Seeking Sturgis recomendations

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Rubber Dutchman, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. iflysideways

    iflysideways Adventurer

    Oct 31, 2016
    I enjoy the Firehouse Brewing Company in downtown Rapid City. In the old firehouse, which as a firefighter, I liked the old pictures and displays. The food was good and the beer excellent. They have shaded outdoor dining also. Plenty of free parking nearby.
    TonyKZ1 and NorskieRider like this.
  2. jspringator

    jspringator Long timer

    May 11, 2008
    Versailles, KY
  3. kwthom

    kwthom Retiree apprentice - willing to learn

    Feb 12, 2012
    Jaynes Station, AZ

    Many of the locals would tell you the same.

    Years ago, I worked with a guy that had graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology...born and raised there in the Rapid City area.

    I had asked about how the region was influenced by the rally, and he told me that for years, their family would plan to be away from home in conjunction with the rally.

    At one point, they had rented out a portion of their property for people to camp. Apparently, the funds they made during that two or three weeks was easily enough to have some really nice vacation trips paid for by those that were coming for the rally. Apparently, back in the 70's and 80's, that was a fairly common thing to do. Somebody might stick around and be sort of a caretaker for their place and a few others, but many would vacate the vicinity.
    TonyKZ1 likes this.
  4. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Long timer

    Mar 19, 2011
    Give yourself the flexibility to leave early (i.e. stay in Red Lodge, MT and go ride the Beartooth Highway).

    My dad wanted to experience it so we went about ten years ago. It took one lunch and an afternoon to get our fill of the 'experience' before we buggered off to the other side of Wyoming.

    According to my wife, who went a few times with a prior boyfriend when she was in her 20's, the "real action" is at the campgrounds after hours. Most everything else is manufactured to draw you in and spend money.

    Don't be so sure it'll be leisurely; at least get out and do that early in the morning before the rest of the crowd gets out or you'll be stuck in a pirate parade, slipping the clutch at 5mph.

    It wasn't even fun in a truck; after a couple near misses with Harley's crossing the center line on blind corners and nearly implanting themselves into our radiator we left the area. The stress levels were too high to enjoy it (and this wasn't even during the rally).

    But if you must go ... head south to Wounded Knee, as other have suggested, but don't expect to be welcomed or find more than natives selling t-shirts at the visitors center. Wind Cave was nice though, and there's another cave west of Custer. Badlands get a thumbs-up from me, and the car museum in Murdo is a great break to the tedium of I-90.
    neanderthal and kwthom like this.
  5. zrxmoto

    zrxmoto don't wanna be a n00b

    May 9, 2008
    Sturgis is awesome. I enjoyed it when I lived out there. I like it when I go back.

    It will be crowded for sure. Easy to get away from the crowds when you need a break. Ride in the evening when the masses are at the campgrounds partying (unless you want to party too) or in the morning when they're hungover.

    Ride the Needles Highway. A side trip out to Devil's Tower. Ride to it from the north. Great ride and better scenery. Don't actually go into Devil's tower as it will be packed. Wind and Jewel Cave are both amazing.

    It is a "people" event. Everywhere you stop there are group's of biker's. I don't go there looking for solitude, I go there because indeed it is a rally I like just talking to all the people. Every town out there will be packed with bikes - take time to just wander.

    AMA Flat Track is at Black Hills Speedway on Tuesday night.

    Go to the Buffalo Chip to say you were there. The Chip is like going to Spring Break, only instead of young co-eds pounding Bud Light and shots of shitty Tequilla, it is a bunch of old fat guys.
    5spd97, misterk, farmerstu and 3 others like this.
  6. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

    Nov 26, 2006
    Here, but lost. Am I lost if i know i'm here?
    I was just there, last week.

    Sturgis; bah humbug. If you've been in small town America you've been in Sturgis. Except most of the stores are catering to the motorcycle crowd. It's nothing special.
    The badlands. Yes.
    Black hills. Yes.
    Mt Rushmore. Bah humbug. It's very touristy ...
    Crazy Horse. Hell yes. I thought it was "more authentic" and spiritual than Mt Rushmore.

    If you go to Sturgis, go when it's not bike week or whatever. Enjoy the roads because they are fantastic. The scenery is breathtaking.
    Eyebooger, ozmoses and kwthom like this.
  7. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

    Aug 7, 2007
    Littleton, CO
    If you are a military museum geek (which I am) the Ellsworth AFB museum is awesome.

    Located in Rapid City on the East side of Ellsworth.

    If you time it right you can also tour a recently deactivated Minuteman Missile Silo. This is located near the Badlands National Park. Only open certain days of the week though.

    I haven't been to that one yet - but it's on my "bucket list." Wouldn't do it during the rally though.
    MacNoob likes this.
  8. aa3jy

    aa3jy Been here awhile

    Jan 5, 2010
    Home Port: Kimberton, Pa.
    Get your tickets early enough problem but it’s a popular site in the summer.. As a former Launch Control Officer..yep one of the ones that would turn the keys..we have first dibs on visiting..

