‘Big’ Kenny of Big & Rich gets ready to lead the Legends Ride out of Deadwood.
Mrs. South Dakota can handle her own on a motorcycle.
Our favorite Motor Maid, Gloria Struck, was all smiles after getting a hug from Lorenzo.
“Big” Kenny of Big & Rich led a posse of 250 riders out of Deadwood for the Fourth Annual Legends Ride. It was a celebrity-filled affair as two stars from the popular reality TV series Survivor, Rupert Boneham and South Dakota native Holly Hoffam were on hand to support the cause as well as actor turned custom bike builder Lorenzo Lamas. Even “The King of Choppers” Arlen Ness stopped by for a cameo appearance in support of the cause.
Organizers project the event will push the total amount of money raised for local organizations in its four-year tenure to over $200,000. This year’s beneficiaries of the Legends Ride are the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame and the Black Hills Special Olympics. The money will be used by the Black Hills Special Olympics to buy a much needed bus which will be used to take kids to events. The other 50 percent will go into a fund for the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum who is seeking to add another building to the museum.
Fans clamored around “Big” Kenny Alphin before the Country & Western star mounted up to lead the procession out of town. Alphin is a partner in the new Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel, Event Center and Casino but his website states “his interest in the historic gambling town is more than business-related.” Alphin proved that by stepping up to support the causes of the Legends Ride.
Lorenzo Lamas’ participation was two-fold. Not only was he there to help the Legends Ride, Lamas additionally was spreading the word about Operation Homefront, an organization that aids families of those serving in the military. Lorenzo Lamas Cycles was holding its own benefit the following day called “Rumble for the Heartland,” a ride from Devil’s Tower in Wyoming to Sturgis. The feature attraction of the ride is a custom motorcycle designed by Knockout Motorcycles’ Ralph Randolph which will be auctioned off to support Operation Homefront and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Raffle tickets go for $100 each with the drawing scheduled for March 17.
The afternoon started with a big street party that stretched from the Silverado Franklin Historic Hotel & Gaming Center to the Deadwood Tobacco Co. The rumble of 250 motorcycles firing up would soon echo through the historic Western town. Police cordoned off the streets as riders rolled out of town for a 50-mile ride through Vanocker Canyon to the Legendary Buffalo Chip. A little rain and a few pebbles of hail couldn’t diminish the spirit of the riders.
At the Chip, guests were treated to a catered dinner followed by an auction. An Epiphone guitar signed by Buffalo Chip owner Rod “Woody” Woodruff and Rupert sold for $700 while an Eric Herrmann painting garnered a cool $1000. But the biggest prize of the evening was a motorcycle customized by Mike Prugh and students of the Western Dakota Technical Institute. What started out as a stock 2011 Street Bob was converted into an even meaner looking and sounding muscle bike. Joe Sterling out of Ten Sleep, Wyoming, was the winning bidder at $18,500. Sterling bought the bike for his wife Susan as a 30th wedding anniversary present and she couldn’t have looked happier when she sat in its saddle.
The evening concluded with a killer concert featuring Buckcherry and Def Leppard. It was the fourth consecutive sellout for the Legends Ride, which has the potential to grow even more. But local law enforcement has set a cap at 250 riders and would like to see that number trimmed down to 200. Legends Ride organizers said if this happened they might schedule two rides in the future.