After Sturgis, Lessons Learned and Reflecting on the Fun with Chris Ward!

Our Guest Writer this month is Chris Ward. Chris loves the open road on his Harley. He started racing dirt bikes when he was younger and inj...

Our Guest Writer this month is Chris Ward. Chris loves the open road on his Harley. He started racing dirt bikes when he was younger and injuries led him to the love of paved roads. He works a lot of the time for A-1 Auto Transport but on his free time, he enjoys riding with his wife and friends.
Without further ado, here's Chris's account of Sturgis 2017!

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the biggest biker rally held in the northern hemisphere every summer, is one that every motorcycle lover should attend at least once in their lifetime. Whether you go to see the cool custom-built motorcycles, the new Harley-Davidsons on display or even to just hang out with some really great folks and catch a few outstanding rock n’ roll shows along the way, this is the rally to check out for yourself to see what fun is really about.

After leaving Sturgis this year and already planning to attend next year, I decided to share some insight into how the rally went for me.

Getting to Sturgis

One of the most exciting things about Sturgis can be the ride to South Dakota itself. This is especially true if you live a great distance from the state and plan to ride the whole way in. Be aware that while the ride can be intriguing, it may be best for experienced riders who have taken long rides previously and know what to expect when planning. Something you need to do if the ride will be long is plan for the ride by booking a hotel or two to along the route to have time for rest. For a motorcyclist, besides the dangers of car drivers, fatigued driving is one of the biggest dangers on the highway. If you want to have your motorcycle at Sturgis but don’t have time to ride long distance or prefer to just ride a little at the rally, hiring a professional motorcycle shipper is a great option to have the bike delivered safely and still be able to get in plenty of ride time when you get to Sturgis. If you don’t own a motorcycle but enjoy riding, you may want to check into renting one for the rally. Many people who come to Sturgis don’t have a motorcycle at all, but the thrill of the event keeps everyone well-entertained the entire time they are inside the gates.

Entering Sturgis

The small town of Sturgis, South Dakota with a population of fewer than 7000 full-time residents, works extremely hard to ensure that the rally is successful year after year. For a town so small, it’s difficult to believe they can accomplish accommodating more than 700,000 people annually, providing enough hotel, campground and other space for lodging and maintain an environment where people not only have fun, but where people from around the nation can spend time bonding together with others who have the same love and admiration for America’s favorite vehicle, the motorcycle. With major event sponsors like Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, you see the most beautiful motorcycles ever crafted before you even enter Sturgis. Whether cruising down the highway or parked along the roadside where bikers frequently stop for photo ops to post to social media or send back home to family and friends who couldn’t make the trip, the custom-built bikes you will see are some of the best in the world.

Things to Do

It isn’t difficult to find a fun motorcycle or music festival in the U.S., but to have one that includes the best in both is not always easy to find. You already know you’re going to see the world’s coolest motorcycles, but you’re also going to be able to sit down and listen to headlining bands and talented musicians from every genre of rock n’ roll, heavy metal, death metal, alternative rock, blues and bluegrass, country and many other styles of music in bars, lounges and the great outdoors all throughout Sturgis. There are also plenty of souvenir shacks, places to find locally prepared food and a downtown area where shopping is plentiful and you will find a variety of shopping venues open day and night.

Lessons Learned

The ride to Sturgis from Santa Cruz, California was long (well over a full day of ride time) and when I return in 2018, I now know to book a hotel for two nights rather than just one. There are so many interesting things to see along the way that take time, and rest is important. Also, be sure to pack light if you ride. There are places to do laundry as well as purchase toiletries when you arrive. It makes sense to pack enough clothing for a few days and skip packing the toothbrush and other shower items. Take an emergency roadside tool kit. It’s not good when you need a flat repaired and need a can of fix-a-flat to get you to the nearest tire shop and you don’t have a can. Pack a flashlight, an emergency phone and even a spare battery for your cell phone in case you need more talk time during the ride. Most of all, leave your worries at home. After meeting a wide array of people from all walks of life, you will quickly see that no matter who you are and what you do outside of Sturgis, once you enter, everyone becomes your family and you’re going to have the time of your life.


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