The 13th annual Sturgis Buffalo Chip Legends Ride raised over $30,000 was this year for the Special Olympics South Dakota – Rapid City Flame and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. Fueled by guest appearances by award-winning actor Tom Berenger, a long-time supporter of the Legends Ride, and an all-star cast of custom builders like Cory Ness, Pat Patterson, and Kyle Shorey, the Buffalo Chip Legends Ride continues to be one of the premier benefit rides of the Sturgis Rally. A trio of the most talented and respected artists in the motorcycle industry also came out to support the cause. David Uhl and Darren McKeag both had pieces up for bid in the Legends Ride auction, while Deadwood native Scott Jacobs rounded out the star-studded cast. Add the effervescent energy of 2020 Buffalo Chip Poster Model Mai Richards and the women of the International Bikini Team along with a showcase of custom motorcycles spread like jewels on the green lawns of Deadwood’s new Outlaw Square and you’ve got all the makings of a successful, fundraising street party.

Before riders rolled out of Deadwood on a scenic 50-mile ride through the Black Hills to The Chip behind ride captain Berenger and Buffalo Chip owner Rod Woodruff, a live auction got the fundraising off to a spirited start. The 2020 Official Legends Ride painting by Uhl, a 30”X30” numbered and signed canvas of a vintage Indian Chief motorcycle, sold for $2,800. A commemorative Buffalo Chip Whiskey barrel, signed and dated, along with the first bottle of new Buffalo Chip Whiskey, auctioned for $1,300. A special carbon fiber Strider push bike went for $600, while an autographed Epiphone guitar sold for $2,300.

Mike Lovelace of Poulsbo, Washington, is all smiles on his new 2019 Harley Road King customized by J&P Cycles. 

Then came time to auction off the 2019 Harley-Davidson Road King customized by J&P Cycles. Loaded with premium parts from top companies like Arlen Ness Enterprises, S&S Cycles, and BDL, the brawny Road King is like no other out there. The bidding started lively before stalling around the $20,000 plateau, so the Buffalo Chip sweetened the deal even further by throwing in two VIP concert passes for every concert for every year they own the motorcycle. When the dust settled, Mike Lovelace of Poulsbo, Washington, won the killer Road King for a steal at $24,000 offer, especially considering the VIP package The Chip tossed in. It was Lovelace’s first Legends Ride who said his wife, who didn’t get a chance to come to the rally, was just as happy as he was when he called and told her the news. We have a feeling this won’t be his last Sturgis Rally.

After a splendid sun-drenched ride through the beautiful Black Hills, Legends Ride guests were greeted at the Buffalo Chip Gardens with good grub and cold beverages. A second round of auction items were then rolled out. A Guess Who autographed album and drumhead raised another $450. One of the highlights of the evening soon followed as a bidder bought a leather Harley-Davidson motorcycle jacket, then gave it to Special Olympian Ruben, who was stoked. Ruben is a talented athlete with a big personality who always wins over the Legends Ride crowd with his enthusiasm, so it was a treat to see how excited he was wearing his new Harley jacket. I have a sneaky suspicion we’ll be seeing that jacket at next year’s Legends Ride!

The last item up for bid was Darren McKeag’s bold Sturgis 80th Anniversary painting. The painting is full of iconic Sturgis imagery, from Mount Rushmore to the Buffalo Chip sign to old school choppers and the freedom of the open road. Andrew Dieterich out of Iowa was the last man standing after an entertaining bidding war, his $3,400 bid Dieterich told McKeag he already owned original paintings by artists David Mann, Uhl, and Jacobs, and was excited to add McKeag’s work to his collection.

Legends Ride participants also had the luxury of checking out the world-class collection of motorcycles, artwork, and photographs in the Buffalo Chip’s Motorcycles as Art exhibit, while others upgraded their tickets and hung around for headlining musical acts, Mississippi rockers Saving Abel and fan favorite Night Ranger.

At a pre-ride press conference, Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Executive Director Emma Garvin said in an emotion-laden speech that were it not for the Buffalo Chip Legends Ride generosity the museum might not be here today. Jack Lynass, head of Black Hills Special Olympics, also thanked The Chip, noting that when the two first started talking 13 years ago, they had 17 athletes. Today, they have 175. To date, the Sturgis Buffalo Chip has raised over $1,00,000 for charities through all its various charitable endeavors.