Greetings from the Black Hills! We headed out to Sturgis to show you a little of what this HUGE rally has to offer…
Nothing says motorcycle rally like a burnout! Starting off our Sturgis experience with some burning rubber. We took a short ride with a great crew from Sturgis Coffee Co on Lazelle out to Bear Butte, a sacred Lakota site just outside Sturgis, and right nearby the Full Throttle Saloon.
The crew got to rock some of our favorite, and new, First gear along the way, and they all loved it!
This route is quite simple, you head East on Lazelle until you hit 79, just before you reach the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. Take that left on to 79, and ride towards the giant hill! You’ll pass the Sturgis Dragway, Pappy Hoel Camp, Full Throttle Saloon, and Sugar Bear’s Chopper Flats.
“WhiskyEye” Amy rode along with us through Spearfish Canyon - a beautiful ride! Amy is a long distance solo rider, currently tackling a near-nationwide ride. She made sure to make a stop in Sturgis to catch the biggest rally there is, and she wanted to try out some FMC gear, so she came along for the ride. Amy rocked the Ludlow vest in washed denim as we checked out the incredible things Spearfish Canyon has to offer.
We made a stop at Bridal Veil Falls, a few miles into the canyon. This 20 mile canyon road has gracefully curvy roads, three waterfalls, and spits you out at Cheyenne Crossing, one of our favorite places to eat. Be sure to grab an “Indian Taco” for lunch at Cheyenne!
The easiest way to start off this ride is to take the 90 West to Spearfish where you’ll exit. Make a left onto E Colorado Blvd, or 14A. Stop for fuel, if you need, at the gas station on the left. Follow that until Spearfish Canyon Rd, 14A, and make a left into the canyon. You’ll see turnouts and lookout points for Bridal Veil Falls, and more. Be sure to let the pedestrians have the right of way! Follow 14A to Cheyenne Crossing. After that, you can follow it right over to Lead and Deadwood to head back towards Sturgis.
WOMENS BIKE SHOW
The Biker Belles Women’s Day at the Buffalo Chip was an amazing experience! After a ride from Deadwood to the Chip with around 100 women, the Biker Belles hosted an amazing brunch with food from Bonafide Food Truck. After honoring some legendary women like Cris Sommer Simmons, words from Karen Davidson, and so many more, the ladies moved outdoors for the Women’s Bike Show presented by Maiden Moto Art Show. Nearly 50 women rolled their customized bikes, or bikes with an incredible story, into the show. From a GoldWing with a side car known as the Family Truckster, to full custom bikes like Jacq’s Sportster that won an award, the variety was huge. One woman told her story of having 16 children, including 11 girls she hopes to inspire. She is a Black woman on a journey, hitting the majority of the continental states in 23 days. Other women told the stories of their bikes, and all were moved. One lucky winner even scored a First MFG jacket or vest of her choice!
Real Deal Revolution hosted workshops where women learned to weld, paint, and even do leatherwork, too! Tuesday is truly an incredible day at the Buffalo Chip, culminating in a “Pearl Hoel” award, in recognition of Pearl Hoel (Pronounced Hoy-el), who founded the Rally with her husband, Pappy Hoel. This award was given to Lisa Baker of Baker Transmissions.
Main Street in Sturgis is legendary - blocked off from all vehicular traffic, these few blocks are dedicated to motorcyclists. You’ll find everything here, from the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum at one end, leading down with various restaurants, bars, and motorcycle shops like Arlin Fatland’s 2 Wheeler’s. If you haven’t stopped in Arlin’s shop, it is a MUST do. Also on Main Street is Highway Leather, where you can find plenty of FMC gear!
During the daytime, Main Street is a fairly family-friendly place, even if it is incredibly loud with the roaring of motorcycle exhaust. At night, it gets a little more wild. Bars like One-Eyed Jack’s boast live music, and lots of bartenders ready to serve you.
Adjacent to Main Street is Lazelle, which is really just an extension of the road. Although Lazelle is open to regular vehicle traffic, it hosts a TON more to do. OEM’s like Harley-Davidson, BMW, Indian Motorcycle, and more line the road with demo trucks and displays. Shops like OZ Leather are on Lazelle, of course, a favorite where you can find many First Factory Customs! There are bars aplenty along Lazelle, too, like the Iron Horse Saloon, known for it’s free music - be sure to check out Hairball!
Up Lazelle just a bit is Sasha’s Cycles, where old-school chopper shows reign and a bit of the past of Sturgis Rally still lives on.
Iron Mountain Road
One of the most legendary rides in the Black Hills is Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road. Starting out in Custer, where you can check out the herds of wildlife in the State Park, this ride becomes both challenging and more awesome than you can imagine. Now, don’t take this route in your large vehicle.. It’s beauty really comes on two wheels, especially through the just over 8’ wide tunnels you’ll pass through!
Needles Highway is 14 miles, but will definitely take you over an hour. This road was constructed in 1922, on horseback! It takes you through rock formations and very narrow, one way tunnels. There is often no center line, so be cautious of other drivers on this road, who may also be checking out the scenery.
Iron Mountain Road is 17 miles, and will take you 60+ minutes as well. With 314 curves, and 14 switchbacks, Iron Mountain connects Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore. There are three tunnels, and “pigtail bridges” that loop you back under the road you were just on. This road is more impressive heading TOWARDS Rushmore, because as you exit the tunnels, you’ll see the monument framed dead ahead of you as the road curves away.
To take this route, begin in Custer on 87. You’ll turn right onto 16A, stopping at the guard shack to enter Needles Hwy. You’ll need to make a left to stay on 16A towards MT Rushmore, too. You’ll be spit out with an opportunity to turn to Rushmore or towards Keystone.
If you haven’t checked out Sturgis Rally, I highly recommend going at least once! There’s nothing quite like it. The Rally overtakes the small, sleepy town of Sturgis and causes an uproar for 10 days, when it goes back to being a small, sleepy town.. Until next year!