Source/ Harley Davidson Facebook
It would be difficult to find any motorcycle rallies that have endured the years as well as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, but after 77 years, Sturgis is still going strong and continues to draw in more people year after year.
What started as a small rally formed by J.C “Hoel” Pappy in 1938 to have a few races and bring a group of bikers together has grown into almost a million in attendance each year and thousands of sponsors, entertainers and bike enthusiasts taking part in the event.
While many riders can be seen on Harley Davidson motorcycles, and the company itself is a major sponsor in the rally, you will also find riders cruising around on Superbikes, Ducati’s, Yamaha’s and many others including dirt bikes, ATV’s and even automobiles and trucks. Some folks ride for hundreds of miles to get to Sturgis while others pay a company to haul their motorcycle so they ride in the comfort of their car to get to the rally.
Sturgis is an event for everyone no matter their social status, employment status or economic status. Biking itself crosses all boundaries and tends to bring people together in a positive way no matter what their life may be outside of Sturgis. Whether you’re riding from California or down south from Tennessee, once you get to Sturgis, you’ll feel right at home. As many would say, “When you come to Sturgis, everyone is a friend.”
This bucket list of a rally is not just a meetup where you can bump into other bikers and check out some super cool, one of a kind motorcycles. You’ll find so much to do at this rally that it honestly may take several years of traveling to the event to be able to really get a feel for everything offered.
The town itself really understands how great Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is and they cater to the bikers during the entire duration of the rally and even long afterwards. It’s a great area to hang out and take a break even if you aren’t inside the rally itself.
Of course, you’re going to see motorcycles. Lots of motorcycles from throughout the years as well as bikers, beards, babes and other typical sights at a motorcycle rally. There are, however, so many other awesome things to see at this event besides the normal sights you would expect.
You’ll see plenty in the downtown area, and while many people roll in and stay right inside the rally the entire time, venturing a little out of your comfort zone and taking a ride away from things can be the best fun you have. Some of the best rides include heading to see Mount Rushmore or Crazy Horse Monument as well as Custer State Park, Spearfish Canyon, Needles Highway and Badlands.
If you’re worried about getting lost if you take off on your own, you’ll find that it’s easy to hook up with a local rider or a group who wants to head down the highway for some cruise time. Just jump in line and ride with the pack and you’ll be able to see so many great sights along the way. Rides away from Sturgis are an everyday thing during the rally and you’ll find that during the rides, you’re going to have plenty of time to bond with other riders and get some great insight into the local area.
Top Things to Do at Sturgis
Source: Facebook/Rat’s Hold Bike Show
Wandering around and just finding things for yourself is a fun way to spend each day, but if you want to make sure you know the best places to hang out and have fun, you need to at least have a small itinerary of places to check out each day so you won’t miss the best things. Here are a few things that you can count on every year at Sturgis.
The Broken Spoke
The Broken Spoke is a campsite but you best believe it offers far more than just a spot to sleep at night. Be ready to party all day, and all night when you hit this happening location. From a huge bonfire to sit around having a few brews and roasting marshmallows and hotdogs to stages indoors and outdoors offering some outstanding rock n’ roll, you’ll find that spending hours at the Broken Spoke is a fun way to spend the whole day.
Deadwood is outside of Sturgis, but with a short drive you can be spending hours taking in a little gambling and having a few drinks before heading back to downtown Sturgis.
Rat’s Hole Bike Show
There is just no other bike show on the planet as cool as Rat’s Hole and you’re going to see some out of this world motorcycles as well as meet some diehard bikers who are all geared up to have a good time. Held at the Buffalo Chip Campground in Sturgis, you’ll find some hefty rock shows and other live entertainment at this show.
Not one day goes by at Sturgis where there isn’t a full itinerary of things to do. Here’s some of the great action you can participate in when you go:
- Beauty pageants
- Bar hopping
- Bull riding
- Bike shows
- Chopper shows
- Southern revivals
- More music
Music at Sturgis is like no other rally around. First, once you get into Sturgis, the sound comes alive from one area to the next. Second, where else in the world can you go where you can stop and listen to a band like Bush on one stage and then take a walk less than 5 minutes to another stage and listen to greats like The Doobie Brothers or Tanya Tucker or even Ozzy Osbourne. You just never know who you might get to see or who you may run into at Sturgis.
Year After Year
If you’ve never been to Sturgis, now is the time to start planning for the 2018 event. The 78th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will be held August 3-12 in 2018 and whether you own a Harley or you drive a Volvo, you won’t want to miss the next rally. Not everyone at Sturgis rides a motorcycle and not all riders have their bikes with them.
This is a place to head to year after year for the comradery and excitement that can only come from bringing the world’s best bikes together with the best entertainment, racing, food and other things that just seem to bring nearly a million people together as one and even if it only lasts for 10 days and nights, the memories will last a lifetime.