Saturday, August 31, 2013

Thoughts on Sturgis 2013

It's been almost a month since the Sturgis Rally.  It wasn't the best Sturgis trip I've had to date but it had it's fun moments.  One thing I learned on this trip is trust your gut because it is pretty spot on most of the time.  I'm not going to go into any detail about that comment but l will say, if you think someone you are going on a trip with may not play well with others, go with your gut!  Looking back now I should have realized that following the truckload of kybos through the scenic view in Chamberlain was a sign of things to come. 

I had a couple emotional moments on the trip since this was the first time I road my own to Sturgis.  The first is when we crossed into South Dakota.  I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and pride in myself for arriving there.  The next emotional moment was when I exited into Sturgis and made my journey to Lazalle Street so I could turn right and head on out to the Buffalo Chip.  I had to fight back tears a couple times.   Riding your motorcycle down Main Street is a seriously cool feeling.  I got Goosebumps!

I forgot how loud the Buffalo Chip was and while it was awesome to be there for all of the concerts I believe that the next trip I make will not include a stay at the Chip.  Next time I'd actually like to stay in Sturgis.  Maybe in someone's yard.  I didn't mind tent camping at all but with all the noise at the Chip, a good nights sleep was not possible.  The best concert, hands down, was Halestorm.  Rob Zombie was also amazing but I felt like he could have played much longer.  I finally have a musical respect for ZZ Top.  Billy Gibbons is seriously cool and I bet it would be fun hanging with him and listening to his countless stories.  Old Guys Rule.  Speaking of Old Guys...met this gnarly ODB named Woody and his son Cory before Halestorm.  They were from Davenport, Ia.  Imagine that, we have to go to South Dakota to meet other Iowans.  We hung out with them during the evenings for the length of their stay at the Chip.  I spent about a hour one afternoon talking to Woody and it was one of the best moments of the trip.  I love listening to people talk about their experiences in life.  I truly hope that I run into Woody and Cory again on the road.  It sucks because I didn't get their last name.  Boo! 

Dan's friend Jeff and his woman Meredith were the only non bikers on the trip.  They drove the truck and camper out to the Buffalo Chip for the other folks that were with our group.  It still cracks me up that they were the only people on the trip to get INK.  And the rest of us call ourselves bikers.  HA!  Jeff and Meredith were really fun to hang with and it was cool that we got to use the truck a few days so that we could hang with both of them. 

Sturgis has changed since the last time I was there.  The Broken Spoke Saloon is no longer downtown.  It is now Easyrider Saloon.  Loved the new building they built and the multi levels of outdoor decks was awesome.  Great people watching.  I did notice this trip that there wasn't as much nudity as usual, especially at the Chip.  Maybe it's because it was colder at night.  I think the guys were very disappointed.  Has Gunner's always been on Lazalle?  For some reason I thought it used to be on Main Street??

It's probably weird but I didn't do any riding while I was there.  It was just an accomplishment for me that I got there.  I spent most of my time hanging out at the Chip or going places in the truck so we could hang with Jeff and Meredith and drink.  Yes drink...I needed many cocktails on this trip!  My next Sturgis trip will be so much different.  I look forward to another journey to the motorcycle mecca.  Maybe 2015.  That trip will include more time downtown Sturgis and actually doing some riding in the great state of South Dakota. 

As I waved good bye to the Chip and road through Sturgis to the interstate, I felt sad.  I always feel sad leaving Sturgis.  I love the rally and the people that travel from all over to enjoy the same thing that I enjoy.  On the journey home I reflected a lot on my life and how lucky I am to have been able to take this trip.  How strong I really am as a woman to ride my own motorcycle.  And how much I am thankful for the freedom that I have to ride freely in our great land. 

I love you Sturgis, South Dakota


Anonymous said...

You gotta wear earplugs if you wanna get some sleep at Sturgis... glad you had fun and returned safely!

Gary France said...

This is a cool post, especially the emotional parts about arriving at and leaving Sturgis.

Interesting that you wouldn’t stay at Buffalo Chip next time. I made the same decision not to stay there on my only trip to Sturgis and I regretted it. Next time, I will camp there just to experience what it is like.

How far was your ride to get there?

Hogman said...

Damn! I just got a little teary eyed.

IHG said...

I road a total of 1400 miles. Longest trip I've taken.

Webster World said...

Great write. One day I'd like to go again. Last time I was there those folks said 50,000 bikers were too much lol watch what you wish for haahaa. Glad you did have some good times......I sure hope it's warm when I come heeehee.

Dan said...

Hi Steph, sounds like you had a really good time. Can't imagin not having a great time in Sturgis. I love the way you put it to pen. Your writing takes the reader on the ride with you. Great job. Take care and ride safe. dan

jefe said...

Hey Stephanie, my sister's name, easy to remember. I liked your comments about 1st time to Sturgis. Most folks love the scene, but can't describe it. I've been staying in a motel in Spearfish during my visits. Real quiet and I can dip in and out of Sturgis as I want. They've got Da Bus running up there now, so I don't even have to try and ride back after a few too many cocktails.

if you find a spare moment, visit my website at You might enjoy the blog posts and the book excerpts . If it looks interesting to you, I'll send you a copy.

Geoff "jefe" Smith