There's an estimated 600 to 700 thousand people who attend the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally each year. The town of just 6,600 residents swells to such a huge size, that it's absolute mayhem 24 hours a day.
The crowds get so thick that you could feel claustrophobic. There's so many people clamoring for service at a bar, it's hard to get the bartender's attention. Food is being served up so quickly, it's the worst quality you could imagine.
Which leaves one wondering why anyone would come here.
But that's just a question that pops up in my head, not necessarily anyone else's. I'm more of the solitary type, the introvert, the deep thinker. I tend to remove myself from the emotion and intellectualize the circumstance. I'm normally shy and I prefer simple things. Most of the people I met here at the Rally want spontaneity, frivolity, madness, but at the same time, want others to respect their personal space and private stuff.
And it's not just the town of Sturgis that's going haywire. Towns all over the Black Hills, Deadwood, Lead, Spearfish, Rapid City, Hill City, they're all having their own rallies. Even the campgrounds located out in the middle of nowhere, are having concerts, food vendors, and absolute mayhem. You could just stay in Hill City, and never venture into Sturgis, and feel like you've done it all.
Everyone here is seeking some piece of fantasy-turned-reality from the swell of controlled anarchy. Everyone here is looking for something magical to happen that will leave them with memories for years to come. Because when it's over, it's back to the cyclical grind of the Monday-through-Friday.
For the people Sturgis, this is just a pain in the ass they put up with for a short time in exchange for the $800 million in revenue it generates for the entire State of South Dakota. Residents here are renting out space in their front yards for tent campers.
The motorcycle traffic along the two main arteries of Sturgis, Lazelle Street and Junction Avenue is intense. Hand and fingers ache after continuously pulling in and letting out the clutch, and there's always a bike up ahead belching out smoke.
On the one hand, it's cool to see so many motorcyclists together. But it wears off soon, and then you realize that we're all just people here. Many of those who attend may not even ride for much of they year. Many of them didn't even ride their bikes here.
BTW, the best dining I've found in Sturgis is a BBQ truck inside Sturgis RV Park called, "Jeanne's Bourbon Street BBQ". The pulled pork sandwich was so good, I went back for the ribs, and they were so good, I went back for the chicken.