For one August week each year, some 600,000 "hogs," "choppers," "trikes" and even the high-speed neon "crotch rockets" normally snubbed by traditionalists nearly double South Dakota's population. Riders of every race and creed make lifelong friendships at concerts, touring the Black Hills, enjoying pancake breakfasts and admiring infinite rows of gleaming chrome. Sturgis' stages have welcomed entertainment and speakers including KISS and John McCain.
As Bullfrog's bike growled away, I worried about him riding sleepless and alone across the bulk of the continent. Sure, Foghat is playing, but otherwise, what was the fascination? Motorcycles are loud. They are dangerous. They take up precious parking spaces.