A gathering is coming. An event, like no other. Half a million motorcycle enthusiasts, live music fans, and street-food lovers will ride to the Black Hills of South Dakota to attend this iconic rally and enjoy ten days and nights of riding, food, shopping and live music. A rally so big it is known only as Sturgis! Are you curious about what scenery each of the four epic rides has to offer? Here are a few hacks the team at Gail's Harley-Davidson has put together on how to plan your ultimate Sturgis rally this year. So you can experience all that this motorcycle rally has to offer.
Half a million motorcycle enthusiasts, live music fans, and street-food lovers will ride to the Black Hills of South Dakota to attend this iconic rally. Held in a part of the world that offers some of the most scenic rides in the country. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Devil's Tower and Crazy Horse as you ride through South Dakota back country and enjoy all that is Sturgis.
Motorcycle lovers and Harley-Davidson enthusiasts the world over look forward to Sturgis every year, and the team at Gail's Harley-Davidson is no different. Riders from the East coast and the West coast gather to participate in the community we share. To see friends and family members we only see during this one week each year. As lovers of all things kinetic on two wheels, we know the importance of proper maintenance and attention to detail. In addition to changing your oil, tensioning the chain, and checking your tires in advance of the upcoming ride you'll also want to prepare for how to enjoy the festival. As the team at Gail's Harley-Davidson eagerly anticipate this year's rally, here are a few thoughts and tips we've gathered on how to make the most out of Sturgis.
Plan Your Rally
Since 1936, when this event was founded, Sturgis has grown from Clarence "Pappy" Hoel buying an Indian Motorcycle Franchise and forming the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club in Sturgis, SD, to when, in 2015, over 750,000 people attended the rally to celebrate its 75th anniversary. With all that there is to see and enjoy, we suggest you pick up your Sturgis souvenirs now before you roll into South Dakota. Save room in your saddle bags by ordering your T-shirts and shot glasses to your home. There are four epic rides taking place during the event. Which one is right for you? Take a look at the routes, so you don't miss out on seeing Bear Butte Mountain or Mount Rushmore.
The first ride is Devil's Tower. Mount up and head out of Sturgis towards Aladdin where the population is 15. As you pass through Beulah, the population rises to 33, and the elevation drops to 3,510 feet. As the day winds on, be sure to stop for lunch at the Ponderosa Cafe near Belle Fourche. Bear Butte & Beyond is the next ride. Here you leave Sturgis and head to the Geographic Center of the Nation. Once you're there, take in Bear Mountain first hand on this iconic loop through Fruitdale, Vale, and Whitewood.
Are you ready to salute your favorite president? Then the Custer State Park ride is the one for you. Ride through Mount Rushmore and see where Cary Grant saved Eva Marie Saint in the Alfred Hitchcock classic, "North By Northwest" then pop over to Spring Creek Traders for refreshments. Are you in need of some General Merchandise or Hunting and Fishing supplies? Get yours at the Nemo Guest Ranch Store then wind through the Vanocker Canyon and break for lunch at Boondocks on the Deadwood & Vanocker Canyon ride.
Experience Southern Rock's Finest
Don't miss the Spirit of Sturgis Vintage Bike Show and the Spirit of Sturgis Vintage Bike Show Industry After Party. SRF is an all-star band composed of former members of Gregg Allman Band, Molly Hatchet, Pure Prairie League, David Allen Coe Group and the Allen Collins Band. Closing night of the rally brings the Insane Clown Posse. If you've never seen them before, now is your chance to experience the face painted duo that rose from the darkness of Detroit's underground music scene with a hardcore, hip-hop style.
Sturgis 2017 Rally Events
In addition to the spectacular scenery, there are events such as the Street Food Throw Down, Mayor's Pub Crawl, and a Police Bike Giveaway. Do you have a tattoo? Then the Tuesday Tattoo Contest is the event for you. Have you stopped growing your beard and mustache yet? If so, maybe you think you have what it takes to win the Beard & Mustache Contest. But that's not the only contest to bring a crowd at Sturgis. Who will win the Miss Buffalo Chip Beauty Pagent? Stop into The Chip for three rounds of this iconic pageant and wrap your pipes as you cheer on the contestants.
Build Your Endurance
Lastly, if it's been a while since you've gone for a ride that has required more than one tank, the team at Gail's Harley-Davidson suggests you build your endurance. Take some longer rides between now and Sturgis. Get back in the swing of riding for distance over several days.
Sturgis is about participating in your community and bringing people from that community together. There is a love of motorcycles and all things Harley-Davidson that we all share, but more than that, Sturgis celebrates the people the community we belong to. Both as bikers and as people. We're excited to share this community with you and are proud to be your Harley-Davidson retailer. Please say hello when you see our team at the rally and ride safely.