Friday, August 7, 2009

Sturgis Wrapup

While in Sturgis my thoughts were that it was just a bike rally and the only real difference was the location. Since being home I realize that IT IS the location that makes Sturgis what it is. The amount of roads to ride alone makes it more than just a rally. The people of South Dakota, in all the small towns, go out of their way to make for an enjoyable time. Having had the experience once doesn’t seem to quench the desire to want to go again.

My first trip to Sturgis was a learning experience. Listening to people who have been there and to their advice, while helpful, doesn’t prepare one for the actual experience. My first revelation was this guy trailering his bike there. I took several pictures, after he pulled out in front of me, and was planning on what all I could write about not being a real biker. But, it came to me that I didn’t know his story about why he was trailering. After watching the number of folks who pulled in with their bikes on a trailer I realized that they had experienced Sturgis before and knew more about it than I did. Those folks were a lot better prepared to stay for a week than I was. Grills, larger ice chests, more necessities needed for an extended stay are only possible with a vehicle larger than a motorcycle.

Camping out is still my preference, but I will be getting an air mattress. I’m getting soft in my old age. The Buffalo Chip Campground is another lesson I learned. They seem to way over book it, it is dusty beyond belief, they would flood the roads with water to try to control the dust, muddy roads and bikes don’t mix and many were dropped, the showers run out of hot water by 5 AM, in six days they never emptied the trash cans and they were all overflowing and people just threw the trash at them, the out houses are just gross and also were never cleaned in six days, and being as far to the back as possible is better. I would rate the Chip a D-.

The particulars of my ride to and from Sturgis are as follows;

3,197 total miles
1,343 going
545 while there
1,309 coming home

Gas mileage going was 29 mpg with Petunia not wanting to run
Gas mileage coming home after having her dyno tuned was 37 mpg
Gas mileage average, overall, for the entire trip was 34 mpg

I planned to make it home in less than 24 hours, but had to settle for 25

Beads!! Jerry beads or Madi Gras beads, whatever you call them, you need them

Friends!! It was fun, but would have been more so with friends to share the experience

It is really easy to see why people keep returning to Sturgis year after year. It really is more than just a rally. It is an Experience that needs to be lived. I’m already researching different campgrounds for next year. Start planning and saving now. It is only 358 days until the 70th annual Sturgis Bike Week.


  1. The biggest and most important statistic of all?

    You accomplished your dream, as it were. You're not sitting around wishing!

  2. You are correct sir. Alright, I am setting my sights on Sturgis #70. You find a good camp site and some backroads and we will be with you next year. I have already started saving. I have $4.78 already in the hog bank.

    I'm going the backroad scenic route this time though. You find all sorts of bitchin stuff along the way.

    1309!! That's insane. You are legendary now...or just frickin' insane. That's distance baby.

    I'll get those beads too...(snickering)

  3. Excellent information!

    Ride on,

  4. Great write, ride and info..I would say see ya next year but I still have no idea what I'm doing in the a few idea's..Thanks for sharing Sturgis..I enjoyed it with ya..


  5. Good post. You summed it up perfectly IMO. And the people of Sturgis, Rapid City and South Dakota in general are awesome! (

    Thanks for sharing with those of us who couldn't make it this year.

  6. Awesome trip. Next year we need to have a chase vehicle for all of our stuff! I definitely want to put this on my calendar for next year. Maybe I will drive the chase vehicle, just to be nice. MAYBE! ;)

    quieter camping. not a raging party. friends say this place is newer than other sites and not as old school because they have decent amenities, and, its not as close to downtown. but they say it is in fact really quiet, well managed, and they have shuttles so.... personally this is more my style/speed...

    glad you had a great time. and that the dyno tune made such a difference. great posts and pics azhd, thanks!!

  8. Shew!! What a ride! I don't think I could ride for 25 hours. I'm tired just reading about riding for that long.

    I really enjoyed your posts and thanks for bringing it to those of us that couldn't be there. I just wish you'd have had a chance to meet up with the other bloggers, but there's always next time.

    I know all about those beads! Our pals brings three and four boxes of beads with them when we go to the rallies around here. LOL!

    Glad you got home safe and had a great "first time". Just remember... next time will be even better! ;)

  9. Yes. You always need that first experience. I do anyway. Thats how I figure out where all the creature comforts are for the next time. We have Bikes, Blues & Bar b q here in my backyard and I see lots of people having their first experience ( like the beads) with a large rally. Glad you made it back with a good time was had by all frame of mind. I would have loved the ride.
    P.S. Radar had "umpteen thousand and eleventy seven" fleas on him. He feels lots better without them. LOL

  10. I think your first experience is the most memorable one. My first experience of Sturgis was at the Chip. Never again. I made fun of the trailering until I was called out on it by an old boy in San Diego.

    I really am sorry we didn't meet up. Sounds like you left on the day I got in. I tried hooking up with others without success. It does get a little crazy and there is so much that you want to do that you kind of run out of time. Plus the weather was kinda crappy this year. Sturgis cleared out pretty early every night and the Cops were everywhere this year.

    Glad you were able to have your first Sturgis experience. You can write about it and share what happened with others that have never been but until you actually experience it you just don't know what it's really like.


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  12. Great read. Like you I stayed at the Chip my first few years and am surprised that what was true then is still true today. I have stayed at a few other campgrounds since and if you are like me your next camp site should be Glencoe, although this year they were still in transition mode after a new owner took over it is something to experience with lots of trees, a motorcycle only section and a trash crew every morning not to mention the party along the main road every nite ; ) . ANd while I live close by, 700 miles, and ride it easily in one day I am still put off by the trailer corps full of dressers. Chase vehicles are cool but it is still a bike rally right???