I Rode Mine - Reflections from Sturgisby Brian Davis
In an earlier article I wrote briefly of the experience of a group of North Carolina Baptists that travelled to the 74th Annual Black Hills Motor Classic, also known as Sturgis. The trip involved 12 riders (plus two people who rode in a support vehicle), nine days and over 4,000 miles. On the final day I rode for 16 hours, covering 750 miles, on my Yamaha V Star. My bike is a small bike; it’s only 650cc’s but it made the journey.
To be very transparent, I was very nervous about this journey. Would I physically be able to handle the trip? Would my bike make it (I was riding the smallest bike in our group)? Would I spiritually stand up to the battle that was waiting for me in Sturgis?
Spending that many hours on the bike and seeing portions of the country I’d never seen before was a treat in itself. Though at times it seemed it was the intention of other motorists to run over each of us. But at other times we felt as if we were the only vehicles on the highway as we rode through desolate countryside. Yet God spoke clearly in both circumstances.
Crossing both the Ohio and Mississippi rivers at the end of day one, I was amazed at the lines of barges along the banks of each river. Barges filled with corn, what appeared to be coal, and who knows what else were waiting their turns to continue their journey up or down the river. In a clear voice, almost audible over the wind and engine noise, God said, “There’s nothing in that river or on those barges that I did not make. I know the size, location and destination of every kernel of corn. Don’t you worry about this journey for I am with you.”
During day two we travelled from the southeastern most corner of Missouri, beginning in Sikeston, riding up to St. Louis, across the width of Missouri to Kansas City, then due North through the northwestern most corner of Missouri into Iowa. The day ended in Omaha, Nebraska. It was during this ride that we encountered the most dangerous traffic conditions and watched God protect us in ways that can only be described as miraculous. In less than ten miles we experienced three dangerous traffic situations and yet our group navigated them unscathed. In each situation, God’s protective hand was apparent.
On day three we entered South Dakota. It’s roughly 300 miles from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Sturgis, South Dakota. The eastern portion of the state is very similar to Northwestern Missouri and Iowa: corn, corn, and more corn. However, once you cross the Missouri river everything changes. Crossing the river brings travelers into the high plains. Not only does the corn disappear, but so do the trees. It’s at this point I rode through rolling hills of buffalo grass and saw a lone tree standing on this hillside. Again, in a strong and clear manner, God spoke to me saying, “Just like that tree, you’re going to stand apart from the crowd in Sturgis. Do not be afraid, stand strong, be My witness.”
Through many hours in the saddle God spoke to me; granting peace regarding my burdens and providing assurance in spite of my fears. Many bikers purchased t-shirts and patches that say, “I Rode Mine – Sturgis 2014.” Often, these items are bought to make a statement. A growing number of those going to Sturgis haul their bikes, also known as “trailer their bikes,” or fly to the area and rent a bike to ride. As a result, the more serious bikers look down on those who seemingly take the easy way to Sturgis. I bought my patch to remind me that it was while riding my bike that God spoke, God comforted and God provided. When I look at the patch I am reminded that these are blessings afforded not during that trip alone, but each and every day as I serve Him here at home.