Bikernet Blog Search Bikernet
Ride Forever - Bikernet.com
Tuesday Edition


A WINTER RIDE TO DEADWOOD

I quickly grabbed my habitual morning coffee at Burger King and hauled ass

By Buck Lovell with photos by Buck
1/4/2023


Share this story:




The Buck Lovell “Snow Rider” photo has been broadcast on Facebook so many times I have lost count. After numerous requests, I am providing the story about how, when and why this photograph came into existence for all you soon to be famous photographers!

The date was January 22, 2009. I was on my way to work from Boulder Canyon to Spearfish, South Dakota. The route I usually took was east towards Sturgis then West on I-90 to Spearfish where I was employed as the Editor of the world's first and still the best Bagger motorcycle magazine, American Bagger.

I usually stopped at the Burger King at exit 30 in Sturgis to grab a coffee. As I approached the Burger King location, I saw this motorcycle with owner/rider Pat Luisi of Blackhawk South Dakota, headed up Boulder Canyon towards Deadwood. This was the second or third time I had seen Pat on his way to work in Deadwood riding the recently introduced Crossbones model Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
 
 
 
 
I thought to myself, “I’ll never be able to catch up to him and get pictures.” Then it occurred to me that I was driving a 4-wheel drive pickup truck and should be able catch him. After all, Pat was riding a motorcycle on a very icy road in very cold conditions. That motorcycle by the way is endowed with the most stable and easy to ride low speed handling characteristics in the H-D model lineup.

I quickly grabbed my habitual morning coffee at Burger King and hauled ass up into the canyon towards Deadwood. Sure enough, Pat was riding slowly but determinedly up the road into Boulder Canyon at about 35-40 MPH. Occasionally he would put his feet down to steady the bike.

Almost lugging the motor, Pat kept the RPM low on purpose, so as not to spin his rear tire on the icy pavement. He was also wearing a knitted ski mask under a hockey goalie facemask to try and keep his face from freezing. Pat wore several layers of warm clothing in addition to the requisite leather motorcycle jacket. After all, the air temperature lingered at about 18 degrees, dropped in the shade and with the wind chill factor reached close to zero. Plus, for a rider, the below freezing wind blew against his face at 35 miles per hour!
 
 
 
 
When I caught up to Pat, I passed him as quickly as I could, and rolled far enough ahead to stop and set up for a photo. I actually passed him and photographed him three or four different times before we reached Deadwood, South Dakota. He thought I was nuts. I am…

The ambient air temperature was by then was down to around thirteen degrees. Deadwood is usually colder than the low-lying area towards Sturgis. Pat rumbled into Deadwood to his place of employment. I followed him a short distance past the intersection of 14A and Highway 18 to get the last photo of the series. I then flipped a U-turn and made a left onto Westbound Highway 18A heading towards Spearfish. I was late for work, but this was work, huh?

Harley-Davidson’s house organ print magazine “the Enthusiast” published the photo of Pat Luisi as he headed into downtown Deadwood. Matt King, Editor of The Enthusiast elicited the following statement from Mr. Pat Luisi in a phone interview and used the quote as part of the caption published with the photo. The caption is as follows:
 
 
CHILLED TO THE CROSSBONES

In South Dakota, not many people ride year-round but I do. Some people think I’m nuts, but if you take the right precautions, it’s really not that big a deal. I wear heavy Long johns under my jeans, thick socks, mittens, a hooded sweatshirt, jacket, facemask, scarf and cap. That’s about it. Nothing electric.

I’ve been riding for more than 30 years, but I got my Crossbones in 2008, as Fathers Day present to myself. It’s a great ride and handles very well on the snowy streets. My ride to work is about 35 miles each way, but I’ve never had an accident. The only problem, when I’m wearing big mittens, it’s hard to flip off drivers, like crazy photographers trying to run me off the road with their 4-wheel drive trucks.

--Pat Luisi, 2009
Blackhawk, South Dakota.


This is the only time I saw him put a boot down. I was driving a 4-wheel drive truck and sliding all over the place.
This is the only time I saw him put a boot down. I was driving a 4-wheel drive truck and sliding all over the place.

 
 What is the moral of this story you might ask? The moral is simple; always but always keep a camera with you at all times. A Cell phone camera is better than nothing, but just barely. If you have a camera with you at all times you won’t miss that once in a lifetime shot. Believe me, that once in a lifetime shot will happen, when you don’t have a camera. Keep you feet warm and your camera handy, you may see something that begs to be photographed, and you’ll be ready. When you see the Snow Rider photos on Facebook or the internet, you now know the story of how the photos came to life. Make sure you check out my gallery at https://www.bucklovell.com/

--Buck Lovell
Sturgis South Dakota

Motorcycling Events, News, Updates, Products, Reviews and More....delivered to you once a week for free. Click & Go !!!
Motorcycling Events, News, Updates, Products, Reviews and More....delivered to you once a week for free. Click & Go !!!


Share this story:



Back to Event Coverage


Your thoughts on this article

Your Name
Email
City
Country
v
State/Province
v
Comments
Anti-Spam Question:
Please enter the words you see in the box, in order and separated by a space. Doing so helps prevent automated programs from abusing this service.
Submit
Clear