Strider Bikes founder laser focused on growing the industry by teaching youth how to ride
By Wendy Pitlick Black Hills Pioneer
RAPID CITY — One of the best ways to grow the motorcycle industry is to make sure future customers grow up knowing how to ride on two wheels. That’s been Ryan McFarland’s mission since 2006, when he built the first balance bike for his 2-year-old son. Since then, the Strider Bikes founder has built an international company and non-profit education program that focuses on making sure every child learns how to ride a bicycle safely. That sheer commitment to children has caused the country to grow to nearly 4 million sales in 75 countries. “It’s not about the sale,” McFarland said about his company’s philosophy and mission. “It’s about teaching that kid how to ride a bike. The goal is for the kid to be successful, which means the parent has to be successful. When this bike arrives we want it to be assembled so quickly and easily that the child never wanders off looking for something else to do. ” While there are several balance bike brands today, McFarland pioneered the idea when he was trying to help his son learn to ride. An avid motorcyclist and bicyclist himself, it was important that his son learn the life skill at an early age. But when McFarland would purchase equipment to help his son ride, he was consistently disappointed. Finally, McFarland put his mechanical shop experience to work and designed the original Strider that led his son to learn with a skill that earned him a lifetime of joy on two wheels. “The original dream has come true,” McFarland said as he spoke of going on motorcycle excursions and motocross races with his teenage sons. “It’s been fun to see them having started so young, and had access to all the bikes and everything as they’ve grown, just how far their skills have progressed.” In fact, McFarland said since the advent of Strider bikes in
2006 he now notices that nearly every motocross and BMX racer, regardless of age, got their start on a Strider or a competing brand for balance bikes. “It gets them started earlier and it gets them started safer,” he said. “It has them developing a fundamental bike handling skill set well in advance of getting on the motorcycle. I think they’re safer and more successful the very first day they get on a little motorcycle, having spent time on a Strider. Those fundamental skills are the same whether they’re on a Strider or a bicycle or a little motorcycle. You’re just changing the means of propulsion, but the essence of how you ride the bike, how you balance it and learn it, that’s all the same. So, when little kids spend a couple of years on a Strider, they’re just far safer than kids who are just getting on bicycles or dirt bikes without that same base experience.” But as McFarland’s company started to grow, so did phone calls from parents of older children who did not know how to ride a bike. The calls became so frequent that McFarland, whose Strider bikes mostly target early-ages between 1 and 4, began digging into why older, schoolaged kids
2022 were having difficulty riding. In his research, he discovered that bike riding for kids has been declining over the last 20 years. Over the last 10 years, he said there has been a 50% drop in kids riding bikes for transportation, and a 35% drop in bike riding for recreation or play purposes. When he discovered that 75% of children in the United States are not likely to ride a bike at all this year, and that instead statistics report that they will spend about seven hours a day on a screen, McFarland’s already laser-focused mission became even more fine-tuned. “These are statistics that just blew me away,” he said. “I grew up on my bike. Bicycles and motorcycles have been an integral part of my life. We have to teach children at a rate higher than what they are currently falling off to turn this trend around.” That’s how the Strider Education Foundation was formed. Through the Foundation, Strider works with community donors and school districts across the country to provide the All Kids Bike program — a bicycle riding curriculum and equipment that is specifically geared toward teaching kindergarten students how to ride a bike. The Foundation receives donations form community organizations or businesses to pay a very low, one-time fee that covers the cost of 24 Strider bikes, helmets, related hardware, a fully successful curriculum, and teacher training that can be used every year. The program, he said is in 600 school districts across all 50 states, and it continues to grow. “In eight lessons we can take a child who has never been on a bicycle
before and we can teach them all of their bike balance and bike handling skills in the first five lessons, and teach them how to pedal in the last three lessons,” McFarland said. “They’ll never use training wheels and they’ll leave kindergarten knowing how to ride a bike, which is a life skill that will serve them in many ways. Learning how to ride a bike in and of itself is probably the best skill a child can learn in kindergarten PE. I can’t think of anything more important than that skill. That alone makes it good to do. But when we look at all the other issues facing children, it really is serving a greater purpose as well in trying to get them to break free of screen time and get them moving and get their bodies healthy.” McFarland’s goal of making sure every child learns how to ride a bike also has long lasting implications for the motorcycle industry, which he said could see a downturn in riders if more kids don’t start riding bicycles. “When they try to recruit new riders, I don’t think they understand how big of a chasm there is between the enthusiasts and the non-riders,” he said. So, even the efforts for those industries to reach back and encourage people in, many times are not real successful because there isn’t a base skill. It’s pretty hard to talk to somebody about becoming a motorcyclist when they never even learned how to ride a bicycle. But if every single kid learned how to ride a bicycle when they were in kindergarten, that changes everything. That’s a sheer numbers game, and it’s like the
tide that rises all ships. If every kid had that skill, then asking them to become more involved in bicycling or asking them to be more involved in motorcycling is reasonable. This really changes everything.” In fact, McFarland said one of the prerequisites for taking a Basic Riders Course through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, is that riders must be able to balance and handle a bike. Through the All Kids Bike program, he said Strider is making sure all kids learn how to check that box off, through their Kindergarten physical education classes. “If that’s the prerequisite, then the motorcycle industry should be trying to do everything they can to make sure everybody could meet that first prerequisite,” McFarland said. “That’s what we’re doing. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the people who train new riders with the Basic Riders Course, the first bullet point on the prerequisites says ‘must be able to balance and ride a motorcycle. If that’s the prerequisite to riding motorcycles, then the motorcycle industry should be trying to do everything they can to make sure everybody could meet that first prerequisite, and that’s what we’re doing with All Kids Bike.” By doing this, McFarland said he hopes to extend the lifelong joy of riding on two wheels to the world’s next generation. “I believe bicycling and motorcycling just leads to healthy, happy humans,” he said. “Just as I think it’s important to get kids out on bikes, I love getting out on my motorcycle and I usually don’t run into too many grumpy motorcyclists. Everyone you run into on a motorcycle is pretty much having a good time and is positive about life and enjoying things. I want the motorcycle industry to thrive because I think it enriches life.”
