As you know, Mr. Happy rides along with us on our motorcycle tours. We inadvertently left him home last year when we did a quick run up the North Shore, a ride for pie at Betty’s Pie. Here’s what he thought about that!

Mr. Happy with his angry eyebrows.

Mr. Happy with his angry eyebrows.

We were sure to pack him into the tour pack before we left, and he made his appearance at some opportune moments during this year’s motorcycle rally. Mr. Happy really liked the Pactola Reservoir Campground where we stopped to visit some friends. 

He stayed tucked up snug as a bug during our ride on the Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, and a cruise through Custer State Park. We didn’t get very close to any buffalo. A friend posted a pic on facebook with them on the road and blocking the way. That might be a little too close for comfort on a motorcycle! The rock formations, the roads that loop and pigtail, and IMG_20140802_085447the narrow tunnels all make for an exciting ride!

When it came to walking around downtown Sturgis to take in all the sights and sounds, Mr. Happy said, “You fools go on ahead. I’m hot and tired and want to take a nap.” He missed some really great motorcycles and people watching at its finest (even better than at the State Fair)!

Mr. Happy really comes through if riders have any problems along the way. He helps you keep a positive attitude whether it rains or snows or you have have an unexpected breakdown along the way. Bearded Biker was road captain on our trip, then came Motor Mama, next Pete & Alison on his bike, Pete’s sister Tina road her own, and The Biker Chef and I were the tail, or sweep. Tina was planning on breaking off from the group after the first couple hours on our ride home, but before she did, she pulled off to the side of the road and said, “I don’t know what gear I’m in, but I can’t shift.” Sure enough, the shift linkage had busted on her bike. 

IMG_20140805_092127Bearded Biker, and the rest of them, circled back to assess the situation. Repairs were quickly done by brother Pete and Bearded Biker using zip ties. Mr. Happy said, “Don’t worry. It will be ok.” 20140805_092734

That’s what is great about riding in a group. Someone is bound to have something in his saddlebag to do a quick patch job to get you back up and running.

The Biker Chef found the blue zip-tie along the road. Bearded Biker had a package of white ones. Tina didn’t have any more trouble shifting, and as far as we know made it home safely to snuggle up her little boys and rest up a day before getting back to work.



Mr. Happy and Mary reading a couple books in the Liv Bergen mystery series by Sandra Brannan.

Mr. Happy and Mary reading a couple books in the Liv Bergen mystery series by Sandra Brannan.

Mr. Happy made one more appearance before we left the dusty trail. We had stopped for a bite on the way home and had a few minutes, so we pulled out the first two books by SD author Sandra Brannan. They are murder-mystery detective novels. I’m just over halfway through the first one, In the Belly of Jonah, and Mr. Happy picked up Lot’s Return to Sodom, which is set during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. He was getting a little nervous reading it, so we high-tailed it outta there!

Mr. Happy, The Biker Chef and I, and all the folks on our ride had a great time in the hills this year. We’re saving up for the 75th anniversary rally next year. 

I have a few more pics I can share with you in a future post. Also, check out postings under “Dine off the Page” for some of the culinary adventures we had on this ride, and other!