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Thread: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

    Curious if anyone has ever been to the famous (infamous?) motorcycle rally held annually in Sturgis, SD and what their impressions of the event were. I wonder if it is analogous to maybe Mardi Gras in New Orleans? Must be a real challenge to plan for the huge influx of people and motorcycles that deluge the place for a couple weeks every summer. Otherwise, It appears Sturgis is a sleepy little town in the Plains.



    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Many of my friends go and say its a riot of fun. Mix of red neck outlaw bikers and white collar weekend warrior types. But all my friends take their huge bus sized winnys with the bikes pulled behind so they are a bit soft anyway.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    How in the hell would one find their bike if they got loaded there?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
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    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I hear there's some nudity involved at these rallies.

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    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    In a previous job, the county rented a park to ABATE for an annual rally. I brought in about 5,000 bikers for the weekend. It was a good time but hard work for a couple of weeks. My folks were bikers while my dad was alive, and they never made it out there, they did travel around the country quite a bit though.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    How in the hell would one find their bike if they got loaded there?
    The key is to park next to some very recognizable landmark.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian
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    [QUOTE=Maister]Curious if anyone has ever been to the famous (infamous?) motorcycle rally held annually in Sturgis, SD and what their impressions of the event were. I wonder if it is analogous to maybe Mardi Gras in New Orleans?

    Now that you mention Mardi Gras that does sound about right. I took a vacation with my family out that way in high school and I remember some shady characters (old men in their 60s) trying to hit on my high school sophomore sisters. You could probably film a "Girls Gone Wild" Sturgis addition. Was a lot of people for such a little community.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jringel
    I remember some shady characters (old men in their 60s) trying to hit on my high school sophomore sisters. You could probably film a "Girls Gone Wild" Sturgis addition.
    I doubt that you'd see old men hitting on young women there nowadays. I hear it's a very family oriented event. In fact here's a picture from last year's Rally of what appears to be Santa Claus and I'm guessing he's asking this young lady what she would like for a gift.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    What does Santa's shirt say?

  10. #10
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    What does Santa's shirt say?
    Can't quite make it out thanks to the shirt wrinkles and Santa's long hair. I'm guessing it says "I'm here about the tablowe, Joe"
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  11. #11
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Looks like she's on Santa's "nice" list.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    Looks like she's on Santa's "nice" list.
    Being the good family environment it is, nice girls get rewarded all the time by the denizens of the North Pole. Heck, here's a pic of an elf helping Santa compile his naughty and nice list. (I'm guessing the young lady probably ended up on the 'nice' list)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    I've been there. It is an experience that you will NEVER forget. There is nudity, drinking, fighting, drugs, and sex along with other things that make a GREAT TIME. My uncle lives in Rapid City SD, which is 20 miles away, has been there every year since he moved there and said it is now the cleaned up family version of what it used to be. The nights still get pretty crazy. It really is something every fun loving person should witness once in his life.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planner22
    I've been there. It is an experience that you will NEVER forget. There is nudity, drinking, fighting, drugs, and sex along with other things that make a GREAT TIME. My uncle lives in Rapid City SD, which is 20 miles away, has been there every year since he moved there and said it is now the cleaned up family version of what it used to be. The nights still get pretty crazy. It really is something every fun loving person should witness once in his life.
    How old were you at the time and under what circumstances did you attend? Your uncle is about the third person whom I have heard of saying the event, though not tame by any stretch is, however, tamer than it was in the past (my other two sources went there back in the mid-70's). I understand that in economic terms the rally has become VERY important to Sturgis. Sure, it's not far from Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone and gets some tourist $ due to that proximity (oh, and Deadwood), but the tourism bread and butter is the rally.

    The town's character is changing.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planner22
    I've been there. It is an experience that you will NEVER forget. There is nudity, drinking, fighting, drugs, and sex along with other things that make a GREAT TIME. My uncle lives in Rapid City SD, which is 20 miles away, has been there every year since he moved there and said it is now the cleaned up family version of what it used to be. The nights still get pretty crazy. It really is something every fun loving person should witness once in his life.
    I have also been there... Went for a week, stayed in the area for a month. Had an incredible time. Partied on top of Rushmore, rode in the back of a pick up in a herd of bison, drank "Harley Davidson - Heavy Beer", drank in the Old #10 saloon (even if it isn't the real one). Just too much to mention... and uh, some things I just won't mention!

