#80 In Roads-Nebraska boys
A couple of guys come roaring into the gas station and hop off their bikes with big smiles. The guy on the 2014 Slim looks my bug-splattered bike up and down and points at the Arizona plates. “Well, you’ve certainly done your distance, haven’t you?” His buddy is chatting up Shannon from across the lot since he spied her Oregon plates. “Where are you from? I used to have a bike shop in Portland, out in the Clackamas area. I’m a grandpa now so I had to move back to Nebraska. You got to be respectable when you’re a grandpa, you know,” he explains to his fellow Portlander.
“Bob’s my best friend,” Richard tells me. “For 45-years we’ve been friends. We head out every year about this time, always somewhere different. We’ll stay here tonight then find somewhere else to go tomorrow. We’re from Nebraska, over in Valentine, so Sturgis is like our backyard. This isn’t really a big deal to us. What are you girls doing so far from home? Just out for the rally?” I nod and tell them Shannon writes for Thunder Press. The men flash each other a blank look and shrug.
“We’ve both been in Easyriders, back in the day. And Bob’s been in In the Wind a bunch of times, but we’ve never heard of Thunder Press,” Richard explains. I make fun of them and tell them we can no longer speak since they’re not well read bikers. They laugh. I ask if I can take their picture and Richard jumps over to put his arm around Shannon for a pose. We saddle up and Richard steps up close. He touches the horns on my helmet and tells me, “I don’t know where you got these but I think someone gave them to you and it’s not true. It’s false advertising, you’re not the devil. It’s just the opposite, you’re really very sweet.” I rode off giggling. I had no clue those Nebraska boys were such smooth operators.