My thoughts on group rides or riding in a pack are fairly well documented and I'm not what you call a fan. Generally it's the constraints placed on riding in a group that seem to irritate my normal sunny disposition. So you would think that I probably wouldn't be a fan of a "run" as it were. But that's where The Devilstone Run sets itself apart and kind of redefines the prototypical biker run and launches a whole different kind of motorcycle event. The event's creators are the folks over at Go Fast Don't Die. I attended the second ever DSR back in 2018 and the thing that stuck out to me the most was the vibe of the event. In true GFDD fashion, it was based around having fun and total inclusion, as is the usual "ride whatever" message those wonderful folks from Sheridan, WY continually preach.

This year was no different except for the fact that it'd grown. They went from "wondering if anyone would show up" four years ago to, quote Brady Mclean, over 150 registered riders as we stood in the sun-soaked lot at the Devils Tower Trading Post.  The ride was originally created in part to promote the great state of Wyoming where the GFDD crew is from, hence the starting point on the eastern edge of the state at the magnificent Devils Tower monument. As a bonus, this year all proceeds were donated to Wyoming businesses affected by COVID-19. The ride stretches across Wyoming, stopping in Sheridan (GFDD's hometown) then on to Cody before finishing in Jackson Hole, WY on the far western edge of the state. It shows off the best Wyoming has to offer, not only in hospitality but ridiculous scenery and top-notch riding roads. The aforementioned entry fee gets you a t-shirt, pays for your camping in Sheridan and Cody, a free lunch at Gillette Harley-Davidson on Friday, a couple of complimentary beers and a breakfast burrito throughout the weekend, a helluva deal.

Friday morning was near perfect weather. I'd just made the quick blast from the Black Hills of SD to Devils Tower for the start of Devilstone 2020 and Brady McLean was delivering an evangelical-like speech to the group of about 150 motorcyclists who had gathered at the trading post. While Brady was perched on the top of Vanna White (the GFDD van) capturing hearts and minds like only he can, I scanned the large group to see who I would be riding with that weekend. As my gaze hit the back I noticed a dude that clearly wasn't with the group but equally as interested in Brady's sermon as the rest of us. He was a normal looking, sandal wearing vacation dad topped with a straw hat who had wandered over from the campers at Devils Tower. Little did he know when he set out to grab a soda at the trading post he'd wander into the parking lot and be promptly immersed into our motorcycle soiree. He was captivated by the going's on, the nodding and clapping as Brady talked about the bitchen roads we were about to ride, the new friends we were going to make, sights we were going to see and campfires we were going to share. I swear if we would have had an extra bike he would have abandoned his current life and went full-on road warrior with us that weekend. What he was feeling in that moment was the reason we were all there, motorcycle adventure, plain and simple. No one cares what bike you're riding, what flannel you are wearing, whether or not you have the latest stainless exhaust or how many Instagram followers you have. Moto-adventure is the order of the day and we headed west to get our fill.

I stayed behind as the endless line of bikes spilled out of the parking lot. I knew as the days went by we would split off into small groups to avoid the madness and potential dangers of riding in a massive pack, but for the time being I would take the opportunity to distance myself from the pack. The sweepers of 24 and 14 turned into the unending prairie that swallows I-90 and we blasted towards Gillette for the first stop for lunch at Deluxe H-D in Gillette, WY. After lunch we got back off the super slab and back onto the two-laners to hit one of my favorite in the middle of nowhere spots in Shell, WY. We overwhelmed the small, eclectic little watering hole and then moved on to Sheridan for the night. Sheridan being the hometown of the GFDD crew, the hospitality is off the charts. Camping at the Gypsie Garden with the Bonafide food truck and a downtown party at Blacktooth Brewery provided two rad spots for entertainment and sustenance but created a bit of a transportation dilemma if you wanted to tip back a few local golden sodas. In true GFDD fashion they quickly solved the problem by buying a shuttle bus on the spot to transport folks from party to campsite. In the morning I was greeted with the biggest breakfast burrito I have ever seen by the Bonafide truck and I washed it down with a coffee and a smoothie and headed out early to get a crack at the Big Horn mountains with as little traffic as possible.

The switchbacks up the side of the Bighorns outside of Sheridan are a spectacular way to start the day and set the tone for an epic day of twisty riding. I blasted over the top of the mountains to be treated to fresh blacktop on the backside of the mountain. After a stop in Shell for some lunch it was time to head into the next stop in Cody, WY. Cody is steeped in old west history and one of my favorite places in Wyoming, but my plans were quickly being altered by the weather that was moving in. Devilstone normally ends the next day (Sunday) in Jackson and then I'll ride home on Monday, but the mid 90's temps were being chased out by 50 degree temps and rain and maybe even snow depending on the route. Instead I hustled through Cody and the Shoshone National Forest to get my fix of Yellowstone. I couldn't overcome the thought of being that close to Yellowstone and not venturing in. After a few hours of sightseeing in Yellowstone, I hustled back to Cody to set up camp and grab a burger at the Silver Dollar Bar .

The next morning I was up early and needed to start heading back east but one of my favorite routes to ride was calling to me and I couldn't stand the thought of not riding it. While not a huge mileage day at just over 500 miles, it was going to take some time because of the crazy roads, so I headed north out of Cody onto Chief Joseph Highway and opened the FTR up through the sweepers. As the Twin growled on the exit of each corner you couldn't knock the smile off my face with a 2 x 4. At the top of Chief Joseph I hung a right on Beartooth and headed off into the jaw-dropping scenery. Beartooth is a road that is as twisty and turning as you can imagine, but I can never bring myself to rip the corners like I do on similar roads because the scenery and the absolute expanse of the 12,000' views are so distractedly stunning, it's all I can focus on. The temps dropped into the low 50's at the top of the mountain as I stopped to take in the insane show from Mother Nature, but as I descended down the other side things warmed back up as I rolled into Red Lodge for a burger. From Red Lodge I headed to Billings then onto 212 and dropped the hammer for home.

Devilstone is a something I look forward to every year now. After the frantic scene in Sturgis it's the perfect palate cleanser to set all things right in motorcycledom for me. It's a pure example of what motorcycling should be, adventurous, easy, fun and without ego. This year there were folks that traveled from as far as Oakland, CA and North Carolina to ride and camp with us and I expect we'll be seeing more of that as the ride continues to grow. Motorcycle events always seemed stagnant to me, almost anti-riding motorcycles and Devilstone is the antithesis to that. Instead of being at a event where you generally leave your bike parked and stay in a confined area, it's a traveling circus of sorts that keeps you on the road and engaged with your machine and the landscape. I highly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to join us, but if you can't you should take the time to have your own motorcycle adventures. Don't get caught up standing in a parking lot somewhere that social media has deemed a motorcycle event. Go ride your motorcycle.