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Legends Ride Stops Sturgis Traffic

Tue, 06 Aug 2013

This is a small sample of the participants in Monday’s annual Legends Ride from Deadwood to Sturgis.

Hundreds of bikes thundered through the Black Hills toward Sturgis on Monday afternoon, creating a cacophony not heard in these parts since, well, last year. The sixth annual Legends Ride draws thousands of riders, spectators and celebrities to the historic city of Deadwood, South Dakota each year on a charitable pilgrimage to the Buffalo Chip Campground, and organizers said Monday’s edition was likely the largest ever.

“It gets bigger and better every year,” said Rod Woodruff, president of the Buffalo Chip.

The caravan of cycles, estimated at 400, fired up at about 3 p.m. local time, but not until a raucous auction brought $55,000 for a 2012 Harley-Davidson Road King customized by students at Sturgis Brown High School. An autographed Epiphone electric guitar also delivered $1700; the proceeds went to two local charities.

Leading the caravan from the Silverado Franklin Hotel was the Ness family, including father Arlen, son Cory, and grandson Zach, who was trailed by a reality tv camera crew all afternoon. Arlen Ness was besieged by admirers and autograph-seekers as he mounted his custom Victory at the start of the ride. “This is my 42nd rally in a row,” the elder Ness stated, “and this ride is a classic.”

Paul Teutel Sr., of Orange County Choppers followed, as did Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, Jessi Combs of “All Girls Garage,” actress Kristy (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) Swanson and Patron Tequila and Paul Mitchell Hair Products patriarch John Paul DeJoria, who in a poignant if rambling introduction speech compared bikers to eagles in referring to their freedom and spirit of adventure.

The bikes rumbled through the streets of Deadwood and somehow got right up front with the luminaries, enjoying one of the few traffic-free rides of the rally thus far, thanks to the police escort. After leaving town, the parade wound through Vanocker Canyon about 25 miles to the legendary Chip for a concert by the Doobie Brothers and Kid Rock. About 400 participants paid for the privilege of joining the ride, and were treated with food and drinks at a Buffalo Chip VIP tent. They were entertained by the rockabilly band the Living Dead and onlookers ogled as a local model was given the full-body paint treatment.

Final numbers for this year’s Legends Ride aren’t yet available, but the Buffalo Chip’s Rea McLean estimated the final tally will be a record-breaker. See our full gallery of photos below.

Arlen Ness (L) and Rod Woodruff.Cory Ness laughs. Paul Sr. looks on.Jessi Combs of “All Girls Garage”.
Even Sr has a laugh sometimes..The waiting is the hardest part.The waiting is the hardest part, Part II.
The road goes on forever.“”For the last time, my last name is NOT ‘Schneider,’ dammit!”Sometimes you just gotta chill.
“How YOU doin?”The Living Dead. Quite possibly the best, funniest and most frightening band in rally circles.She said her name was “Melissa.” No one really cared.
The 2014 Indian Chiefs were highly featured in the Legends Ride. That’s Indian honcho Robert Pandya with Robin Speer.What was her name again?Kids grow up way too fast these days.
There were twice as many bikes behind me.This custom Harley was auctioned for $55K. The winner also received a case of Patron tequila and a year’s supply of Paul Mitchell hair care products. Seriously.John Paul’s speech to the assembled media was a rambler, but somehow made perfect sense.
All roads lead to the Chip.


By Jon Langston

See also: 2014 Indian Motorcycles Revealed in Sturgis, 2013 Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance World Championship Results, Victory Releases MY14 Lineup.