Motor Maids 4
By W endy Pitlick Black Hills Pioneer
RAPID CITY — The Hills will be rumbling with traffic from the Motor Maids this summer, as the longest running women’s motorcycle group gathers in Rapid City for their annual convention. Ann Hoveland of the Motor Maids said the event, scheduled for July 5-7, is the first convention the group has had since 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be based at the Ramkota Convention Center. So far there are 530 registered guests, with at least 400 of them being members of the organization. Of those, six are “Golden Life Members” who have been Motor Maids for more than 50 years, who will be honored at the convention this year. Most of the Golden Life Members, she said, are in their 70s, 80s, or 90s, and are not required to ride their own motorcycle to the convention. Many of them, she said, still ride on the back with other Motor Maids. “We have one that is local,” Hoveland said of Golden Life Member Ev Straight, who lives at St. Martin’s Retirement Community in Rapid City. Straight, who started riding her motorcycle as inexpensive transportation, has been a Motor Maid for more than 60 years. She quit driving her own bike in 2016, Hoveland said, but she still rides on the back with friends frequently. “For the last four or five years she has ridden to convention on the back of a motorcycle with another
Motor Maid,” she said. “Last summer we didn’t have convention, but they went for two and a half weeks and they just rode around. Ev is a devout Catholic, so the lady took the tour of all the different cathedrals and monasteries and all kinds of different Catholic places. It was kind of a cool thing for Ms. Ev.” Mandatory activities for this year’s convention will include the election of officers, and a parade through downtown Rapid City on July 5. “I am expecting 300 to 400 uniformed riders,” Hoveland said. “We parade in our formal uniform, including white gloves.” Then, on Wednesday, July 6 the Motor Maids are invited to participate in the Dot Robinson Road Ride — a competitive road race that pays tribute to one of the founders of the Motor Maids. The ride is about 60 to 80 miles, and the route remains a mystery that participants have to unravel with clues along the ride. “They will get written instructions, but no map,” Hoveland said. “They follow the written instructions through the course with five hidden checkpoints. So they don’t know where the checkpoints are, but you’re required to hit that checkpoint at a specific minute. You start out with a perfect 1,000 points. You leave the starting point and when you hit your first checkpoint, if you’re early you lose two points off of your 1,000.
to host annual convention in Rapid City, July 5-7
If you’re late, you lose one point for every minute that you are late. It’s timed and the hidden checkpoints add a skill level to it. In past years the ride takes people through the city or they could be going out in the country, or it could be a combination of all that. The route is a secret.” During all sanctioned Motor Maids rides, Hoveland said the bikes will be numbered and Motor Maids will be easily recognizable.
In addition to regularly scheduled activities for convention, Hoveland said Black Hills Harley Davidson has also invited the Motor Maids to a special reception. Rice Honda has also offered support for the event. Established in the late 1930s by Linda Dugeau of Providence, R.I., and Dot Robinson of Detroit, Mich., the Motor Maids is the longest continuous running women’s motorcycle club in North America, with an American Motorcyclists
Association Charter No. 509 issued in 1941. The group is internationally known for its work to promote women in motorcycling. Requirements for membership are that the women must legally own and operate their own motorcycle, they must be of good character, and they must work to promote motorcycling in some way. Motor Maids membership is 1,300 strong, and it currently spans nearly every state in the U.S., as well as several Canadian provinces.
Pictured are the Motor Maids in 1966. Courtesy photos
Adapt and overcome
Black Hills Harley Davidson faces 2021 supply challenges to meet increased demand By Wendy Pitlick Black Hills Pioneer
RAPID CITY — Adapt and overcome was the name of the game for Black Hills Harley Davidson, as the company rose above the obstacles of supply shortages, an economic downturn, and more to celebrate a banner year of sales. Mike Maloney, marketing manager with Black Hills Harley Davidson, said a few years ago the business realized there would be problems with supply shortages, as manufacturers struggled to obtain microchips that have become vital to the automotive and motorcycle industry. The high demand for motorcycles amid the pandemic and rising fuel costs also contributed to the challenges of meeting increased demands with decreased supply lines. Though new bikes were hard to get as a result, Black Hills Harley filled its show room floor with pre-owned inventory, and made sure to keep parts in stock for customization. “We work really hard with the Harley Davidson Motor Company to make sure we have bikes available when we need them,” Maloney said. “But the manufacturing is still limited. They’re working through a lot of struggles, as everyone is, to produce as many as they can to meet the demand. As the pandemic hit a lot of people found that outdoor activities are amazing and riding a motorcycle in the Black Hills, or anywhere in the country, is the perfect way to get away.” But Black Hills Harley Davidson answered the supply chain challenges to make sure it continued to serve customers well. In fact, in 2021 the Rapid City business had more sales than any other single-source Harley Davidson dealership in the world. A single source provider is an ownership
When supply shortages hit this year, Black Hills Harley Davidson staff worked hard to stock their inventory of pre-owned motorcycles in order to meet customer demand. In 2021 the business had the highest sales in the world of any single-source provider. Photo courtesy of Black Hills Harley Davidson group that has only one Harley Davidson dealership for bike sales. Maloney said the record sales were the result of planning ahead, buying pre-owned inventory, and making sure the shelves were stocked with parts. “We knew there was going to be supply chain issues, so we focused on buying bikes off the street,” Maloney said. “Anyone, anywhere in the nation, if they have a bike we will write a check for it. That’s how our inventory of motorcycles has maintained. A lot of dealerships around the country are struggling to find bikes. We knew bikes were going to be in high demand and hard to get, so we worked extra hard to maintain our inventory and that was focused on buying bikes.” Maloney said pre-owned mo-
torcycles have also carried a higher value, allowing the dealership to offer more money for them. “Usually book values slightly decrease over time,” he said. “In the past year and a half, they have actually increased. Older Harleys are worth more now than they were two or three years ago, and they’re harder to find. So, with the market value increasing we’re able to pay more than what people ahd been offered in the past. Someone who maybe had an injury and wasn’t able to ride anymore, but they’ve still held their Harley in the garage because it wasn’t worth much. Well, in the last year we have been able to pay them what they wanted to get out of it with the value.”
