Many of those attending last Thursday’s bike night at Crossroads Tavern in Kelley arrived on motorcycles or in cars or trucks. Bar owner Jim Sills, on the other hand, decided to arrive in a much different fashion - from a plane 10,000 feet in the air.
Bike night is a regular event at the bar throughout the summer, but this one was held in celebration of the start of Sturgis Week. Sills said he has always talked about jumping out of an airplane and figured last Thursday’s bike night was a good time to do it.
"What better way to start off Sturgis Week?" Sills said.
He tandem-jumped with Des Moines Skydiving Team member Tom Curry. Two other members of the skydiving team also jumped, with one carrying a large American flag. The only previous experience Sills had with skydiving was watching videos of people skydiving - there were no practice jumps. Despite the lack of experience, Sills said he wasn’t nervous at all in the moments leading up to the jump or as he was falling through the sky. Soon after touching ground, he exclaimed, "Let’s go. I want to do it again!"
When asked if Sills really would jump again, he said he likely will.
"People say they won’t do it again, but they end up jumping again," Sills said.