2014 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

The 2014 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is already underway! This year marks the 74th anniversary of the first Sturgis Rally, and it just keeps getting bigger every year. What can we expect this year? The Black Hills have already seen the usual influx of riders from all over the country, and the rev of motorcycle can be heard up and down the South Dakota.  Every year, thousands of riders descend on South Dakota to take part in what was once a weekend event for only a handful of riders.

 

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2014

As we wind up for next year’s 75th rally, we are seeing a resurgence in some of the classic rally events, including half-mile races and ramp jumps. That’s not to say that we will be missing any of the newer events. We can still expect to see the same motocross races, jumps, and drug races that have punched up this rally in the last couple of years.

 

Vendors comes from all over the country to set up their booths at this rally. When you’re not watching a race, you can grab a meal, get a new tattoo, or even get your motorcycle customized by professionals streaming into Sturgis.

 

Aside from the vendors and motorcycle events, there are going to be concerts, free barbecues, and even church services. Sign up for helicopter rides, take a look at the art exhibits, or have a go at shooting a machine gun. The events for this year’s rally are extremely varied. If there isn’t a show going on that you absolutely want to see, it will be easy to find something at the booths or around Sturgis that will hold your attention.

 

If you’re planning on hitting up the rally, you’re likely also looking for some great places to ride while you’re in the area. South Dakota is home to both sweeping flatlands and hilly roads, making it the perfect place to take the bike out, especially in the cool of the evening. It’s only an hour’s ride out to Mount Rushmore from Sturgis, and a few hours out to the Badlands. Other great sights, include Spearfish Canyon or Deadwood are only a few minutes away.

 

Don’t miss this great opportunity to meet fellow riders, see some great events, and experience the natural beauty of South Dakota! Though this rally rolls around every year, the Sturgis 2014 rally is already in full swing and you can still hit the best events before you have to wait a full year for this experience to come around again.

Motorcycling Through the Great State of New York

It was my first visit to New York. I’d arrived at the state line, alone, expecting to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law at some point in the next couple of days as they rode down from Maine, but for the time being, I was a lone wolf on the country roads, sheltered by a canopy of red, orange, and yellow leaves. We’d chosen October specifically for this reason, for the changing New England leaves, and for the cooler riding conditions. I wanted to get some good riding in before we needed to switch over to heated riding gear.

New York Motorcycle Trip

But, frankly, as excited as I was, I was also a little nervous. A single woman riding around the back roads all alone? The bike usually scared off most rabble rousers, but it could attract a totally different set. I was only interested in twisty, well-kept roads. Not in deflecting unwanted advances—or worse. Not that I had ever really had a problem before.

 

I decided to take the Sunrise Bypass to Montauk route and then double back and head north to meet up with my family after a couple of days of exploring. Equipped with just my map and a sandwich, I started off early in the morning, enjoying the crisp breeze in my hair, loving the sound of the air whipping past my face and the blur of the leaves as I raced along the twisty road. It was largely deserted, except for a group of three other motorcycle enthusiasts, who were taking their time, looking at the foliage. I gave them a wave as I went past and exchanged a peace sign with a portly gentleman who had the same make and model motorcycle as the mine.

 

There was also a tanker truck, jackknifed in the middle of the road, just as I came around a particularly thrilling twist. I slammed on the brakes without shifting down and heard something give inside the gearbox as I shuttered to a stop, almost losing stability and spinning out, just like this guy had obviously done.

 

He was alright, and so was the funky little sedan that hit him, but when I tried to get my bike going again, it was shot. Splendid. I’d be stuck on the side of the road for hours waiting for my brother to drive down here, and then it would take hours again for us to figure out the problem and somehow get the bike to a shop. That was the plan—until that gang of three other motorcyclists caught up with me.

 

They stopped and asked what was wrong and I sheepishly said that I didn’t know, embarrassed that though I’d been on this monster of a bike for six years, I wasn’t certain about what had happened. Luckily, the portly gentleman had been riding a lot longer and was far better equipped than I was. He scolded me for running down my gears, pulled a few from his extensive supply of extra parts, and I was on my way again, this time with three new companions. I am ever so thankful for the kindness of New York bikers.