The Largest Selection of
& In the Northern Hills Collectible Rally Tin Available in August
Sturgis Liquor Est. 1938
605-347-5983 1075 Lazelle Street, Sturgis
But when riders buy a preowned Harley, they often want to do something to it to make it their own. That’s where the importance of keeping custom parts in stock came in. The nice thing about Harleys, Maloney said, is that the motor company has hundreds of different customization options. “Customization is always a large emphasis for us as a dealership because of the demand from customers,” he said. “Through the trying times, we worked really hard with our partners both at Harley Davidson and the aftermarket, to maintain our inventory level.” Often, Maloney said riders who were not able to buy a new bike would opt instead to replace the exhaust on their existing
bike. Or, a pre-owned bike would get a new set of handlebars. For each customization option, Maloney said Harley worked with its partners and various vendors to make sure the dealership was able to install the aftermarket parts right away. Overall, Maloney said the company is especially proud of how it overcame the challenges of 2021, since it is a locally owned business. “The owners are longtime residents of the Black Hills,” he said. “Being run as a small, local business allows us the flexibility to adapt very quickly. Some large corporations move a little bit slower, and as the market has changed as wildly as it has, in the last year and a half we benefitted by our flexibility.”
BLACK HILLS IRON©
is produced by the Black Hills Pioneer, 315 Seaton Circle, Spearfish, SD, 57783, (800) 676-2761 www.bhpioneer.com • firstname.lastname@example.org Letitia Lister, publisher Mark Watson, managing editor Sona O’Connell, advertising manager Paul Baker, layout Cover photo courtesy Letitia Lister.
The publisher will not be responsible or liable for misprints, misinformation or typographic errors herein contained. Publisher also reserves the right to refuse any advertising deemed not to be in the best interest of the publication. © 2022 BLACK HILLS IRON, all rights reserved.
‘Nightster!’ Harley Davidson is “putting the sports back in Sportster” this year with the brand new “Nightster.” This light weight, high powered bike is built for speed and agility, and with a newly-engineered water-cooled design it runs cooler than most bikes. It comes equipped with rider safety enhancements that are designed to adjust performance based on road conditions at acceleration, deceleration and braking. Harley engineers have also shifted key components of the bike to significantly reduce the weight, including putting the engine mass and fuel cell location low in the chassis. This design helps to improve rider confidence, allowing for great maneuverability at low speeds and on corners. Ride modes also allow the rider to control performance based on road conditions or a particular experience, including Road Mode, Rain Mode and Sport Mode. Representatives from Black Hills Harley Davidson said they are taking orders for the bike now, and early orders may be filled by Rally.
take a ride through wide open spaces NEWCASTLE, WYOMING • Lots of Parking • All Rooms Ground Floor with Outside Entrances • Bike Parking by Your Door • Guest Laundry & Internet
Fuel up for your ride!
Fresh, never frozen burgers and homemade fries made right in front of you! 307-746-2255 | 22918 Hwy 85, Newcastle, WY 82701 | www.newcastlelodgewy.com Paid for in part by Weston County Travel Commission
Specializing in Fresh Baked Pizza 605-717-2418
2x2 DISPLAY or 2x4 ADS IN OVER 120 SOUTH DAKOTA NEWSPAPERS
888-888-9091 · 605-722-7574
600 Whitewood Service Road, Whitewood, SD www.ironhorseinnsturgis.com
Call us to learn more! 605-642-2761
After 2-year hiatus, American Flat Track returns to Rally
By Wendy Pitlick Black Hills Iron
RAPID CITY — The fastest half mile on the circuit is back on track after a two-year hiatus, when the Black Hills Speedway hosts American Flat Track Racing this year during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The last time the Black Hills saw these racers was in 2019, and organizers are excited to
Pioneer file photos bring it back this year in true motorcycle fashion. “Because of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, they always want to be at this event because the whole motorcycle industry is here,” said organizer Terry Rymer. “They’re really excited. The racers really love it because it is the fastest half mile they go to and one of the best tracks they love to run is right here in Rapid City.”
The event will be held Aug. 6 at the Black Hills Speedway. Rymer said there are 18 races in the series. The organizers and racers are more motivated than ever to ensure the event is one of the best in the circuit this year. “I’m extremely excited because it’s a passion of mine,” said Rymer. “I understand why they had to take a couple of years off. They’re really
looking forward to coming back here, especially the racers. American Flat Track is excited. Not many other places, other than maybe Daytona, the whole motorcycle industry comes here for this event. When we can have a national caliber race like this in conjunction with the Sturgis Rally, it is just a win-win-win for everybody.” New at the races this year
will be the Paddock Access Upgrade ticket that will allow attendees to meet their favorite riders and inspect their bikes up close throughout the day. Live music, big screen viewing, vendor displays, a Kid Zone, and more amenities will also be available. For more information about the American Flat Track Races in Rapid City this year, visit
Camaraderie, service and the open road CWO4 Kaylan Harrington finds peace on her bike, support with Legion Riders
By Wendy Pitlick Black Hills Pioneer
FORT MEADE — For Chief Warrant Officer4 Kaylan Harrington, riding to help her brothers and sisters in arms is the best kind of therapy, and supporting the American Legion Riders is one of the best things she can do for veterans and enlisted personnel. Harrington, who just celebrated her 20th anniversary in the military, served for 14 years as active duty Air Force and Army, and she has been in the Army National Guard for six years. She’s completed six deployments — four to Iraq and two to Afghanistan on humanitarian missions, where she lived and worked closely with the villagers to build schools, playgrounds, and provide other services. She is currently on special assignment at Fort Meade to run the Officer Training School program. “We did village stability operations to ensure that the village had the support they needed to resist against certain players in the area,” Harrington said of her time in Afghanistan, which she frequently talks about. “I love the culture and the people. We were able to do some incredible things. We really did a lot of good work for the young girls who were growing up without education and we were able to facilitate some of that. People talk about the really bad stuff, and there is a lot of really terrible stuff that happens over there. Sometimes it overshadows the enormous amount of good that we were able to do over there.” As Harrington remembers her service in the Middle East, she hopes the good work U.S. soldiers did over there never gets lost in the fact that the country pulled out so quickly. That’s one of the reasons she said it’s so important to support organizations like the American Legion and VFW, which cultivate programs to offer camaraderie and support for soldiers and veterans. The daughter of a Vietnam veteran, Harrington said she believes her father’s silent struggle would have been lessened if he had experienced the camaraderie she found with the Legion. “The American Legion as a whole is such an incredible organization,” she said. “My dad was a Vietnam veteran and he never talked about Vietnam. He really struggled silently for a long time. We didn’t know anything about his service and he buried his uniforms in the closet. He ended up passing away from Agent Orange. I
Left, Chief Warrant Officer4 Kaylan Harrington. Top right, Harrington gets ready to ride on her Indian Scout. Bottom right, Harrington takes a break while riding with the American Legion Riders. Courtesy photos don’t think he ever set foot in a Legion or a VFW. I think if he had these resources when he came back home and utilized them the way they should be utilized, I think he would have been in a much better place.” Because of that, Harrington said riding with the American Legion Riders has become a way for her to combine her passion for motorcycling with her desire to cultivate camaraderie and support among veterans and enlisted personnel. When she was deployed to Afghanistan, Harrington said her American Legion troop in Maryland sent her school books, candy and other care packages to help the people there. Then, when she moved to the Black Hills a few years ago the American Legion Riders — Black Hills Chapter, welcomed her with open arms. She estimates that she rides about 30 to 40 funeral escorts a year as one of her main service activities with that group.
