Ride on The 1981 Sturgis
The Biker Chef roared up on this ride the other day. I did a double-take. “That’s not your Road King,” I said.
“It’s my Sturgis,” he said. “I got it up and running. Want to go for a ride?”
“Um, I don’t know.”
“Ah, come on. Give it a try. You’ll look great hanging on back there.”
Hang on, I did, as we roared off into the sunset. I’m used to the big Road King with the extra cushy Sundowner seat and the backrest that wraps around me, keeping me all tucked in. We didn’t go too far, just to the next small town for a burger (Buck Burgers at K.C’s on Wednesday nights in Pillager). The weather was gorgeous, the ride exciting, and the burger delicious.
The ride, pictures, and this post gave The Biker Chef a chance to educate me on the history of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. They made the “Shovel” model engine from 1965-1984. The earlier models are referred to as “panhead” for the shape of the rocker covers on the engine, from 1948-1965. It replaced the “Knucklehead,” on models from 1936-1947. Before that was the “Flathead.” Bikers already know what I’m trying to describe. You non-bikers can google images if you need a closer look. Mr. Happy and I were just happy to finally get out for a ride after this horribly cold and LOOOOONG winter.
Willie G. Davidson designed this particular model while on a ride out to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 1979. When we visited the Harley-Davidson Museum this past winter, I paused at the display and read the story of how Willie G. stopped and drew out the plans for this motorcycle on the back of a paper bag. Oh, yes, we writers/artists use anything that’s handy to get our ideas out when inspiration strikes!
Warm weather, spring, and excitement for the summer has finally arrived here in Minnesota. We’ll be riding again as much as we can. “Come along for the ride,” says Mr. Happy, “Summer is the time for adventure!”
Wait a minute, Chef, I think you forgot something! (Mr. Happy hangs his head and sighs.) Don’t worry, Happy, he’ll be back to take you on another ride.