Longtime WRN columnist Betsy Huelskamp has been attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for decades. With a world in crisis, the 80th annual rally was unlike any other. But “Free Spirit” found plenty of opportunities to celebrate and enjoy friends, freedom, and life.
Oh! Say it isn’t so! The last Love Ride? You can’t cancel Christmas, or Easter, or Thanksgiving! For the past 32 years the Love Ride has been a special holiday on my calendar. It has been a celebration of life and a shared passion of riding, freedom, and the open road.
There are a few days out of every year that I always look forward to, and the Love Ride is one of them. For 31 years now Southern California’s premier one-day fundraising motorcycle ride has happened rain or shine. And for all of those years, organizers have raised thousands of dollars for a variety of great causes.
Day two of my incredible adventure began with my fearless guides pulling up in Shaun’s 4×4 pick-up truck named “Sweaty Betty.” I was going to get a firsthand look at some of the sacred places on Arizona’s Navajo Indian Reservation.
When two full blooded Navajo men, William Yazzie and his son-in-law Shaun Martin, crashed Michael Lichter’s Art Show at the Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, South Dakota, last year and came over and introduced themselves to me, I immediately knew I was in the presence of kindred spirits. But I had no idea of the magnitude that the experience of meeting them was about to unfold.
The trials, tribulations and success of the Love Ride seem to have come full circle. The annual Southern California ride, that used to attract upwards of 20,000 riders donating more than $1 million in one day at its peak, may not have raised the kind of money this year, but organizers put on a successful event for its 30th year on October 24th.
The Himalayas have been calling me since I was a young woman. Having visited there half a dozen times, I cannot begin to explain why in a page of words. The Himalayan Mountains surround you with 360 degrees of visual splendor that can never be captured fully by the lens of a camera.
There is nowhere on earth that captures the feeling of the outlaw like the Wild West, and throughout the history of the United States, outlaws of one type or another have been drawn to the Black Hills of South Dakota. There is an energy in those dusty hills and plains that permeates all outer layers and seeps into the heart and soul of those who are drawn there.
The 29th annual Love Ride, held in October in Glendale, Calif., went off without a hitch. Billed as the longest-running motorcycle fund-raising event in the world, the Love Ride has seen a mountain of success but has also suffered a few setbacks. This time it all seemed to go just about right, signaling that the Love Ride is definitely back on track.
I have long looked upon my annual pilgrimage to visit my family—my motorcycle family, which comes from all around the globe to gather at the largest motorcycle rally in the nation, and my actual family—as a therapeutic journey. There is something about traveling through wide-open spaces that allows you to look at your life from a different vantage point.