“The escorts to the cemetery are the most meaningful,” she said. “My husband always says that he wants the family to feel like the person who passed away is more important than the president of the United States. We want the police to show up. We want the community to come out. We really want them to understand how much that person’s service meant to all of us personally. I think every one of them is special in their own way.” In addition to her involvement with the Legion Riders, Harrington is also involved with the organization Veterans Charity Ride. Through that group, she said disabled veterans are given a modified motorcycle to ride on a 10-day, 3,000 mile organized run from Moab, Utah to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Harrington serves as a mentor in the group, making sure that all of the details such as food and lodging are taken care of,
and facilitating discussions. Last year, she said members of the Black Hills American Legion Riders stood on a flight line to welcome the veterans into Sturgis. “Every year it just changes people’s lives,” she said of the Veterans Charity Ride. “These guys haven’t really had a sense of camaraderie, or maybe they felt they lost their leg and they couldn’t ride anymore. We find ways to get them back doing what they love and they also get to experience the open road with other veterans. So it’s a really cool experience.” When Harrington is not riding with the American Legion Riders or across the country with disabled vets, she said her favorite routes are Spearfish or Vanocker Canyon in the Black Hills. The distance she rides dictates whether she fires up her 2014 Harley Davidson Switchback or her Indian Scout. “I ride because I think it’s
the ultimate form of freedom,” she said. “When you’re on the ride you smell things. You see things that you never get in a car. You build camaraderie so quickly with other riders. You’ll never meet a group of individuals on a motorcycle who don’t want to talk to you about their motorcycle. You have an instant friendship. It’s really a sense of peace for me when I ride. You’re alone with your thoughts, but you’re also very present in the moment. “I don’t think. I realized how therapeutic it was for me until I started coming home multiple times and all I wanted to do was be with my husband and to ride, because I was able to just let everything go. You can explore new areas that you just can’t the same way in a car. I would encourage anybody who is thinking about riding, or who maybe wants to ride, they should 100% go for it and don’t be afraid to face your fears.”
Happy 10th anniversary!
Female motorcycle riders are
Adventurous, Strong and Sexy.
Your clothing should be, too.
The American Legion Riders Black Hills Chapter celebrated their 10th anniversary this year. Here, the oldest Legionnaire, World War II Veteran Arne Koski and Post Chaplain Monica Lucio cut the American Legion birthday cake. Charter members for the American Legion Riders Black Hills Chapter Matt Hardin, Jim Childers, Fred Nelson and Micheline Nelson cut the cake for the chapter’s 10th anniversary. Courtesy photo
1006 Main St., Sturgis, SD • 605-720-Hair (4247)
Good things come on 3s 8th annual Deadwood 3 Wheeler Rally rolls into town July 10-15
By Jaci Conrad Pearson Black Hills Iron
DEADWOOD — Featuring plenty of trike games, a plethora of themed rides, a post-parade show ‘n shine, and even a dang wedding, the Deadwood 3 Wheeler Rally (D3WR) rolls into Deadwood July 10-15 with spots still available for those wanting to cinch up their saddle bags and ride. D3WR Event Coordinator Teresa Schanzenbach said this, the eighth annual, could be the largest yet. “We believe 2022 will be the largest trike rally to date and are planning on 1,000 attendees for the five-day event,” she said. “Last year, even with COVID-19 still lurking, we had 854 registered riders on 553 trikes. Starting in 2015, the Deadwood 3 Wheeler Rally is now in its eighth year. It continues to expand every year with many of our attendees coming back year after year.” That said, because the event brings back a loyal following each year, D3WR organizers try to change things up a bit each year for returning trikers.
“This year, we will hang the state flags from each state represented, which is generally around 44, and have an 8’ x 12’ Deadwood backdrop for photo opportunities. Karaoke has been such a big hit the past few years that we expanded it to two evenings. There is a wide genre of music being sung by some very talented people of all ages.” Vendors new and old will be featured at Rally Central and the Can-am “Ladies Only” ride will be heading west to Devil’s Tower for a day of riding and sightseeing. “We have the local band Foggy Notion playing on Wednesday night and we have a new ride organized by trike enthusiast Paul Marquardt of Watertown,” Schanzenbach said. “Vanderhalls, Polaris Slingshots and other trikes, sometimes referred to as auto-cycles, will be doing a ride through the Badlands National Park.”
