The hail storm was in 2009. We were there as well. Gail's description of "baseballs falling from the sky" is accurate. I've never seen anything like it. We get hail here occasionally, however, never like the Sturgis storm.
Riding in the winter is not miserable. Good leathers eliminate most of the weather. Don't ever remember freezing while riding. And as far as putting "your life in danger" because of bad road conditions? We don't ride IN the snow and riding in the winter is not likely any more dangerous than riding anytime of year. Riding is inherently dangerous. Having said that, I would ride in the winter anytime rather than riding in pouring rain. That indeed sucks! Hard to see, etc. No fun at all. 980 miles of it must have been brutal.
Just heard on the news today that 70% of the cherry crop already has been destroyed in Michigan. We ride year round. If the roads are clear, we'll be out. We hear ALL the reasons not to ride in Winter constantly. Sand, salt, cold, etc. Doesn't matter, we still go.
Glad to have u here! This IS a COOL place to be.... The dude that owns/runs it (bbnx/johnny) is bustin ass to make it right for us. I like it now cause its small but I think he wants it bigger. Keep in touch!