• zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Aug 23, 2009 8:40 AM GMT
    I come across this biker event while reading Harley Davidson magazine today. Since I am not from United States I appreciated it if anyone can share story about the event with me. I sound very exciting ....
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    Aug 23, 2009 2:54 PM GMT
    It's in early August, and now over. I have gone a number of times over many years. I camp in a biker campground west of Sturgis in Belle Fourche, South Dakota (pronounced Bell Foosch).

    It was once very crazy & lawless, mostly Harley biker bums and their bitches. Killings were common, nudity & sex right out on the street. Sturgis is a very small prairie town in the middle of nowhere, west of Rapid City where Mount Rushmore monument is located, close to the Black Hills.

    Before World War II Sturgis was the site of local dirt flat-track motorcycle races, and hill climbs, sponsored by the Jackpine Gypies motorcycle club. The Gypsies still hold the rights to the current Sturgis rally, though now managed by an events corporation.

    It is unclear what attracted the attention of motorcycle clubs and gangs to Sturgis, especially beginning in the 1960s. At that time only difficult local roads led there, before US Interstate 90 came through. After I-90, the Sturgis rally boomed.

    It became crazy in the 1970s and '80s, and the town, county & state decided to control the rally. It's often called a Harley rally, but that's not strictly true, just that most of the bikers ride on them. It's also the biggest tourist money raiser for the entire state of South Dakota, even exceeding Mount Rushmore.

    By the early '90s the town and the Jackpine Gypsies club contracted with an events corporation to run the thing. I think they're now on their second company, which has security police everywhere, and they charge fees for the roughly 1000 vendors who now show up. The knifings & nudity are now much reduced.

    Indeed, it's become something of a Mom & Pop Winnebago event, with motorcycles trailered there behind motor homes & pickups. Vendors sell lapel pins & patches that read "I Rode MIne!" for those bikers who actually ride their bikes the whole way, as I do. In fact, one year I rode my bike from South Florida, the longest distance you can ride in the lower 48.

    Attendance for the 10 days usually exceeds 500,000. I just go into Sturgis itself for 1 day, to walk the packed sidewalks, and buy that year's souvenirs. The rest of my several day stay I spend riding the Black Hills and seeing the local sights.

    Downtown Sturgis is too crowded & dangerous, with thousands of novice bikers crashing into each other. Plus it can also be incredibly hot in early August, the temps sometimes exceeding 100 degrees F. You don't wanna be sitting on jammed streets under the searing August sun going nowhere.

    And that is Sturgis.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Aug 23, 2009 4:28 PM GMT
    Wow, that sound great. I cant imagine having 500,000 bikers in one place. How I wish I can attend it. I got to see some clip in Your Tube and they are wild.
    Tq for sharing.
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    Aug 23, 2009 5:15 PM GMT
    Well the scene is surrealistic. It's entirely straight, though there are some gay bikers who camp together each year. I leave all my gay logos on my bike, plus on my leather jacket, and just DARE anyone to make a comment. No one ever has.

    I have seen totally naked women on the main street, just "wearing" body paint. Thongs and sometimes topless are common, and half-naked "biker bitches" riding as passengers are encouraged to stand up on the bike passenger pegs and flash the crowds with calls for "Cheeks!" from the sidewalk.

    Sometimes men are in thongs, too, but not very popular, including with me. YUCK! Other sights include bikes totally covered in fur, or a sidecar with a tall box like an old-fashioned telephone booth, entitled "Dog Jail." It has barred windows on it, and some poor dog looking out from inside. He comes to the rally every year.

    Other dogs are trained to strike a pose, perched atop the male rider and the female passenger behind him, its paws on both their shoulders and looking forward as they slowly parade down the main street. So many people come with a gimmick, hoping for applause from the sidewalk and having some photos taken of them.

    The contract and official police do try to limit the nudity, and I've seen offenders stopped on the sidewalks and ordered to cover up, both men & women. In the "old days" they would have just been nude, but Sturgis is increasingly becoming a family event.

    Sadly, the town itself is rather derelict for the rest of the year, many stores now owned by investors who rent out the indoor space to vendors for the 10 days of the rally, during which they make all their money. For 11 months the "downtown" is basically dead, the storefronts vacant.

    Local homeowners make money renting out their lawns for tenting, and their driveways to motor homes. Houses a block away from the main drag are surrounded by dozens of brightly colored nylon tents on the grass, packed as tightly together as they can be, almost looking like piles of giant balloons for a party.

    I prefer a campground in Belle Fourche, a good 25 miles away, because it's almost entirely bikers. It's owned by a local biker, and it's very quiet & sane. But then I'm just an old guy. Motels and accommodations for a good 50 miles around Sturgis are packed, and stores for hundreds of miles in every direction on the main routes throw up signs trying to attract the travelers. It is truly a unique American phenomenon.
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    Aug 23, 2009 5:32 PM GMT
    Here's links for Sturgis, including a live webcam, what the place really looks like after the rally is over. But also some pics of the rally itself. You'll see Bob's Family Restaurant, where I've eaten many times.
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    Aug 23, 2009 5:38 PM GMT
    Here's where I always camp near Sturgis:
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Aug 24, 2009 9:41 PM GMT
    That really neat, Red Vespa. I been doing a lot of searching on this event (the town, history, participant). It really exciting. Certainly different from all the bikers week that we have here. But than we are in different culture and country.

    Those jacket and leather stuff they wear are really neat. I dont really care about those bitches and nasty drug scene, though. But the attitude, energy are something I never see before.