Now nearly a decade old, the Trike Show ‘n Shine continues to grow in participants. “This year we will be awarding Best of Show for individual brands of trikes,” Schanzenbach said. “Harley Davidsons will compete with their own, as will the other prominent trike brands in attendance. It will add a different element to an already popular event taking place on Historic Main Street.” New games are also planned for the Trike Games to Skill to allow for more participation from the auto-cyclers. “Because they handle a bit differently and take more space to maneuver than other three-wheelers, it has been difficult in the past for them to participate,” Schanzenbach said. “This year, we will give them a chance to perform for the crowd while undertaking obstacle courses and other challenging games of skill.” Finally, a unique and heartfelt event a two-some in attendance at D3WR will share with other attendees. “We will be conducting a wedding for a couple from Iowa,” Schanzenbach said. “Dave Etherington has been at every trike rally and with his growing list of friends that also attend, he and his bride Sandy decided to exchange their vows in July during the trike rally. While it is not the first wedding to take place during D3WR, it will be the first wedding that is part of the scheduled activities. We are excited to make their day extra special.” Schanzenbach said the event has grown significantly, due to a few factors. “Past registrants are happy with how this event is organized and run.
and they are not shy about letting others know. Attendees feel like family when they are here and come back to see old friends and make new ones,” she said. “Living here, we take it for granted, but the beauty of the Black Hills and the excitement to ride the roads never gets old for them. Finally, Deadwood’s Bid 8 supports the event monetarily which allows us to plan a top-notch event for the attendees and city of Deadwood personnel help make sure the event runs smoothly by assisting where needed and requested. Overall, Deadwood is very welcoming to the attendees.” The D3WR targets older riders that are young at heart, is much smaller, and has a different feel about it than the Sturgis Rally. “We like that, and so do our attendees,” Schanzenbach said. “More than likely, they were riding a motorcycle up until some physical limitation happened and they couldn’t. They still want to ride but they now feel safer with three wheels. You will never meet a nicer bunch of men and women and that’s one reason First Gold Gaming Resort keeps organizing it every year. “ Another D3WR bonus is it’s far enough in advance of the Sturgis Rally that the roads are still relatively open and easy to navigate. “Unlike in August,” Schanzenbach said. “It is close enough to the Sturgis Rally dates where riders can go over and look around and pick up merchandise. We focus more on enjoying scenic rides and afternoon to early evening social events. Everyone is pretty
much tucked in by 10 p.m.” These days, a three-wheeler comes in multiple forms and fashions and all are welcome at the D3WR. “We see a little bit of everything and even though many of the trikes are Can-am Spyders, we are an advocate of all makes and models of three-wheeled machines to attend,” Schanzenbach said. “We also let regular motorcycles enjoy the event if they are with a three-wheeled companion. In 2021, we had 371 Can-Am, 82 Harley Davidsons, 34 Honda, 18 Slingshot, 12 Vanderhalls and 36 miscellaneous three-wheelers.” Schanzenback said there are many opportunities for the general public to enjoy the D3WR trikes. “We will have a heroes welcome on Monday afternoon for the Road Warrior Foundation riders. Everyone is welcome to show their support of these wounded vets by standing on Main Street and cheering them on. That will happen around 3:30 p.m.,” she said. “Spectators can vote for their favorite trike at the Show n’ Shine on Wednesday from 11:30- 2 p.m., and the Trike Light Parade will happen on Thursday night around 8:30 p.m. All these activities happen on Deadwood’s Historic Main Street.” To register or for more information, visit www.d3wr.com or send an email to email@example.com. “They are always welcome to call and register over the phone (605) 717-7174,” Schanzenbach said. “We give a full-refund until July 1 if someone registers and then cannot attend.”
Rides, Runs, & Races riding season
82nd Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Schedule of Events May
Sturgis Dragway Events
May 21-22 – Bracket Racing
Black Hills HarleyDavidson Events
May 30 – Sacred Mountain Charity Poker Run
June Sturgis Dragway Events
June 3 – Street Legals June 4-5 – Bracket Racing June 17 – Street Legals June 18 – Bracket Racing June 24 – Camaro Invitational June 25-26 – Bracket Racing
Black Hills HarleyDavidson Events
June 9-11 – Deadwood Gamblers Run June 11 – Dakota Road Classics June 18 – Black Hills Area Bikers “Southern Spring Blast” Poker Run June 21 – Boxelder Summer Community Bike Night June 23-25 – Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge June 25 – Deadwood Poker Run June 25 – Alliance VFW Poker Run June 25 – Hoka Hey Launch Party June 26-30 – Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge
Black Hills HarleyDavidson Events
July 1-9 – Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge July 5 – Motor Maids National Convention 2022 July 7-9 – Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge July 30 – Annual Boots & Bikes for Heroes July 31 – Pre-Rally Rollout 8th Annual Deadwood 3 Wheeler Rally www.d3wr.com July 10–15
Sturgis Dragway Events
July 8 – Street Legals July 9-10 – Bracket Racing July 15 – Street Legals July 16 – Corvette July 22 – Street Legals July 23-24 – Bracket Racing
August Black Hills HarleyDavidson Events Aug. 3–14 – The Rally at Exit 55 Sturgis Rally 2022 Aug. 7 – Fall River Freedom Ride
Sturgis Dragway Events
Aug. 4 – MRA Aug. 5 – MRA/ Street Legal Aug. 6 – Shootout Aug. 7 – NITRO move-in and Test & Tune with Open to all Bike Race Aug. 8-9 – AHDRA Nitro Drags Aug. 10 – Baker Drivetrain Aug 26 – Kool Deadwood Nites – Street Legals – Shootout Aug. 27-28 – Bracket Racing
Full Throttle Saloon
www.fullthrottlesaloon.com Aug. 7 – Slaughter Aug. 8 – Tesla Aug. 9 – Chase Matthew Aug. 10 - Blackberry Smoke Aug. 11- Jackyl
JACKPINE Gypsies Events
www.jackpinegypsies.com Aug. 6 – Prepped Practice Aug. 7 – GP MX Aug. 8 – Pro Hill Climb & Flat Track Aug. 9 – Flat Track Aug. 10 – Verta-X Aug. 11 – Gypsie Road Ride Aug. 12 – Amateur Hill Climb & Flat Track
www.sturgissuperstore.com Aug. 3 – Chief’s Ride Aug. 6 – Mayor’s Road Aug. 6 – Mayor’s Pub Crawl Aug. 7, 9, 12 – Ride with a Local Registration Aug. 8 – Legendary 5K Run
Buffalo Chip Events
Aug. 6 – Snoop Dogg Aug. 6 – Buckcherry Aug. 7 – Lynyrd Skynyrd Aug. 7 – Bush Aug. 8 – Rob Zombie Aug. 8 – Lita Ford Aug. 9 – Papa Roach Aug. 9 – Falling in Reverse Aug. 9 – Hollywood Undead Aug. 9 – Bad Wolves Aug. 10 – Travis Tritt Aug. 10 – Aaron Lewis Aug. 12 – Puddle of Mudd Aug. 12 – Pop Evil
Top rides in the Black Hills Pioneer Staff Reports
SPEARFISH — With Sturgis situated in the heart of the Black Hills, the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is the venue for some of the best riding in the country. From long stretches of highway on the scenic plains to curves and tunnels through the beautiful Black Hills, there is something for every kind of biker here. The following is a list of our favorite rides.
