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Guys,

It's been my father's life long dream to go to the Sturgis Rally. He's not getting any younger so I am going to take him this year. We live in GA so it's going to be quite a ride and we can only get 9 days off work. As bad as it pains me, we're going to have to trailer the bikes up. He's not physically able to ride that far in such a short amount of time so we really don't have a choice.
I was wondering if some of you that have been or at least know something about the rally, could weigh in and give me any advice, comments, places to stay/camp, things to see, do's, dont's, etc.......? It would be a huge help and a step toward doing something that would make my Dad's life feel that much more "complete"!
Thanks in advance for everything that each of you contribute!

All the best,
 

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Been once in 2010. Will definitely go back when I can get the time off! I think it's great you're going.

I suggest staying down in Keystone (several hotels down there). Puts you right at the launching point for some fantastic riding in the Black Hills. Sturgis itself is way over crowded (my opinion) - but you will want to drop in there a couple of times. I found Buffalo Chip hot and one big dirt bowl. Saw a couple of concerts there. The ride from Keystone to Sturgis was only an hour or so on the back roads - and it's a great ride.

Rides/places you can't miss: Iron Mountain; Needles; Custer State Park; Badlands; Spearfish Canyon; Deadwood; Crazy Horse; and Mount Rushmore. Could go up to Devils Tower - long ride for a rock.

Another consideration: ship your bikes and fly into Rapid City. This way, you can maximize your time in Sturgis and not chew up the days driving there and back.

Enjoy your trip and looking forward to reading about it here!
 

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Still waiting to go for the first time but just had to chime in and say good for you. Very cool thing your doing with and for your dad. Good luck, ride safe, and don't come home with anything you need peniclin to clear up...:D
 

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That sounds like a great time with your Dad. I went for the first time last year and will be returning this year. Great riding in the area as already mentioned. I would add be sure and stop at Black Hills Harley in Rapid City if you have a chance as there will be lots of vendors set up on site and it is a very nice dealership to visit. I camped at Rush No More RV and campground. It is a couple of miles east of Sturgis and had nice shower, bathroom facilities as well as on site grill/bar. It is not one of the party all night campgrounds which may or may not be what is of interest to you. Cost is $25.00 per person per night during the rally. Lots of shade in tent area which is nice.
 

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Don't camp unless you're taking an RV. Sturgis is no place to find out that Dad doesn't like sleeping on the ground or in a wet sleeping bag...and you can count on some bad weather at some point during the week. I've been there when it's hotter than hell, I've been there when it rained all week long, and I've been there when the daytime highs didn't get out of the 50s. It may be a little late to start looking for a room but they should be available. If gas prices stay around $4 this summer there will be plenty of cancellations.

Since you may only get one shot at this, prioritize in advance what you want to do because there won't be time to do everything. You don't want to be loading up at the end of the week sorry you spent so much time stuck in traffic downtown and missed seeing Rushmore.

Personally, I spend the nice days out riding and put off going downtown for the inevitable rainy day or at night. IMO, a parked bike is a terrible waste of sunshine.

My list of must-sees:
Rushmore
Custer State Park
Needles Highway
Spearfish Canyon
Devil's Tower + Sundance burnout festival (traditionally Wednesday is the day everyone goes to Wyoming, you can see Sundance videos on youtube)


And make sure your bikes are up to it. Sturgis is no place to need a new tire, oil change, etc. Many of those folks have to make their whole year's income during August.
 

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Don't camp unless you're taking an RV. Sturgis is no place to find out that Dad doesn't like sleeping on the ground or in a wet sleeping bag...and you can count on some bad weather at some point during the week. I've been there when it's hotter than hell, I've been there when it rained all week long, and I've been there when the daytime highs didn't get out of the 50s. It may be a little late to start looking for a room but they should be available. If gas prices stay around $4 this summer there will be plenty of cancellations.

Since you may only get one shot at this, prioritize in advance what you want to do because there won't be time to do everything. You don't want to be loading up at the end of the week sorry you spent so much time stuck in traffic downtown and missed seeing Rushmore.

Personally, I spend the nice days out riding and put off going downtown for the inevitable rainy day or at night. IMO, a parked bike is a terrible waste of sunshine.

My list of must-sees:
Rushmore
Custer State Park
Needles Highway
Spearfish Canyon
Devil's Tower + Sundance burnout festival (traditionally Wednesday is the day everyone goes to Wyoming, you can see Sundance videos on youtube)


And make sure your bikes are up to it. Sturgis is no place to need a new tire, oil change, etc. Many of those folks have to make their whole year's income during August.
Just wanted to add a +1 on these ride selections. I rode these when I was out there two years ago, and had a freakin blast. The big plus for me though on these rides was went before Sturgis, and there weren't very many folks out on the roads.
Also, Big Sky Motel in Rapid City is a great jumping off point for Sturgis rides. Close to Sturgis, and totally biker friendly. Continental Breakfast, bike wash, laundry, and the best part--park your bike right outside your room. Oh yea, they had a hot tub, and picnic area as well. We were there for two nights before we headed out, and it was a great experience.

Rowdy
 

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very nice of you to do that for your dad. never been myself but may go this year if I can get the time off. I plan on doing Shark week in July so may have to wait on Sturgis.

I have a freind that goes every year to Sturgis....but he recommends a week before or after the rally.
 

