August 5-11, 2013
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Sturgis Bike Week is one of the original motorcycle rallies. Held in Sturgis, South Dakota known as the City of Riders, the first rally was held on August 14, 1938, by the "Jackpine Gypsies" motorcycle club. The first event, the "Black Hills Classic", consisted of a single race with nine participants and a small audience. The Rally has come a long way since then and grown exponentially. Every year, the first full week of August, the quiet town of Sturgis’, population swells a hundred fold from 6043, to well over 600k. Last year, the rally’s numbers were estimated at 650,000. Presented with this explosion of bikers, the town of Sturgis transforms to support the rally. Many of the town’s business are open only one week before the rally, the week of the rally and then close up shop (and probably head down to Biketoberfest!). Thousands of vendors are granted permits for Bike Week. The town also brings in an additional hundred+ police officers to help keep the peace. All this to ensure the enjoyment and safety of the Ralliers.
Sturgis is also the largest rally in the US and its easy to see why. Aside from its rich history in motorcycle culture, the Rally presents a lot of options for its participants. The focus of a motorcycle rally was originally racing and stunts. In 1961, the rally was expanded to include the Hillclimb and Motocross races. This could include half-mile track racing, intentional board wall crashes, ramp jumps and head-on collisions with automobiles. You’ll now find concerts, celebrities, beautiful women, postcard-ready scenic routes, and a few drinking holes for those that might partake in such devilish activities.
The list of breath-taking rides itself is enough reason to attend the rally: Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, the Wildlife Loop, Vanocker Canyon Road and Spearfish Canyon. Lets also not forget the amazing destinations these roads lead you to; Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, Bear Butte State Park, the Badlands and Devil’s Tower National Monument. Enjoy all of these with a few hundred thousand of your fellow bikers!
One ride not to miss is the 4th annual Legends Ride presented by the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. This gives you an opportunity to ride with celebrities and the best of breed bike builders, all while supporting Black Hills charities. The Blue Chip is where you’ll find the 2011 Sturgis concert series. Last year, the line-up was amazing with huge stars such as Kid Rock and Motley Crue in attendance!