Saturday, August 8

Sturgis Bike Rally 2009

I live about 25 miles from Sturgis, SD, home of the world-famous Sturgis Bike Rally. The huz owned different Harleys up until two yrs ago, when he sold his Road King and we said good-bye to motorcycle riding after 25 years; the 2nd half of those yrs were on a Harley. The rally is mainly where the working classes of every type, who also happen to ride, come to let their hair down for a few days. Some of the stores on Main St., where the vendors move in for the event, are vacant otherwise. Except the bars.

This is a portion of what Main St. looks like in Sturgis during bike week. There are three blocks of bikes parked side by side in four rows; a row on either street side and two rows nose-to-nose down the center of the street. Sturgis normally has a population of 6,000. As many as 400,000 bikers visit the area during bike week, like a huge swarm of bees. This year the numbers are way down, as expected, due to the recession. Who's going to pay $7 for a beer?! Hotel room prices are also cheerfully jacked up. Not that there aren't plenty of campgrounds.

Speaking of...while we were in Sturgis looking around Wed., the traffic started to really pour in, heading E of Sturgis toward the granddaddy of all camp sites, the Buffalo Chip Campground, where the headliner concerts are held during the event. We were happy to be leaving in the opposite direction! Aerosmith was on that night. Those not camping paid $120 to see 50 min. of concert before Steven Tyler, the lead singer, fell off the stage, sustaining a broken shoulder and a cut on his head. End of concert. I borrowed this photo of Tyler from the New Zealand Herald's website; yes, the story is in their paper! Not that it wasn't in our local paper, but it's not every day...or century...that something that happens in South Dakota hits headlines all over the world.

Friday, while the huz was at work, near Sturgis, a storm warning was broadcast, including the posibility of hail. He thought, hmm, I better get my nice little sports car inside. Moments later, the storm blew in on satan's heels, dropping these 2" hail stones. People were injured, windows were smashed, bikes and vehicles were smashed. Are we having fun yet?! What a way to end the rally.
The storm didn't reach our house. I was all ready for the fallout and.... nothing. Whew.


  1. They have motorcycle rallys in this area too and a hill climb...
    I have never seen hail that big...that could really hurt and do some damage.

  2. We are so lucky that we missed out on that weather yseterday!!! I really feel for the bikers who were caught in the midst of it all!

  3. Glad you missed the storm...I have several friends who go to Sturgis every year, they always have some wild stories...

  4. That size hail is unusual. I've seen similar just before a tornado hopped over our house. We were lucky. Glad the storm missed you.

  5. That is a monster of a hailstone,English weather is unpredicable and wet but at least we dont get much out of the norm

  6. Funny, I thought about you when I heard Steven Tyler fell in SD. Wondering how close you were to the city he was playing in.
    Wow, that bikers reunion looked like fun. Someday, I'll ride on the back of a Harley (when I get over the fear of motorcycles!)

  7. All the way over here in Sioux City, IA we are getting bombarded by a bunch of motorcyclists heading bck home from Sturgis!

  8. What a rally! Submit your favorite Sturgis rally photos for a chance to win $1,000 to a motorcycle dealership of your choice! Go to for more information.