Attending Sturgis was not high on our bucket list. Actually, it was not on the list at all. But now that it is over, I am glad we went for a portion of the event. It is sort of like Spring Break combined with Burning Man plus a motorcycle show. There are a large number of people in a concentrated area (reports are 1.5 million attended). There are a lot of motorcycles (loud, quiet, beautiful, elaborate, ordinary, etc.). Many bars and clubs are available to serve the masses (some are erected just for the event, others are permanent buildings). A wide variety of vendors are available (t-shirts, vapes, food, motorcycle gear, new bikes, etc.) The central streets of this small town are closed down and manned with security guards this allows the bikes to cruise in and out, and the pedestrians to wander the sidewalks. But no other vehicle traffic moves through the center area. It is really quite efficient.
As a visitor to Sturgis, we booked a ridiculously expensive campsite at an RV park about 8 miles out of town called Shade Valley. It really was a valley, and we really did have shade! We were only there for two nights, but our birthday girl and friends were there for the entire week! With our two nights we were able to have a birthday party for my dear friend turning 50!!
We rode the free shuttle into town to check out the action. The streets were filled with bikes The stages in each bar were awaiting the evening performer (groups such as Def Leppard, Styxx and many tribute and cover bands were booked) We were able to catch a midget wrestling show (dumb and a bit disturbing) and we spent a lot of time just looking at people. One of the fashion trends for women this year was the half nude body airbrushed with body paint. These human canvases wore strategically placed flowers, butterflies, octopi, flames and a variety of other artistic designs. This allowed nudity, while keeping within local “coverage” laws. And of course, it garnered each walking/riding canvas a lot of attention from on-lookers.
The reason for our stop in Sturgis was a surprise birthday party, and that event was a success. The girls at camp were lovely and the birthday cake was fun and the birthday girl was genuinely surprised .And what really matters about the whole thing is that we love one another.