ll be fine once we return to our home turf.

We spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening cooling off in the pool. The hot temperatures kept us off the bikes for the rest of the day, which was fine since we were ready for a rest.

Friday, we searched for the lost glasses again, then headed into Rapid City to get my bike. Then we rode out to the little spot along SD 44, where we stayed for many years before our friends sold the property. Despite not being out there for a while, the gal at the bar and grill in town remembered us.

That’s been happening a lot this year. Someone remembered us from previous years almost everywhere we’ve gone—Patch World, Caputa, Rice Rapid Motorsports, and the rest area outside of Cheyenne. Of course, when you’ve been frequenting the same places for a couple of decades, you just might make an impression.

Tomorrow is our last day in the Black Hills. Sunday, we make the ride home. It’s been one of the hottest rallies I can remember. We’ve heard a lot of reports of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. We have been as careful as we know, having suffered heat exhaustion a few years ago when we rode to Sedona, AZ. Why we thought riding to Arizona during one of the hottest months of the year was a good idea, I’ll never know. But we learned valuable lessons on that trip, benefiting us this week.

In this kind of heat, water isn’t enough. Drink Gatorade, Body Armor, Powerade, or anything with electrolytes to keep your entire body hydrated. When you sweat, you don’t just lose water. You lose potassium, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals that keep your bodily systems in balance. I get foot and lower leg cramps when I sweat a lot. Drinking a bottle of Body Armor keeps those cramps at bay. First Reader drinks Gatorade Zero for the same reason.

We decided to take the rest of today, Friday, to relax and stay out of the heat. I told First Reader I might go jump in the pool later, but we’ll see. For now, we’re enjoying the cool of the air-conditioned cabin.

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