    This was back in the late 80's, so it was still very wild.
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    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Then there's Bike Week in Daytona. Not appropriate for anyone under 18. Hmmmm..... maybe I should take RJ.

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    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    Then there's Bike Week in Daytona. Not appropriate for anyone under 18. Hmmmm..... maybe I should take RJ.
    Perfect! As of today, I'm of the age to attend. What are the dates and I will mark my new calander?

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    Cyburbian Mark's avatar
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    Over 20 years ago an old fly fishing buddy of mine viewed a public sex act in Sturgis. I will not go into details. It would appear that the act would of caused pain, been unvoluntary and even an act of violence. However, my buddy said the women appeared to be a willing participant. This was in view of many people, out in the open. My buddy said it was unbelievable, and not in a good way.
    Ohhhh Mama, can this really be the end!

  19. #19
    My brother and his wife went this year. His digtal camera was full of tawdry images and videos. He said Sturgis is what you make it. You can get all wild, nude, and crazy or you can just hang out as a spectator and enjoy the motorcycle rides. I have only been to one rally (I just started motorcycling last year) and it was a blast but everyone behaved themselves
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I know it is summer in Montana when the Harleys arrive in droves. There is a smaller biker rally in Red Lodge about a week or two prior to the Sturgis rally. But the people show up on the cycles weeks before.

    We were coming back from Yellowstone, a dozen or so miles north of Red Lodge, when I saw an eviserated deer on the side of the road. On the other side of the road was a man rolling in the grass and his motorcylce was up the road. By the time we stopped and got to him, a bunch of his buddies had arrived to help. They were on their way to Sturgis. They were an interesting lot. The injured man was an ex-cop. Two of his motorcycle buddies were traditional biker types but not "outlaws". His girlfriend and her mom were riding support in a rented RV. While we waited for the ambulance we chatted and had a good time considering the circumstances. The injured guy was a little banged up but not seriously. His bike took a beating but the guys thought they could get it running once they got it to Billings. The deer was coyote chow.
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I noticed increased biker traffic last weekend on the interstate headed west, presumably some of them were making the trek to Sturgis for the preliminaries. Anyone going to Sturgis this year? Anyone care to share a Sturgis rally story or just a general biker tale?

    Last edited by Maister; 21 Jul 2009 at 4:25 PM.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I noticed increased biker traffic last weekend on the interstate headed west, presumably some of them were making the trek to Sturgis for the preliminaries. Anyone going to Sturgis this year? Anyone care to share a Sturgis rally story or just a general biker tale?

    I believe there is a bumper sticker on the motorcycle in the foreground that reads: "If thou can readth this, the sinful harlot fell off."
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I noticed increased biker traffic last weekend on the interstate headed west, presumably some of them were making the trek to Sturgis for the preliminaries. Anyone going to Sturgis this year? Anyone care to share a Sturgis rally story or just a general biker tale?
    I'm leaving from central Texas on July 31st, planning to arrive August 2nd. I'm going up with my father-in-law (hardly a good chaparone--we feed off each other) and one of our mutual friends in a RV trailering three motorcycles on a trailer designed for two. We are staying until the 9th. I've been to Daytona and the Republic of Texas rally in Austin as well--neither were for the faint of heart.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    I'm leaving from central Texas on July 31st, planning to arrive August 2nd. I'm going up with my father-in-law (hardly a good chaparone--we feed off each other) and one of our mutual friends in a RV trailering three motorcycles on a trailer designed for two. We are staying until the 9th. I've been to Daytona and the Republic of Texas rally in Austin as well--neither were for the faint of heart.
    Is there a schedule of organized activities at a biker rally or is it pretty much just a free-for-all of drinking and debauchery?

  25. #25
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    Is there a schedule of organized activities at a biker rally or is it pretty much just a free-for-all of drinking and debauchery?
    Both. There are definitely organized events, like bike shows (the part I really like), concerts (lots of that), etc. However, they also have the free-for-all option available at the various bars, and even they have scheduled activities. Here's a link for a peek:

    http://www.sturgis.com/calendar/scheduletest.php

    The big thing is the number of things to do in the area within easy ride distances. Many spend their days just out cruising the area.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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