Sturgis Part 2. If you listen to this podcast with headphones, you’ll be right in the middle of the biggest motorcycle rally in the world. Heading into Sturgis, South Dakota, on a warm August morning we are surrounded by every kind of motorcycle you can imagine. The highways are literally chock full of bikes, coming and going to the 75th Anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Despite its reputation as a rough event, Sturgis can sometimes feel like any other state fair, or big city event in late summer. What makes it unique are motorcycle enthusiasts who come from all over the United States and the world to convene. Sturgis is a town of 6600 people, and once a year the population swells to hundreds of thousands. This year, there were a million bikers. Some rode their motorcycles out, others trucked their bikes out and rented, or drove RV’s, still others camped in tents or trailers. Who comes and why? What are some of the drawbacks to the size of the event this year? For some, the the roots of what this rally means to them goes very deep. For others, motorcycling is part of family life. Others have just come for a good time and to hang with their best friends. From the big motorcycle manufacturers like Harley, Indian, Victory, and the after market companies like Ciro as well as people selling t-shirts, art, tattoos, leather goods, as well as the fun stuff like Body Painting, beer, and women who dance, this is a singular event. If you spent the week in Sturgis, you had no idea there was a big debate between Republican candidates for their party’s presidential nomination, and you didn’t care. From Main Street to the concerts and after hours partying, to the bikes, to the companies who come here to serve and sell to this singular cultural tribe of motorcycle enthusiasts, it is the people who make this very American, very real event what it is. Despite the inherent danger in motorcycling and its outlaw image, they are great people. And…Sturgis is really fun. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating Of Saint Paul.
Political Escape To Surgis. The first installment of the Sturgis 2015 Road Trip begins. After a 500 mile road trip from Minneapolis-Saint Paul to Rapid City, South Dakota we arrive at the Harley Davidson Dealer in Rapid City. First order of business? Let’s get the political stuff out of the way because in Part 2, we head into Sturgis itself in Mobile Podcast Command Unit 8. Podcast 398 is posted on the day of the first ‘debate’ of the 2016 political cycle. Well, maybe we should call it a cage match, rather than a debate. Not a single vote has been cast, yet the rocket scientists at Fox News have decided to pick the ‘top ten’ candidates based on the political polls. (Editor’s Note: I gave listeners a good primer on the negatives and positives of political polls in Podcast 397.) This is fine and well if your guy is in the top ten, but what if the first guy in the bottom seven or eight got Trumped by Trump, based on a poll? And how do you become number one in a poll? Say a bunch of stuff that gets a lot of news coverage. The decision to cover the Sturgis 2015 event versus the Republican ‘debate’ is detailed in this podcast. Without saying the debate is a disaster for the Republicans (it could be), it feels way to early for such a spectacle. It is dangerous for the Republican party and the American people when a television network decides who the top candidates are, before a vote has been cast. A minimum of a million people are due in Sturgis at some point during this week, in actual physical form. Not on line. Not watching it on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC. People in this country are doing what they do, while a tiny portion of the public is sitting in front of their TV’s hanging on every word. Somehow that feels very close to pathetic when the weather is amazing, and the open road beckons. So Sturgis it is. In this first road trip podcast in the Mobile Podcast Command Unit, recorded about 1 AM, a little slash and burn, some stories, and some comments about the ‘big debate’. Sponsored by X Government Cars. (Editor’s Note: In this podcast I refer to the Sturgis event as the 75th anniversary of Harley Davidson, which is obviously and painfully incorrect. I meant the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally event is 75 years old.)
Summer Walk and Talk. The rules of the Walk and Talk Podcast are: No prep. No Planning. You walk. You Talk. Slash and Burn, Walk and Talk. At the peak of the summer it still doesn’t feel right to get down and dirty on the political front. There’s still a sense that the topography of the political battlefield will change at some point, and it will be back to the drawing board for the scores of presidential candidates, who are as plentiful as the corn growing in those Iowa fields. Besides, there’s Sturgis, air shows, local summer celebrations, fireworks, kids playing on the lawn, charcoal fires for steak and so…much…summer. Yet, if you look carefully, the sun has changed its angle slightly and in Minnesota at least, we’re just a month away from the State Fair. Every year, at some point during the state fair, the weather changes and we all know what that means. Fall is coming. So if you’re tweeting and face booking about one of the presidential candidates, watching the 24 hour cable channels religiously, hanging on every word of every shouting match, you’re missing real life going on. While people engaged in the business of politics are busy … the average person in the United States couldn’t care less right now about the latest spat between Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush, or Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Big stories of the summer? The Planned Parenthood video is a doozy. The Chinese stock market collapse (which is being called their 1929) could become the black swan story if the perfumed princes in Beijing can’t get control of things. A calamity like this in Asia would have far reaching implications economically in the US and the world, and in terms of foreign policy. Commodity prices seem to be in a long term slump, and yet some media outlets are talking about inflation. Still, all these potential game-changers are just storm clouds in the west, on a warm summer night. A little lightning on the horizon, and maybe some rain and thunder by dawn. The romance of summer supersedes all that political noise, and it’s a good thing. Seriously, who doesn’t prefer the soft hum of summer twilight to some gas bagger on a podium? Sponsored by Baklund R&D.