My godmother’s daughter, whom I generally refer to as a cousin, texted me during my drive yesterday to warn me that there was a bike rally here in Salmon Arm. She told me to look out for bikes on the highway, which is largely made up of winding, misty mountain passes. I expected something like the Tour de France, lots of folks in very tight spandex, whisking along the highway in their aerodynamic helmets.
I couldn’t have been farther off the mark. The rally in question is the inaugural year of Sturgis North, the baby sister of the giant motorcycle rally held in South Dakota. Yes, really. Salmon Arm has officially been overtaken by two-wheeled machines. This much cowhide hasn’t been in one spot since the great cattle drives of the old west. I’ve also seen some of the most creative facial hair topiary imaginable.
Yes, I tootled my way to the Shuswap imagining a quiet waterfront, peaceful streets, and the crisp near-silence of summer mornings. Instead, engines of all sizes whine, thump, and drum their ways around Salmon Arm, zinging their black leathered riders from place to place, and bringing the flavour of motorcycle culture to this cosy little community for the next five days.
I’ve seen three separate mobile tattoo “studios.” Because nothing says “hygenic practices” like a dude who works a tattoo gun out of his RV while the cover band wails over the loudspeaker. Maybe I should buy a pack of those multi-coloured Sharpie markers and open my own, temporary tattoo spot for the weak of stomach and conviction.
I can see the signs now: “Ten Day Tattoos! Hepatitis Free, Guaranteed!” I’m sure there are wimps hiding in this rally, somewhere, and I could make a killing on all those who are born to be mild.
copyright 2011: http://bluespeckledpup.com