Those who know me know Im a big fan of one rally the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. I love the Black Hills area of South Dakota so much that Ive been heading to the big event the first week in August for the last 14 years. I skipped just one rally in 2002. Ive seen lots of changes over the years, including a noticeable increase in women riders this year. Id say nearly one in five bikes was ridden by a woman.
I attended a few organized events including the Legends Ride, the Michael Lichter Photography Exhibition industry party, and the Kids amp; Chrome auction and dinner which I will be reporting on here in the next few weeks in a photo gallery. I also got inside the infamous Buffalo Chip campground for the very first time after all these years and will report on that with some photos so keep checking back. It takes a lot of time to organize all the photos. Ill start with an overview of my time in Sturgis including the action on Main Street and the fun friends I hung around with this year. Click any photo to make them larger and start a slide show.
This year my riding buddy for the rally was Amy Skaling of TeamDiva.com, otherwise known as Diva Amy. Here we are in Sundance, Wyoming, at her buddy#39;s motorcycle shop.
Amy and I couldn#39;t be more different in our styles. She#39;s the rock star styled diva with her shiny blinged out bike and gear; my style is rustic brown with matte finishes. Despite the outward differences we had a blast together.
Giving Amy#39;s buddy Woody a plug for his motorcycle shop in Sundance, Wyoming.
Here#39;s an old chopper that Woody#39;s dad, Jim Wood, owned from the 1960s. It still runs.
Amy and I had a hearty lunch here in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, on our way out Sturgis.
One of my favorite places to visit in the Black Hills is Trevino#39;s Leathers. There#39;s a great selection of handmade leather goods. I bought a leather camera case and some brown leather gloves to match my motorcycle.
Of course I hooked up with my best buddy Betsy Huelskamp of who writes WRN#39;s very popular Backroads With Betsy column.
If you want to see some amazing motorcycles Main Street is the place to hang out. This three-wheeled contraption was built by Gary Vanderbol of South Dakota (in red shirt).
I love brown anything especially motorcycles. This one has leather woven into it.
So here#39;s Main Street in Sturgis where only motorcycles are allowed for the duration of rally week. I#39;m wearing one of Diva Amy#39;s blingy bandanas. Visit TeamDiva.com.
Here#39;s my friend Scott McGuire from Reno. It was Scott#39;s first time to Sturgis. He was blown away by all the motorcycles. Ssshh… don#39;t tell anyone but Scott is a former Chippendales dancer.
And here#39;s Scott#39;s friend Joe Derda also his first time to Sturgis. Scott and Joe just met because they were camping next to each other at the Buffalo Chip campground.
Men on motorcycles. Couldn#39;t resist photographing these guys riding down Main Street in Deadwood.
Another scrumptious brown motorcycle! That#39;s Diva Amy with custom motorcycle builder Paul Yaffee who built that rolling piece of art.
A new movie “Easy Rider, The Ride Back,” the “long awaited prequel” to the Easy Rider movie, was being promoted at the Sturgis rally. I#39;m told producers are still looking for a major movie distributor.
I thought these T-shirt sayings were funny so I snapped the series of them.
Very creative in their sayings.
This saying sums it up for those women who love to party in Sturgis.
The must-have photo posing on Main Street amidst all the action. Actually, the action was down this year. You can tell by the lack of motorcycles by behind me. Main Street used to be packed with non-stop action and excitement.
Amy, me and our friends Scott and Joe by her bike on Main Street after an afternoon of browsing vendors. The number of vendors was significantly down in this recession year. Lots of empty parking lots that were occupied in years past.
One of the more popular bars on Main Street is One-Eyed Jacks. Great place to hang on the balconies and people watch.
This guy#39;s crazy! We don#39;t recommend packing your motorcycle this way. On the ride home, he pulled into a gas station where I was fillling up and tipped over the bike. He said it was his third time dropping it that day.
Anything goes on Main Street. A car trike.
I#39;ve seen these hearse motorcycles before, but this one is the most elaborate one I#39;ve seen.
When I was browsing vendors on Main Street I noticed a crowd gathering. Ran over to see it was Aerosmith#39;s Steven Tyler getting ready to cruise down Main Street on one of his Dirico Motorcycles for a publicity ride. That#39;s Steven to the right of the guy with the black/white shirt.
Steven was in Sturgis to promote Dirico Motorcycles and to perform at the Buffalo Chip. The Aerosmith frontman later fell from the stage while peforming. He is recovering from moderate head, neck and shoulder injuries.
Steven hops aboard one of the Dirico motorcycles to ride down Main Street after signing impromptu autographs and posing for pics with the crowd. He really knows how to work a crowd.
Mark Dirico is Steven#39;s brother-in-law and also the mastermind behind Dirico Motorcycles. He rode alongside Steven down Main Street.
The money shot! Betsy and I got our picture taken with Steven during a press conference. I#39;ll add it to my wall of fame. What a genuinely nice guy. Very sweet and gracious to all of us.
That#39;s Betsy and I with Lorenzo Lamas (of the old Renegade TV series) and his partner, Chad Greulach, in the new Lorenzo Cycles company. Custom bike builder Eddie Trotta will build the bikes.
Sorry to say I didn#39;t know who Dee Snider was of Twisted Sister until someone told me, but surprisingly he knew me from my monthly column in American Iron magazine.
Dee, on his chopper built by Von Dutch, was at the rally doing publicity for charities he#39;s involved with. Visit DeeSnider.com. He told me he#39;s in talks with a cable network for a reality series that follows his family including his wife of 32 years.
John Paul DeJoria and his wife, Eloise, of Paul Mitchell hair products were in Sturgis because he donated a large sum of money to the Legend#39;s Ride, a charity run that took place during the rally.
Couldn#39;t resist getting a photo of this guy on Main Street, with his friend on the right. Very interesting look and outfit.
Only Diva Amy would wear leopard patterned rain gear. She and I got caught in the rain at night on way back from the Kids Chrome dinner.
Me in my conservative, but very functional, Harley rain gear. It rained nearly every evening during the rally.
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