Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Sturgis South Dakota
*****ALL PHOTOS IN THIS HUB WERE TAKEN BY ME! PLEASE DO NOT USE THEM OR ANY OTHER PURPOSE!!!*****
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has just passed it's 72nd Annual Rally. For 72 years bikers from all over the world have been coming to the small town of Sturgis, South Dakota for one of the largest motorcycle rallys around. From concerts, races and bike shows, along with 5 blocks of "bikes only" Main Street, there is something for everyone.
Sturgis is a small town in western South Dakota. It's population was 6,627 as of the 2010 census. It is in Meade County and is usually just a sleepy little town with not much going on. During the first FULL WEEK (Sunday through Saturday) over half a million people flock to the small town to enjoy the Rally festivities. In 2004 there was an estimated 514,951 people in Sturgis and in 2005 there were 525,250. The entire state of South Dakota only has a population of 824,082! That is a lot of people going to one small town for just that one week a year.
"It is the experiance of a lifetime in a place where local people can still show you a thing or two about hospitality and visiting exhibitors can show you anything and everything you'd want or need to dress you up or dress up your bike." - Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Website
So what is there to do during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally? Well, there is plenty!
To start there are some incredible roads to travel and sights to see around the Sturgis area. Some of these roads include:
- Needles Highway in Custer State Park is 14 miles in length on SR 87. This drive has spectacular views of the Black Hills scenery that include granite spires, the Needles Eye, narrow tunnles and hairpin curves.
- Iron Mountain Road extends between Mount Rushmore and the junctions of Highway 16A and SD 36 and is 17 miles in length. There are three tunnles and pigtail bridges that frame Mount Rushmore in the distance.
- Wildlife Loop is in Custer State Park and is an 18 mile loop. Wildlife goes through forests and prairie grasslands and you can see bison, pronghorn, deer, elk, burrows and prairie dogs on this wonderful road.
- Spearfish Canyon is a National Scenic Byway and is 20 miles long on US 14A. You wind through an ancient, narrow canyon with scenic mountain views and beautiful fall foliage. There are many places to stop and hike and fish along this streatch of road.
Some sights to see are:
- Mount Rushmore National Memorial
- Custer State Park
- Crazy Hourse Memorial on US 385
- Bear Butte State Park
- The Badlands
- Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming
Other cities in the area that are amazing and have a ton of things to do include
- Rapid City
- Hill City
- Silver City
- Hot Springs
Now, you might be more of the type that wants to hang out around town, walking the 5 blocks of main street that are closed off to all traffic other then the bikes and that's fun too. I don't know how many times I have been down main street and very seldom do you see the same bike twice. The bikes are backed up for miles and miles. There are souvineer and gift shops along with tattoo joints at every turn.
Every day of the week there are new concerts at the bars. The Buffalo Chip is a huge campground/concert area that has huge parties every day. This year Journey, Zac Brown, Surgarland, Slash, and Lynyrd Skynyrd were just a few concerts at the Chip. In 2013 it's already been confirmed that Toby Kieth and ZZ Top will be at the Buffalo Chip during the Sturgis Rally! How cool is that?
There are hill climbs, roller derbys, races, and helicopter rides. There is something for everyone at the Sturgis Rally.
Every year since 1996, my Mom has had people staying in her yard. They come from all over the world. She has a lot of Canadians that come and has had some from Australia even. Those that normally stay in her yard are ones that have been coming for years or are friends of those that have been to her house before.
This one week a year is when people can just sit and relax and enjoy the company of other people and not have to worry about anything else. It's the best vacation a biker can ask for.
I loved sitting in my mom's front yard and just watching the passer-bys. This year Frank Fritz from American Pickers and one of the guys from Pawn Stars stopped at the yard to visit with the folks that stayed in the yard this year. My mom also got a visit from the Travel Channel and they took pictures of the tents and people in her yard.
An amazing inspiration
Bert and his brother Mark have been going to the Sturgis Rally for over 25 years now. They have been staying in my Mom's yard since 1996. Mark was always the one who drove the bike and Bert was always just along for the ride. Bert had never gotten his motorcycle license. Until this year. At 59 years old, just 30 days before heading up to the Rally in 2012, he got his license and was able to ride his very own bike. Making that first trip down main street on his own bike was one of the many things on Bert's bucket list and he was able to accomplish that this year! Congratulations Bert!!!!! We are so proud of you!
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