Off Highway 385, Rapid City to Brownsville A nice, lazy ride through some of the less-populated parts of the Black Hills, Nemo Road offers amazing views, twisty turns, and straight highway stretches that promise bikers entertainment and relaxation. Just one trip down this road and you will understand why Sturgis Rally veterans call this “The best kept secret in the Black Hills.” The Nemo Bar & Grill also offers bikers great food and cold drinks for a scenic break from the road that is filled with first-class hospitality!
Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway
S.D. Highway 240, Badlands National Park An approximate 30-mile ride, this highway cuts through the natural rock formations of Badlands National Park. A favorite of bikers who flock to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, this route also features natural grasslands that are filled with hundreds of different species of plants and wild animals. Scenic overlooks also offer great photo opportunities.
Custer State Park 13329 U.S. Highway 16A, Custer
Custer State Park isn’t just home to one of the largest free roaming buffalo herds; it’s so beautiful that the State Game Lodge served as the summer White House for President Calvin Coolidge in 1927. This 71,000-acre va-
2022 cation paradise is home to abundant wildlife and buffalo herds, making it common to encounter a “Buffalo Jam” while driving in the park. Look for elusive elk, deer, big horn sheep, mountain goats, and bands of begging burros. Four distinct lodges offer accommodations to suit every family, from rustic and historic to elegant and upscale. All offer unique on-site activities, including Jeep rides to the buffalo herds, guided fly-fishing, and chuckwagon suppers. There are also endless camping opportunities in the park.
Crazy Horse Memorial
12141 Avenue of the Chiefs, Crazy Horse (near Custer) Crazy Horse Memorial is the world’s largest sculpture-in-progress, and frequent drilling and mountain blasts make each visit unique. When completed, Crazy Horse Memorial will stand 563 feet tall. The project was started in 1948 by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear to honor the heritage, tradition, and culture of North American Indians. Its namesake, Crazy Horse, was a war leader of the Oglala Lakota tribe and a prominent leader in the Sioux resistance to white encroachment in the Black Hills. His bravery and skill are admired, and he is revered by the Sioux as their greatest leader. The complex surrounding the mountain carving includes the Indian Museum of North America, the Native American Cultural
Center, the Sculptor’s Studio, and a 40,000-square-foot orientation center and theater. Nightly performances of a multimedia laser-light show spotlight American Indian culture using dramatic animations and a stirring musical score. In June, the Crazy Horse Volksmarch opens to hikers a 10K route that winds around the base of the mountain and up onto Crazy Horse’s outstretched arm. Korczak’s wife and family have continued the project and the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation. An entrance fee is required to enter the memorial, which is open year-round, and good for one day of admission. Proceeds fund further development of the memorial.
Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway U.S. Highway 16A/S.D. Highway 87, Custer State Park
This ride is so cool that it deserves mentioning apart from Custer State Park! The 70-mile drive offers amazing views of the best the Black Hills has to offer. This scenic drive incorporates the Needles Highway (S.D. Highway 87) and Iron Mountain Road (U.S. Highway 16A). The Needles Highway features hairpin curves, drive-through tunnels, and massive granite formations that draw climbers from all over the world.
TOP RIDES Pg 16
Belle Fourche to Sturgis via Bear Butte
Riding from Belle Fourche to Sturgis via Bear Butte can only be described as the open prairie or high plains ride. Imagine yourself back in the 1880s riding a spirited four-legged horse. When departing from Belle Fourche traveling eastbound on S.D. Highway 212, I recommend this route be traveled during the later part of the afternoon. You will then have the sun over your right shoulder. Make sure you have your gas tank filled completely, for you will have no opportunity to gas up between Belle Fourche and Sturgis city limits, unless you divert north to Newell at the junction of Highway 212 and Highway 79. The speed limit on 212 is 65 mph unless otherwise posted. Riding 212 can only be reckoned to riding your horse at full gallop across the plains, but staying at 60-65 mph is the best speed to enjoy this fluffy cloud-studded, blue-sky route. Make a point of checking the weather forecast for prevailing winds. Prevailing winds in August are typically west to east, which will give a very pleasant tailwind from
from Pg 15
TOP RIDES Iron Mountain Road features pigtail bridges that were constructed in a corkscrew fashion, as well as drive through tunnels that perfectly frame Mount Rushmore.
