They come by the hundreds of thousands each year in August, riding from every state in the Union and traveling from every country on earth. The Motorcycle Mecca known as Sturgis Bike Week has been calling bikers home to South Dakota since J.C. “Pappy” Hoel, owner of the local Indian dealership, held motorcycle races back in the 1930s. This year will mark the 79th party in the Black Hills and will take place over ten days, August 2nd through the 11th.
From Rapid City and Mount Rushmore to Deadwood, Spearfish, and all points in between, the good people of South Dakota will once again open their homes, hearts and businesses to make every rider feel right at home. As usually happens during the rally, riders can expect everything from rain and wind to withering summer heat, sometimes all in the same day.
Main Street Sturgis will be packed with motorcycles lining the streets at all hours of the day and night and food vendors will serve up every edible delectable imaginable. Harley and Indian will offer demo rides, Lazelle Street becomes a vendor circus for miles and out at Black Hills Harley, aftermarket companies and custom bike builders will hold court to showcase their latest wares.
You can also head out of town for Harley demo rides at the Full Throttle Saloon, which this year will host Billy Lane’s Sons of Speed antique races on Thursday. As always, Sons of Speed features thrilling head-to-head racing on nearly hundred-year-old motorcycles.
The biggest party during the rally will be held at Rod “Woody” Woodruff’s Buffalo Chip Campground. Since 1981, the Chip has become known as the home of the world’s largest music and motorcycle festival with two weeks of world-class concerts, professional flat track hooligan racing, and ride-in bike shows. This year’s acts will include the world’s best biker blues band, The Charlie Brechtel Band and even Snoop Dog is coming out to play.
Located just three miles from downtown Sturgis on 600 acres, the Chip has six stages, a swimming hole, showers, cabins, RV hook-ups, and camping galore. It is also home to Michael Lichter’s annual “motorcycle as art” museum show.
Once again, the Jackpine Gypsies will hold exciting flat track, hill-climb and drag races throughout the week of the rally as they have done since 1936. In fact, there is so much going on during the Sturgis Rally that you will have to clone yourself or have the ability to use time travel and break your own time line (which you really shouldn’t) in order to be everywhere at once and take in all that this Mega Rally has to offer each day. And that’s without adding in a trip to Mount Rushmore or to Crazy Horse or to stop for a beer at the Full Throttle Saloon, The Beaver Bar, The Knuckle Saloon, the Sidehack, the Loud American Roadhouse, or One Eyed Jack’s. The Dungeon Bar on Main Street will celebrate its 31st Anniversary of booze, babes and downright debauchery.
See the problem? There is simply too much fun and you can’t possibly have it all during Bike Week! However, there is a simple fix to this mind-numbing problem. All you have to do is realize that wherever you go and wherever you are during the Sturgis Rally, you are at exactly the right place, with the right people because you, my friend, ARE the party.
But first you have to get to Sturgis, and all those miles from your house to the Black Hills and back go a lot smoother when you have your favorite road tunes to accompany you. That’s where Steel Horse Audio comes in. There is still time to order the perfect stereo system for your cruiser, chopper or street bike. Just visit www.steelhorseaudio.com and order an ST200, ST400 or ST600 speaker system. They are easy to install and in a couple of weeks, you’ll be ready to crank those tunes with the best sound around. Let Steel Horse Audio make your trip to Sturgis just a little more special. Order now and use the Promo Code SHA5OFF to get five percent off your purchase!
To me, the Sturgis Rally encompasses the best of what this country has to offer. Riding through the sacred Black Hills is the perfect balm for what ails every motorcyclist. This is the one week of the year that make all the rest bearable. The good people of South Dakota make every biker feel as though they have come home to the world’s largest family reunion. For 79 years, riders have heard and answered the call to come home. To this home in South Dakota… where our heart lives.