It’s August, that time of year when all good (and some bad) bikers assemble in South Dakota for the annual Sturgis orgy (oops – I mean ‘rally’). (I’m taking a short break from the Baltic Cruise to cover all the breaking news from Sturgis. I’m also saving you from ever, ever having to attend. Unless you want to. Then call me.)
The rally officially lasts for a week, but bikers tend to start arriving a week ahead of time to stake out their campsites/hotel rooms, begin drinking and get first pick of the thousands of t-shirts for sale from the endless vendors along Main Street. I LOVE the t-shirts I see at the rally and, as an intriguing plot twist, can confidently inform you that NONE of the shirts I photographed were available for sale AT the rally. (The ones you can buy there are mostly ho-hum – and every single vendor has the same ones. I don’t understand it. They could sell some of these shirts for real money. Instead of the ‘3 for $25’ junk that they offer. T-shirt vendors – call me!). First my favorite:
And now for a lovingly curated selection of appropriate (and in-) t-shirts seen around town…
I hear tell that the real attraction at the rally is the motorcycles – so, if you’re a person that likes to look at motorcycles (I’m talking to you, hubby!), here are a few of the more interesting (some with even MORE interesting riders!) (I’d add audio so that you could sample the full flavor of the rally, but this blog template doesn’t allow for much. If you wouldn’t mind just quietly saying “potato, potato”* to yourself as you view these pictures, you’ll pretty much get the idea.) *It’s supposed to be the sound of an idling motorcycle.
To experience Sturgis is to experience the weird and the wonderful (mostly the wonderfully weird). A walk along Main St. on any given day will surprise, offend, intrigue, disgust and, sometimes, delight you. A sampling:
Every year, near the end of Rally week, Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductees are honored at a well-attended breakfast. This year, the winner of the Motorcycle Land Speed Record (Valerie Thompson! 304 mph!) along with titans of the motorcycle industry and a very humble special-ed teacher who taught her students to ride bicycles were honored. It was emotional, celebratory and actually quite a bit of fun. No Hall of Fame event would be complete without an appearance by the one man adored by ALL bikers: Willie G. Davidson, grandson of the founder.
Now, we’ll return to our previously scheduled programming: The Baltic Sea Cruise.