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Staff Photo by David Heldreth
Camilo Chavez, left, and Lou Adams stand with three motorcycles Wednesday evening. The men are getting the bikes ready for a more than 1,000 mile journey to Sturgis, S.D. for the 69th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

The family that rides together stays together

Barstow family heads to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

BARSTOW • Lou Adams’ family is granting his 40th birthday wish. They’re taking him to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Adams, a motorcycle enthusiast, said he has ridden dirt bikes, choppers and street bikes since he was a child, but he has never been to what he considers the ultimate motorcycle hot spot: Sturgis, S.D.

Sturgis hosts an annual motorcycle rally every August. The rally draws more than 500,000 motorcycle enthusiasts to the town of less than 7,000 people, according to the Sturgis rally director’s assistant Tyler Lamphere.

Lamphere said the rally includes races, bike contests, concerts and motorcycle demonstrations.

“I’ve been on long rides, but this is the place I’ve wanted to go to for years,” Adams said. “I had to wait till August for my birthday present, but it’s here.”

Now two months after his June 7 birthday, Adams and his family are hitting the road to Sturgis. This year’s 69th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally runs from August 3 to 9. The Adams family and friends are leaving Barstow to meet Lou’s brothers, Mike and Don, in Las Vegas Friday evening. Mike, Don, Lou, Ali, Amy and Andrea Adams are being joined by Richie Ross, Camilo and Mary Chavez and Jimmy and Julie Walker on the more than 1,000-mile journey to Sturgis.

Lou said he plans on entering some of the races at the rally, while Camilo said he is hoping to enter his Harley Davidson in some of the design contests. Lou said the group plans on taking time to stop at Devil’s Tower and Mount Rushmore during the trip to Sturgis. However, Lou said he can’t wait to get to Sturgis and see the bikes and meet the people.

“Long rides can be rough, but once I get there I won’t be thinking about that,” Lou said. “I’m looking forward to the hill climbs and the races myself. There will be all kinds of bikes and crazy people to meet too.”

Lou said Amy, Ali, Andrea, Mary and Julie will spend much of the trip riding in a truck that will be towing a tool and equipment trailer. Mike, Don, Lou, Camilo, Richie and Jimmy plan on riding the entire route through California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota.

Lou said even though the ride hasn’t started he’s already dreading the week after the rally.

“I’d love to take more time checking things out while we’re riding up there and back, but I only got a week off of work,” Lou said. “I have to hurry up and get back to work on Monday no matter what shape I’m in.”

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4126 or

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