Riding, Rallies and the Open Road to Sturgis 2013

Bike enthusiasts from all over the country know that Sturgis, South Dakota is the place to be in August. Since the mid-20th century, the small town of Sturgis has been host to an event that brings over 400,000 people and their bikes to the area. It is a week full of vendors, exhibits, food and races.

This year, the rally is celebrating its 73rd anniversary and expecting one of the biggest crowds ever. Now is the time to invest in new Honda motorcycle parts at Bike Bandit to get ready for the ride because August is just around the corner.

Main Street Sturgis South Dakota Bike Week

Photo of Main Street during Sturgis Motorcycle Rally by Cumulus Clouds via Wikimedia Commons

The History of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Sturgis, SD, population of just over 6,000 souls, saw its first rally in 1938. Back then, the name was the Black Hills Classic and the sponsor was the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club. The focus in 1938 was a single race with just nine participants from the club. In 1961, the event expanded to include other types of races like Hill Climb and Motocross.

What to Do at the Rally

This year, it all begins on August fifth with the 11th annual Mayor’s Ride. Bikers can pay to be part of this scenic journey that benefits the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department. The event includes lunch hosted by the reigning mayor and a souvenir gift pack that offers several limited edition collectibles. The course takes bikers on a tour of the Black Hills starting from Custer State Park. Participants travel through Custer and Hill City through the Pactola Reservoir and then on to Sturgis for the rally.

If you don’t want to shell out the cash for a ticket to ride with the mayor, consider seeing the sites along the Black Hills Run. This common route for riders goes from Deadwood to Custer State Park and provides magnificent views of the incredible Black Hill countryside from the seat of your bike.

Once there, you’ll enjoy streets lined with vendors and exhibits. Leather clothing, bike trailers and even jewelry are in the mix of presenters this year. The main event is the Harley-Davidson Sturgis Motorcycle Show that introduces the next generation of bikes to the public.

Plan to stay nearby at one of the local hotels or bring your camp gear. The booze tends to flow freely during the rally with Jack Daniel’s as one of the major sponsors. There are casino resorts just a few miles away, plus hundreds of motels, campgrounds and RV parks in the area.

Location, Location, Location

One of the best things about traveling to the rally is location. There are four casinos within 15 miles of Sturgis, for example and even a Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. The rally sits near some of the most scenic areas in the country. While visiting Sturgis, you are at the cusp of the Wyoming border. It is worth the extra travel time to bike west on U.S. 14 to see the Devil’s Tower near Hulett and Sundance. Just south on Highway 16, Iron Mountain Road, you can travel through the tunnels on your way to Mt. Rushmore.

>Sturgis will turn into bike heaven August fifth – 11th this year. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is something every rider needs to attend at least once, and this just might be your year. Gear up and head out. The road is calling.