    Clay AA3JY
    Former Minuteman Missile Combat Crew F-01
    67th SMS, 44SMW
    Ellsworth AFB
    Rapid City, SD
    MattLikeyBikey likes this.
  9. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

    Sep 16, 2013
    East Tennessee
    I rode up from S FL and met some friends there in 2000. Plan on arriving a week before official kickoff. Enjoy a nice quite campground. Ride the places mentioned, but we also did the Little Big Horn battlefield. Before seeing it I could never wrap my head completly around the tactical blunders. But standing there where Custer died made it all crystal clear.

    Then, after kickoff, spend a day or two wandering around on foot or seeing some bands......then get the hell out. Makes for a great experience ;)
    TonyKZ1 likes this.
  10. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Dec 23, 2003
    Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
    Plan on staying for a few days after the official rally ends. There are quite a few people who go up there early but once the event is over everybody is gone within a day or so. That would be the time to do all the riding.
    neanderthal and TonyKZ1 like this.
  11. Berchunis

    Berchunis Been here awhile

    Jun 3, 2018
    Been there several times....

    AVOID riding a motorcycle in Sturgis. Four way stop signs at each intersection resulting in a Zoo environment.
    AVOID staying in a Motel unless you pack lots of cash. $250-300 a night with four day minimum is common.
    Most Restaurants have two menue's. Guess which one they use during bike Week.

    I used to camp out near Custer City and ride into Custer City or Rapid City for daily events.

    Be advised, you will among nearly 500,000 people, some riding motorcycles while drunk or stoned.
    neanderthal likes this.
  12. kwthom

    kwthom Retiree apprentice - willing to learn

    Feb 12, 2012
    Jaynes Station, AZ
    We *did* get to Rushmore - it's a "Been There, Done That" kind of place.

    We tried to go to Crazy Horse, but the place was absolutely socked-in with clouds from rains that had blown thru that day we were there in June.

    That's when we rode out to the Badlands & Wall Drug instead.
    neanderthal likes this.
  13. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

    Oct 18, 2007
    central USA
    Mt Rushmore has a lighting ceremony. I really enjoyed it.

  14. phillyrube

    phillyrube Long timer

    Apr 7, 2010
    Captive in Flatistan...
    First time we were there we toured the Museum, which takes you on a bus tour of the base, including the Minuteman trainer, which you can walk down into instead of the "B" plug entrance. Pretty neat. A few years later they had just opened the Visitors Center in a couple trailers, but the tours to Delta 01, the launch capsule, and Delta 09, the silo, were open. Had to get tickets way ahead of time but well worth it. We also spent time checking the remains of some of the Nike missile sites scattered around Rapid City:

    One year we stayed in Hot Springs. Big indoor heated hot springs pool, plus it's own night life. If you ride at night, and you cross metal grates in the road, slow down. Bison like to lay down in the roads. Check out Iron Mountain Rd and the donkeys. Oh yea, grab a bison burger. Youll get spoiled.

    My neighbor is on a bike trip with a couple guys. Spent two days in Deadwood and rode all over the place. Minimal traffic, and they picked up some Sturgis swag.
  15. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

    Feb 11, 2006
    The Wilds of Western Wisconsin
    the Black Hills have some great riding to offer but as you know, during the rally they can be VERY crowded. My favorites are Custer State Park and the Badlands National Park. Heading west DevilsTower is a nice diversion maybe 80 miles north of Sundance. The best tho is further west. Head up to Buffalo, Wy. (stop at the Occidental Hotel) and then west on 16 to Cody (lovely road). Out of Cody you can take either the Chief Joesph Highway or the Beartooth Highway, 'both are stunning.
  16. BkerChuck

    BkerChuck Been here awhile

    Nov 7, 2012
    Needles Highway, Badlands National Park, Deadwood, and Mt Rushmore are all places to see at least once in your life. Best thing is to get up and leave out early in the morning as a lot of the "rally crowd" are likely to still be sleeping it off or not going riding until later. Spearfish Canyon is an awesome ride. I went to the rally back in 2001 and while I can till say I'm glad I went for me it's definitely a been there done that type of event. I was out that way last year in late June and loved every minute of my visit. I was able to ride without dealing with traffic or crowds and rates were normal for places like restaurants and hotels unlike during the rally proper.
    neanderthal likes this.
  17. phughes

    phughes Been here awhile

    Jul 10, 2015
    Yep. I would personally avoid Rushmore and Crazy Horse at that time. The week after Sturgis is a great time to see those places though, the crowds during Sturgis are ridiculous. I might suggest you plan on staying in the area a few days after Sturgis is over to see those sites, and simply enjoy the festivities surrounding Sturgis while everyone is there.
    neanderthal likes this.
  18. double_entendre

    double_entendre It's nothing personal; just your existence.

    Aug 11, 2008
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I haven’t read the whole thread, but if I were you, I’d ask this in JM. @bluestar, @Hot Dog Stu, and @Thorgrim could provide sage advice, but I’m not sure they even know this part of the forum exists.

    Hot Dog Stu likes this.
  19. Thorgrim

    Thorgrim Used'ta could Supporter

    Jun 25, 2013
    Upper East Tennessee

    I lived for a year in Sturgis, but that was Sturgis KY. Outside of that, I got nuttin'.
  20. Hot Dog Stu

    Hot Dog Stu I like pig anus.

    Jun 6, 2007
    So this is the Perfect Line?

    I thought it would smell less gay.
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