Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sturgis motorcycle rally

09 Aug 2014

The Sturgis motorcycle rally has been going for 74 years, and is now the largest in the world - about 400,000 people and 50,000 bikes.  Massive amounts of beer drinking and yahooing and thundering exhausts....    (The town population is normally about 6,000 quiet South Dakota folk.)  Lots of die-hard bikers, but also lots of pretenders....  Thousands of bikes are shipped in by road transport, while the owners fly in by airline.....   Mostly Harley Davidsons, many highly modified and very loud, with everyone in 'costume' - must be just the right beard and head band and leathers.  Also some Japanese bikes and BMWs, but their riders wearing the excellent weatherproof and crash-resistant modern gear available. I sure wish that modern gear had been available when I did long motorcycle trips, and suffered so many cold, wet rides....  On the way to Sturgis from Denver, I ran into a really cold, wet storm ahead, and pulled over to camp. There was a stream of riders headed home from the rally, coming out of that storm.  The Harley riders looked totally frozen and miserable, thundering along in their soaked 'fashion' leathers with their chics huddled on the back, and probably muttering that they'd "...never do this again...".  The riders with the good gear just purred by, looking much more comfortable....  The motels in the next town will have a lot of wet leather hanging around, and then being leather, would still be wet when the riders headed out the next morning....

The parking lot at the Full Throttle Saloon.

Spectacular sculpture.

A small sample of the modified bikes.
Such a wide variety....
All styles of wheels....


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