Sturgis Motor Cycle Rally Version French
First of all know that Sturgis is a lost corner at the power of 10, a small town in South Dakota of 6,000 sleepy souls which suddenly transforms at the arrival of half a million bikers who for 10 days go fire and this since 1938. Attention candidate for the "Sturgis Motorcycle Rally" the festivities are straddling two weekends in August and do not ignore the first is the most lively. Note also that Sturgis is not confined to the inner city, it is part of the spectacular Black Hills. To finish the intro, here it is a space of total freedom: jeans, cowboy boots, T-shirt and no helmet. Welcome to the hive of die-hard bikers.
City center of sturgis
Now let's get to the heart of the matter, the whole town is of course saturated with very strong Harley Davidson bikes. The main pole is Main Street closed to cars where our dear bikes are well aligned in four rows. This is the photos, this is where you have to be seen. The second pole of attraction is the parallel avenue called Lazelle street which has everything that has to do with our brêlons, the only place where exhibitors can spread out, and it is "full" on both sides of the avenue . Having already been here with the Alsatian agency Westforever, as an aside a must, and unpretentious so we were not blues, we knew where to land and without our beloved GPS. We get into the best saloons in the area, there are five of them and are the rally benchmark. We classify them for you in increasing order of our feelings.
The Iron Horse saloon
On Lazelle Street, the best known since it reigns supreme even until Daytona. Entrance through a clothes shop that no one will ever wear with a barbie doll type hostess with hair so red that it looks like she's going to catch fire.
At nightfall it starts to move seriously with high quality hard rock where the groups follow each other all day but it is rather on the back that the atmosphere is strongest towards the Broken spoke. Looks like the two saloons have made a solidarity agreement. For more calm, go upstairs they will tell you: reserve for VIPs! continue to jabber French it will pass hands down ....
The Broken Spoke saloon
The Broken Spoke saloon produces a crazy atmosphere which as indicated above takes advantage of the musical atmosphere of the Iron it adjoins. The clientele here is almost outright bikers, real brothers, hence the friendly and good-natured atmosphere. Rest assured, even soaked up, all behavior remains surprisingly exemplary and the police tend to get bored. At the Broken we get a glimpse of the real rally with extravagant outfits lined with crazy looks. Heads and ears clogged by decibels, we hesitate between a "Nathan" hot dog, a round table on Trump or a spitz. We take the last we do not know should not die idiot but honestly at the first sip it is not terrible.
The Knuckle saloon
The Knuckle saloon: still on Lazelle street but much higher, there we start to enter the big leagues. Rock to the limit in a sort of arena, improvised bars everywhere with hostesses whose winning trifecta is undoubtedly face, buttocks, chest and ... dollars.
Tired of the spitz we move on to the excellent margarita (7 dollars). Who cares for the degree of alcohol we are on foot. An insane orchestra of quality brought by a girl (Jasmine Cain) enchants us, well it is sure that it is not the Marcel Amont style. The girls line up to have their breasts painted with the obligation of stars on the nipples, these Americans are very prudish. Your body temperature often borders on nuclear fusion except for the restaurant, in view of the cook you are seriously considering a preventive antibiotic treatment. It is common knowledge here that the word US food finds its full meaning here.
One Eyed Jack's saloon
The "only one eye" Jack's saloon: the only big one on "Main Street". Emblematic of the rally, we eat quite a bit there and the atmosphere is very special. Several cleverly calibrated bars on the ground floor each run by two ultra sexy girls, ranging from the ultra push-up bustier to the garter doors, which you can imagine are setting fire everywhere both literally and figuratively. The view is breathtaking from upstairs but the seats are expensive. The only place where one of the bars was controlled by a very naked hunk ... More Here to calm the stomach we went to the large glass of San Pellegrino, the Perrier they do not know, it's the countryside here I tell you?
Full Throttle saloon
The Full Throttle saloon: the best for last, located outside of town on 79 North. It's crazy to see such a thing. It's an old abandoned factory transformed into a saloon where they even kept the machines by adding welded sculptures typical of bikers, even Indian Larry has his effigy in modern art. Here you can set up all week long there is still a campsite called "Papy Noël" I believe. In short, we had so much fun there, and we were only two lost French speaking American like a Spanish cow, that we are obliged to recognize that here it is the paradise of the bikers. Note this is the only place encountered where a doctor has a stand in front of the exit door, which is to say the atmosphere at night. When it comes to parking, it's scary, it's as big as the Orly airstrip.
Anecdote: Alain had a standoff with an Irishman and he won a Budweiser. MDR!
The Black Hills
Now on to more serious. The next day the miraculous, the survivors, the survivors of the saloons get on their brêlons for tourist hikes because Sturgis has an indisputable master asset: his environment which would make the most jaded ecologists green with envy. Located in the Blacks Hills, several days will not be enough for you to go around it. Who hasn't heard of Mount Rhusmore or Crazy Horse or Custer Park. Who has not driven on the Needle road or the Iron mountain with its 360 ° roads. Who has not come face to face with a herd of wild bison or more distant the lunar landscape of the Badlands. And there is still a lot to discover and amazing villages to walk through (Deadwood, Keystone, Custer city). This is all the awesome magic of Sturgis. We stop there so that it does not become razor sharp, moreover it is time for the traditional pastaga and we found some, without the olives anyway but as our friend Luc Mimi and Alain said are ecologists who preserve the layer of yellow water (Pernod-Ricard) ...
How to get to sturgis
This is a rally that we are doing for the third time and given the excessive prices to pay for every biker's dream, let's try to avoid painful mistakes as much as possible. Read this page it is built to help new candidates for delusions ... Know first of all that Sturgis is always at the beginning of August (second week). The Sturgis rally is the largest gathering of bikers in the world, which entails quite a few inconveniences. It is also good to know that the gathering goes far beyond the given dates, especially upstream. As an aside if you are only a tourist on 4 wheels and on a ballad to avoid these dates, it is an enlightened advice.
Essential documents: your passport valid 6 months before the return.
Your French driving license will suffice here, international travel will be appreciated.
An electronic travel authorization called Esta 14 dollars (on the website of the US Embassy). Beware of the many scams of phony sites!
On the plane you will be asked towards the arrival to fill out other papers, remember to bring a pen. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that it is important, on the outward and return journey, to check in with your airline between 3 days and 24 hours before departure depending on the company. Check-in can be done either via the web with a printer or at the counter at the airport or on your smartphone by barcode. Also think about the limit of your credit card to avoid the unpleasant surprise of a possible refusal of a deposit, for example.
Make the right choice
Our video of the Sturgis rally shot on site in 2018
In the spotlight in front of the Full Throttle saloon an artistic stele representing the regetté Indian Larry who died at 55 (August 2004) of a motorcycle stunt
What is certain is that you will not regret the trip.
Hope to have helped you good road and take care of yourself
Alain and Mireille Klein for tripriders.