Thursday, September 02, 2010

Hog Heaven, Movie Review

The Jewish have Yom Kippur, the Islam's have Mecca, the Christians have the Passover and Hog riders have Sturgis, South Dakota. Fact is every second weekend of August over 700,000 faithful riders, some 1 per centers (the original bad guys) and lots of pretenders make the trek, one way or the other. Not only that this has been going on for the past 70 years, and looks solid for another 70 at least. So, I did the Hog thing and headed out North to the Black Hills and over 2,000 miles of riding that noisy beast. Since the ride is what it is supposed to be about, I made sure I got in nearly 500 miles a day and then glided into Sturgis easily on the second day. Along the way I stopped at some small towns and in one I actually got a great motel room for $40.00. The lady who checked me in was very old (about my age I am sure) and she was apologetic that she had to charge me tax and made the bill a whopping $43.00. Little did she know that I would be paying $144.00 the next night in Chadron, Nebraska. Since this is my fourth trip to the Black Hills I was beginning to feel like a veteran until I met a lady who was making her 16th straight trip. Seems as though no matter what our story is on any given subject someone else can always top it. Regardless I can say I ride the Hog hard and fast, have dirt under my finger nails plus at least three days of beard, and my hair is matted from the wind and helmet. I also am proud to have that motorcycle engine odor about me and maybe a little gasoline scent to cover up that Aqua Velva. This is all part of the mystique in riding these two wheel demons and just simply makes you feel free as a breeze and in charge of the landscape.

On the way up I was stopped by a construction flagman and told it would be about 20 minutes before the escort truck could take me through. So, I turned off the engine and was waiting patiently when I looked in my rear view mirror and saw 5 riders pulling up behind me. They were also dressed in the same kind of gear, looking kind of like the Jackson five, and after they got close to me I recognized the Banditos branded apparel. While these guys were not quite as well known as the Hell’s Angels, they were at one time considered in the one per-center category of bad ass motorcycle riders. Since they were parked behind me while waiting I turned around and spoke to them and recognized them as being from Lubbock. While we made a little small talk it was not what I would call a conversation or that we would become best friends, since gang members like this view a lone rider somewhere in the category of training wheels for their Hog or a flat tire, so it was silent until we started to move again. While we were behind the escort vehicle the Banditos were content to stay behind me but once we were out of the control of the escort these bad guys came around me in unison. Since I was now going 75 they had to be be going at least 85. Funny thing is they made a big statement about passing me, with the loud pipes blasting at me and then swerving in front of me to make this, we are the Kings statement. Then about 90 miles later I saw them in a gas station filling up. They then did the same passing game when they caught me. This went on for the next 600 miles, they catch me, pass me then have to stop to rest, I pass them, then they go hell bent for leather to catch me and pass me. Maybe they were auditioning me for membership in the club or something of that nature. While in Sturgis I never saw them again; however, it is not hard to lose someone with 700,000 other motorcycles around. Funny how the motorcycle brings out the kid in all of us, reminded me of shooting marbles when I was 10 years old.

One thing a person really has to be careful about is not laying the Hog down when you get around all the other riders. The reason is because the testosterone is so deep that you don’t stand a chance of staying up if you are not careful. Something about these machines really brings out the manhood thing in the men who ride them. One thing I can say is that within a 400 mile radius the motorcycle rider is King and is well accepted by the locals and the money that we spend while there is very much appreciated. In the Black hills of South Dakota the rally is a tremendous economic impact to this area. On the way back to Texas I noticed a lot of welcome signs and even though I hit heavy rain storms in the Panhandle of Texas it was a very enjoyable trip and the ride was great.

Movie Review: “Switch”, ***, Always good to look at Jennifer Aniston stars in an offbeat comedy as Kassie, a smart, fun-loving single woman who, despite the objections of slightly neurotic friend Wally(played by Jason Bateman), decides she does not need a husband to have a baby of her own. Seven years later, Kassie discovers that her plans may have gone awry as Wally becomes acquainted with Kassie’s slightly neurotic son. A well done movie and in reality Aniston is catching some flak from different do good groups who say she is saying you don’t need to be married to have kids. This is not a message or cause movie, just a form of fiction romantic comedy with a new twist. Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, sexual material including dialogue, some nudity, drug use and language.



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