On this episode of The Lowside, Morgan heads to the 79th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, one of America’s biggest and best biker parties. The city of Sturgis itself isn’t very large, but the rally has expanded to neighboring towns, venues, and campgrounds like the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. Hundreds of thousands of bikers roll through South Dakota every year for this wild rally, so there’s no shortage of good times, with crowds and beautiful roads around the area to escape to for a little peace and quiet if you need it.
Live music, races, bike shows, and more bars than you could ever hit in a week—especially if you’re riding—fill the day-to-day, but rides outside of the city are the real attraction. Whether you head out to Devils Tower National Monument, Custer State Park, or any of the other destinations within a few hours’ ride of Sturgis, you are in one of the best possible areas for riding in the USA and are bound to have a good time.
The Sturgis Buffalo Chip is one of, if not the biggest venue and campground surrounding the Sturgis Rally. Massively popular bands come to play and thousands of riders come to camp, eat, drink, and enjoy the various festivities within the property. We hopped in the cart with the founder of the Chip, Rod Woodruff, better known as Woody, to cruise around and talk about why he does what he does, and how he ensures it will stay fun and fresh for years to come.
From there, we go and ride with freestyle MX legend Carey Hart on his veterans’ charity ride, The Good Ride, and talk to him about what attracts him to this rally and where he hopes to see it go in the future.
Finally, we catch up with motorcycle lifestyle photographer Michael Lichter, who has been covering the event for more than 40 years and published two books on the subject. Michael has a unique perspective, not only having been at the rally for decades, but actively seeking out new and exciting parts of it to tell their story through his pictures, as well as organizing the Motorcycles as Art exhibit every year, highlighting a specific theme of builders and always including some up-and-comers as well as known names.
The rally is always a completely unique experience and a hell of a time. If you like the video, be sure to like, follow and subscribe!