Loop Ride: Really Wild If you’re looking for a short ride in between other Rally-related activities, and you’re in the area of Custer State Park, Wildlife Loop Road is perfect. The road itself is very well maintained black top with almost no surprise potholes or other impediments to smooth riding. Don’t even think of going on this little sojourn without some kind of camera, even if it’s just the camera in your cell phone. Wildlife Loop Road has a strictly enforced speed limit of 35 mph, but if you are like most annual visitors here, you will be stopping frequently to either let the buffalo and other wild critters cross the road in front of you, or to just have a good long look. You won’t find many motorcycle rides that will give close-up views of wildlife as seen here. In many cases, these critters will hold up traffic as they stand blocking the pavement and stare in amazement at you and your vehicle. The rolling hills and wide
Separated by just three miles of highway but forever joined in their rich history of mining and gaming, the Black Hills’ own Twin Cities offer something Courtesy photo for everyone! Visit the Black Hills Mining Museum, Homestake Visitor’s Center, or the Adams Museum to see open grassland scenery is studded with the rich mining and old-west history many varieties of pine and other trees of this section of the Northern Hills; of all sizes making for very pleasant relax for lunch or dinner at one of riding. Wildlife species to be seen here the many fine establishments in both in Custer State Park include antelope, towns; browse through the unique sebighorn sheep, buffalo young and old, lection of gifts and supplies in Lead; or white tail deer, elk, coyote, prairie try your luck at a gaming table or slot dogs, and all manner of flying fowl machine in Deadwood. But most imincluding bald eagles and other raptor portantly, residents of Lead-Deadwood species. Custer State Park is home to are ever-cognizant of the Rally and one of the world’s largest buffalo herds. welcome the bikers with open arms. In These buffalo live almost as they did Lead, bikers can enjoy vendors, enterbefore the West was tamed. Every year tainment, and bike shows throughout a roundup is held with buffalo harvestthe week, and in Deadwood, bikers ed from the ever-growing herd. Wild enjoy special parking privileges and “begging” burros live and play at the other perks! southernmost end of Wildlife Loop. While the ride along Wildlife Loop Road is only 18 seemingly short miles and could take as little a 30 minutes to The name “Belle Fourche” is French transit, you may find it taking just a for “Beautiful Fork” because of its site little bit longer due to frequent stops to on the “Forks” of Hay Creek, Redwater enjoy both the animals and the almost River, and Belle Fourche River. “as it was in the 1850s” view. I almost Additionally, the quaint little town is always do this ride both directions known for its status as the geographduring the same day. No burnouts on ical “Center of the Nation.” After the this ride: it would only frighten the addition of Hawaii and Alaska to the critters. United States in 1959, a point 10 miles — Buck Lovell north of Belle Fourche was named the
Belle Fourche to Highway 79 southbound. When leaving Belle Fourche, the first major landmark will be Belle Fourche Reservoir on the left (north side of the highway). There are several small towns with cafés serving home-cooked style food and cold drinks, which are well worth stopping. The smooth pavement and long radius curves of Highway 212 are punctuated by hills and rises, so for safety’s sake don’t attempt to pass on those blind curves. Take your time and enjoy the view to the south of the Black Hills. They look black from out on the prairie; that’s how the hills got their name. At the junction of 212 and 79, you’ll turn right heading toward Bear Butte. If you’ve had a tail wind, it’s now a crosswind, so stay alert. Also watch for deer on the road. It’s almost a straight shot to the outskirts of the city of Sturgis. You will be able to enjoy an ever changing view of Bear Butte as it grows larger the closer you get. Just before passing Bear Butte, you see the Broken Spoke Campground on the left. Continuing another 5-6 miles, you’ll make a right turn onto Highway 34 (westbound) on the way into downtown Sturgis. Total distance is about 55 miles, give or take a burnout.
— Buck Lovell
official geological center of the United States. The site was originally in Smith Center, Kan., before it was moved to its new home in Butte County. Visitors can have their photo taken at the monument of a 21-by-40 foot compass rose made of South Dakota granite located at the Center of the Nation Visitor Center in Belle Fourche.
Wind Cave National Park
26611 US Highway 385, Hot Springs Caves are one of the Black Hills’ most mysterious and intriguing wonders. To do your exploring underground, visit Wind Cave National Park. Stretching more than 100 miles, Wind Cave is one of the longest caves in the world, and the first cave to be designated a national park. With a maze-like, underground chamber system, Wind Cave features the world’s largest concentration of box work, a rare formation of thin calcite fins that resemble honeycombs. Above ground, Wind Cave National Park includes a wildlife sanctuary of 28,295 acres for antelope, bison, elk, prairie dogs, and other creatures to roam. Here, the ponderosa pine forest meets the rolling prairie, one of the last remaining mixed grassland areas in existence. The cave’s visitor center is open daily except holidays. An admission fee is required to tour the cave. A list of tour options can be viewed at www.nps.gov/wica.
This 305.8-mile route takes bikers through the rich history and wildlife at-
TOP RIDES Pg 18
Find your fun here! ©
• • • •
Your insider’s guide to the Black Hills Eat • Deals Shop • Events See & Do • Visitors Stay and more!
get the Text
Pioneering Local News since 1876
from Pg 16
TOP RIDES tractions of our American Indian population. It cuts through the heart of South Dakota’s grass prairie through the heart of the great Sioux Nation. The route takes travelers through Yankton, Crow Creek, Lower Brule, Cheyenne River, and Standing Rock Sioux Tribes. Along the way, bikers will have a chance to see some wildlife, including prairie dogs, pronghorn, deer, bison, and elk.
Jewel Cave National Monument
U.S. Highway 16, 13 miles west of Custer Located in the scenic Hell Canyon Ranger District, the ride to Jewel Cave is a gem in itself with scenic overlooks, hairpin turns, and some wildlife sightings. But once bikers get to the cave, they are absolutely encouraged to stop and stay awhile! Jewel Cave National Monument is not only the second-longest cave in the world, at more than 140
Sundance, Wyo., to Devils Tower Sundance, Wyo., sits astride Interstate 90 approximately 53 miles west of the city of Sturgis. With a population of 1,139 souls, Sundance is visitor friendly, especially during Sturgis Rally days, and hosts a permanent full service Harley-Davidson dealer with everything from T-shirts to leathers and rain gear. I recommend you start this ride during the mid-morning hours and return during the evening. If you do this, you’ll have the sun at your back both directions. Leaving Sundance northwest on Highway 14, it is a continuous uphill climb into heavily timbered wild territory with panoramic views all around. The speed limit is 65 mph unless otherwise posted; you probably won’t get into sixth gear on the way up to Devils Tower. Pay attention while on Highway 14: wild deer abound. If you see one, there are probably several more nearby, their favorite pastime being unexpectedly dashing across the road after hearing the noise from your loud pipes. When you get to the
www.bhpioneer.com miles and counting, it is also one of the most structurally complex. Located a little more than an hour southwest of Rapid City, Jewel Cave is a regional gem tucked in the Black Hills. Exploration is ongoing in this pristine underground labyrinth. Visit chambers decorated with calcite, nailhead, and dogtooth spar crystals and other wonders like draperies, flowstone, and stalactites. The monument’s surface trails and facilities are open free of charge. A fee is required for cave tours, which are ranger-guided and are moderately strenuous, lasting about 1 hour and 20 minutes. The cave is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except on holidays. Cave tours have been known to sell out in advance; therefore, waiting times could be several hours. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead for tour availability and to reserve tickets. Visit www.nps.gov/jeca for more information.