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Even if you don't camp, take sleeping bags. The Black Hills has this thing called.......HAIL.

It can come out of nowhere. The sleeping bag is not for you, it's to cover your bike.

http://youtu.be/zMCuZ6H94l0

August 3, 2010 somewhere around the 45 second mark you can barely make me out hunkered down to the left of a white station wagon, and just behind a Honda with a Vetter fairing.

Good times...... we're going again this year :rolleyes:
 

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I've stayed at the Chip twice & Glencoe twice, neither place can you get much sleep. Usually one day in downtown Sturgis is enough, just pick a direction and ride all day (plan your day accordingly). I have found you can over plan your day rushing from place to place. Don't forget to do the Badlands, Mt Rushmore, riding all day out in the country beats wall to wall traffic and overpriced vendors. As someone else said bring clothes for all types of weather.....you'll need them.
 

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I have been to Sturgis 4 times with my dad. He is 76 and said last year would probably be his last time out. We hauled the bikes out last year for the first time. It is a much differant trip when he goes. He likes the comfort of a cabin so we usually stay down around the Hill City, Keystone area. It is about an hour ride to Sturgis but it is right in the middle of most of the great rides other guys have mentioned. One trip into Sturgis is enough for him and he doesnt care about being at the big party. Looking at the stars and drinking scotch is a good enough party for him. I have been to Sturgis 12 or 13 times and the 4 I went with him were the best. Hope you have a great trip.
 

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I applaud you for taking your Dad to Sturgis; I regret I wasn't mature enough when there was still time to take my father to a few places he had dreamed about all of my growing up years. I know it is tough to fit it all in when you can only take off a week at a time; I have the same issue and in that we can't get more than a week off at a time, living in North Carolina it is a long haul to get there and back unless you ride hard. Last July a group of 6 of us rode out there before the rally; it was 5,400 miles round trip for me and we did it in 9 days using 2.5 days travel each way. Best ride, best time with my friends and enjoyed it so much rode back out in September. We stayed in Rapid City and mapped out rides for each day while we were there to take in all we could with the short time available. We figure we will map out one area to explore each time we head back. I know you will enjoy your trip and the time you will spend with your father...take it all in; build those memories that last a life time.
 

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We stayed just outside of Deadwood in a cabin. Kinda pricey, but an awesome place. Plenty of room for all the buds and peace and quiet at night. Deadwood was a mile away - and a pretty cool little town too, btw. Sturgis is about a 20-30 minute ride down I-90 from Deadwood.

You should check out Mt. Rushmore, Needles Hiway and the Black Hills. All worth seeing.
 

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Guys,

It's been my father's life long dream to go to the Sturgis Rally. He's not getting any younger so I am going to take him this year. We live in GA so it's going to be quite a ride and we can only get 9 days off work. As bad as it pains me, we're going to have to trailer the bikes up. He's not physically able to ride that far in such a short amount of time so we really don't have a choice.
I was wondering if some of you that have been or at least know something about the rally, could weigh in and give me any advice, comments, places to stay/camp, things to see, do's, dont's, etc.......? It would be a huge help and a step toward doing something that would make my Dad's life feel that much more "complete"!
Thanks in advance for everything that each of you contribute!

All the best,
Having done the same thing with my Dad in 2008 I can on say that you will have a great time
That being said I was glad that I trailered with him as we had the truck there for doing alot of other things when he got tuckered out
We also did the hotel thing and that was good to as we stayed out in Custer and that was kind of cool to .
I have ridden may times and this was a whole different deal .We actually saw more of the sites around the blackhills because we had a vehical there as well :)
 

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A quick followup to my earlier novel...If you're kinda squeamish about what dad might see, stay out of the big campgrounds because that's where anything goes. Most everywhere else chicks get busted for flashing. Even "no panties wednesday" in Wyoming is now no more than a catchy slogan. Sundance has a wet-tshirt contest but the contestants have to wear pasties made out of black electrical tape, and the cops strictly enforce it.

And finally...the cops in Sturgis are dead serious about not parking on a yellow curb. Even a little. Even less than a little. And they don't care much about how they attach the hook to your bike.
 

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It is really cool that you get the chance to do the trip with your dad.

Lots of great suggestions already posted for day trips around the area. I have yet to be there during rally week. I went last year about ten days before. Some of the vendors were already getting set up. A lot of folks I know around here will go early or late and just catch one day of the rally craziness.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
A quick followup to my earlier novel...If you're kinda squeamish about what dad might see, stay out of the big campgrounds because that's where anything goes. Most everywhere else chicks get busted for flashing. Even "no panties wednesday" in Wyoming is now no more than a catchy slogan. Sundance has a wet-tshirt contest but the contestants have to wear pasties made out of black electrical tape, and the cops strictly enforce it.

And finally...the cops in Sturgis are dead serious about not parking on a yellow curb. Even a little. Even less than a little. And they don't care much about how they attach the hook to your bike.
SR.....thanks for the head's up! Funny thing is, my dad's more of a party animal than I am! He'd be right there in the middle of them! LOL! :D

Thanks for all of the comments guys! Keep the advice coming........It's much appreciated!
 

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Just to get you itchin'... In Custer State Park - fun times! :D Enjoy your time!
 

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It will be an awesome trip with your dad. Any ideas on affordable cabins? I've been looking on- line, but havent found anything.
 
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