We made it through our long, extremely busy day Saturday and were both more then ready for our two days off! We made plans to meet up with our friends Deb, Niles, Craig and Joanie for breakfast in Hill City. We had a nice breakfast and enjoyed hearing about all their rides and sight seeing since we talked with them last week. Once breakfast was out of the way we loaded up on the bikes and headed towards Sturgis. I guess I should say we got into the long line of bikes heading towards Sturgis. :-) There was also a steady line of motorcycles heading our direction as well. There were a few breaks in the line of bikes but it was a steady stream the entire 40 miles on SR 385.
Getting through Deadwood was slow but the scenery at the "bikini bike wash" was a pleasant distraction.
We got to Sturgis and stopped at the edge of town where they were offering test rides on the brand new Indian motorcycles as well as several other models. Niles and Craig both signed up for test rides on several different makes and models. The wait for the rides to start would take up most of the afternoon so we passed on that and headed into downtown to see what all the hype about Sturgis is about.
The town blocks off all the curb parking for motorcycles only (free) and the local folks also have parking in just about every inch of their driveways and yards charging $5 per motorcycle. We were lucky and found one of the few remaining curbside spots that was still within walking distance of Main St.
There is every conceivable size, type, make and model of motorcycle known to man here.
Main Street as well as the surrounding blocks were lined with booths and vendor trailers selling everything imaginable. We started walking down Main Street and looking through them but our main goal was to people watch and "take it all in" and did we ever see some sights! :-)
I wont post all the pictures on the blog but here is a link to them on my online albums. Be warned though, there are some rated R photos so if you are easily offended you should not click the link. Sturgis Photos
*link to photos should be working now*
if the above link does not work try this one. Sturgis photos link
We made a couple of small purchases at some of the vendors and I got some patches sewn on my leather "biker" vest. We also squeezed in a late lunch at the Iron Horse Saloon in the middle of town. We spent all afternoon walking and looking. We were both like wide eyed kids on our first trip to Disney, although Snow White was dressed a little differently here. :-) We only made it up one side of Main Street before calling it a day but we had so much fun we decided to come back Tuesday and see the rest.
On the way home we stopped into a Chinese restaurant and had a tasty meal while a storm rolled through. The rest of the trip was on wet roads but we made it home safe and sound. :-)
Tuesday is our last "weekend" day and since the rally will be over Sunday we wanted to go back just for the experience if nothing else. Our friends didn't seem too interested in seeing the rally so we headed out alone this time. Fighting the crowds and traffic is challenging but was worth it to us.
We lucked out and got another decent (read "free") parking space when Rudee spotted a bike pulling away from the curb in front of us. Our goal this trip was to explore Lazelle Street which runs parallel to Main and is lined with vendor tents and activity. Sturgis seemed even more crowded today but we enjoyed ourselves none the less. By lunch time we had worked our way to the end of the line of vendors and were lucky enough to score an outside, shaded table at Roscoe's Steakhouse. We had a great view of all the passerby's on Lazelle Street while we shared some chicken strips.
We lingered at lunch for quite a while and enjoyed watching all the people passing by, it was quite a sight for a couple of small town Indiana kids! :-)
After leaving Roscoe's we made our way back towards the bike walking, shopping and sightseeing along the opposite side of Main Street from yesterday. We made a few more small purchases but mostly we just soaked it all in.
Our friends invited us to meet them for dinner at the Alpine Inn in Hill City so once we reached the bike Rudee sent them a message that we were leaving Sturgis to head that way. Turns out they had come back to each do another test ride on the bikes they rode yesterday. Maybe there is a new Indian Motorcycle in their future? Both couples are pretty deep into the Goldwing lifestyle so I doubt they will be trading but who knows? We were confirmed Goldwing riders for over 20 years but we traded and we sure are loving our Harley. :-)
We made the trip to Hill City and even though we were not traveling together and were on different routes, we arrived within a few minutes of each other. We shared stories on the outside seating area on the porch of the restaurant until our table was ready. Our meals were good and we enjoyed the evening with them. We said our goodbyes to them before heading home. Both couples are leaving for Indiana on Friday and we will be headed back to work and it's doubtful we will see them again before they leave.
We both really loved our "Sturgis Experience". The thing I liked most was the people watching ..............well actually the girl watching. ;-)
All fun aside, I can understand that this type of place is not for everyone and if you don't have a motorcycle you are at a big disadvantage getting around and parking. We have purposely avoided the scenic roads just for the fact of the heavy traffic involved on these popular routes. We will return to these in a few weeks when we can enjoy them more. We also avoided the "party" campgrounds around Sturgis. They host some of the more unusual events as well as the big name concerts. We would have loved to go to some of the concerts but didn't have the time nor the $$'s. We both really enjoyed what we did get to do and if you are people watchers like we are this is the place to be in August! I'll keep you posted.