Mammoth Site 1800 U.S. Highway 18 Bypass, Hot Springs
More than 26,000 years ago, large Columbian and woolly mammoths were trapped and died in a spring-fed pond
junction of Highway 14 and Highway 24, you’ll turn northbound to finish the ride to Devils Tower National Monument. At several locations midway from the junction to Devils Tower along Highway 24, spectacular views of small canyon escarpments with rocky overhangs beg for attention from you and your camera. As you continue riding uphill, the top of Devils Tower will begin to be visible as it rises above the horizon. At 5,112 feet above sea level, Devils Tower is the predominant landscape feature of the area. The rocky tower itself is a full 867 feet from its base to the summit. The Belle Fourche River slowly meanders away eastward 1,267 below the tower. When heading back to Sundance, preferably in the mid-evening hours, the long slow descent makes it easy to enjoy the grand views of the terrain and typically white clouded blue skies. So majestic is the roadside scenery here, you may find yourself wanting to make this ride more than once, with the images of the first riding sticking in your subconscious. Total mileage here (round trip) is approximately 56 miles, give or take a burnout.
— Buck Lovell
Spearfish Canyon on Two Wheels If you’re a regular attendee of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, chances are you’ve ridden Spearfish Canyon at least once, and probably more frequently. Spearfish Canyon is older than the Grand Canyon if you can believe that! It’s smooth, well maintained, and its curvaceous pavement is a joy to ride for any bike/ motorcyclist. The 35 mph speed limit allows the canyon walls to talk back to you in the form of your motorcycle’s reflected exhaust note. If you’ve never ridden the canyon, it’s about time you did. It’s an unforgettable motoring treat for any rider or driver. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for excessive speed vehicles; some riders can’t resist a little extra speed. Keep your eyes on the road though; you can stop almost anywhere in the canyon to take a longer look at one of the many dif-
near what is now the southwest edge of Hot Springs. Discovered in 1974 while excavating for a housing development, the Mammoth Site is the world’s largest Columbian mammoth exhibit and research center for Pleistocene studies. It is truly a unique and natural location for the state.
Highway 79, Sturgis It’s simply not possible to come to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and not see one of the Black Hills’ natural wonders — Bear Butte. But seeing it and experiencing it are two different things, and all bikers should take in the scenic beauty and spiritual feeling of this site, named “Mato Paha” (Bear Mountain) by the Lakota Sioux for its resemblance to a sleeping bear. This geological formation is one of several intrusions of igneous rock in the Black Hills that formed millions of years ago. The mountain is sacred to many American Indian tribes, who go there to hold religious ceremonies to this day. Also, Bear Butte was once used by multiple tribes as a meeting point to discuss the advancement of the white man onto their lands. Bikers at the Sturgis Rally can take advantage of the hiking trails to the top of the mountain, or just cruise on by the natural wonder located six miles northeast of Sturgis off Highway 79.
ferent spots of interest. Starting at the mouth of the canyon at the extreme east end of Spearfish, the road takes vehicles past the golf course and into the verdant and summer leafy steepwalled canyon. Halfway up the canyon is Spearfish Canyon Lodge, a great place for lunch if you don’t want to wait to arrive at Cheyenne Crossing, world famous for its burgers and hospitality. A quarter-mile hike down the trail-footpath below the lodge will get you to Spearfish Falls; don’t forget your camera. If you skip the lodge stop, and continue almost another 10 miles, you’ll get to the aforementioned Cheyenne Crossing at the junction of Highway 85. Make a left and head for Lead, S.D. It’s an uphill climb away from Cheyenne Crossing, and the speed limit is 55 mph. Throttle up, but stay within the speed limit. Continue through Lead, then Deadwood, and before you know it, you’re in Sturgis. See you on the Road. — Buck Lovell
13000 SD Hwy 244, Keystone Who can take a trip to Sturgis without stopping to see our nation’s Shrine of Democracy? Every year that visit gets better as there are continual improvements at the famed monument! This internationally recognized “Shrine of Democracy” is located only 17 miles from Rapid City. Surrounded by Black Hills National Forest, the memorial protrudes from the granite with the faces of George Washington, commander of the Revolutionary Army and our nation’s first president; Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence; Abraham Lincoln, who abolished slavery in the U.S.; and Theodore Roosevelt, who reformed corruption and is responsible for our national’s national parks system and for conserving wildlife. The site also features mountain goats, the Avenue of Flags, an interactive museum, and a new visitors’ center. Visitors can also follow the Presidential Trail to the base of the mountain. An evening lighting ceremony is also a sight to see during the summer months, and it begins at 9 p.m. Additionally, if you’ve already traveled the common route to the mountain through Keystone, try entering through the back way on Highway 244, which offers some unique scenic sights and a relaxing ride through the Hills. Read more from Buck at BLABB (Buck Lovell’s American Biker Blog) online at www.sturgis.com.
Pioneer file photo
ALL TRIKES WELCOME JULY 10-15, 2022 POKER RUN ENTERTAINMENT SOCIALS SHOW N SHINE PARADE DESTINATION RIDES CONTESTS VENDORS PRIZES & FUN For more information, or to register: 800 .274.1876, ext. 1102 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.D3WR.com