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Aug 8, 2010

Sturgis ~ Been There, Done That

     I am usually a been there, done that kind of gal, especially when it comes to things that I don’t really want to go and do again, like the Sturgis Bike Rally. No matter, I have let myself get talked into going at least 3 times in the past 25 years.
     Unless you have been living under a rock for most of this past century, you know about Bike Week in Sturgis, SD. This year marks the 70th year that scooter trash from around the world will make the pilgrimage to the Black Hills.
     The first time I went, I went willingly. The Big Guy had ridden his Harley to Sturgis, and a few days later I drove myself over. We had plans to meet up at the McDonalds and then go from there. Before you take away my certified food snob card, I'll tell you it was NOT to eat, it was just the “meeting” place. Anyway, I’m usually not one to be intimidated by big guys with tattoos wearing Harley shirts, mostly because I’m married to one, but let me just say that I was scared shitless. McDonalds was full of bad-ass looking hombres, and not one of them was my hombre. I looked very un-bikerish in my casual, cute, going-to-a-BBQ clothes—or maybe I just looked like I was from another planet, I’m not sure, but guys wearing vests and do-rags were staring. My biker man finally showed up and if I hadn’t have been so glad to see him, I would have killed him for making me wait for 30 minutes, while I felt like bear bait. Besides my clothes not fitting in, (mostly because I was wearing some) I went ahead and demonstrated the classic, novice biker, uncool move, by immediately burning my calf on the tailpipe as I got on the back of Big’s bike, which caused me to perform the next uncool biker move—scream like a girl. I don’t remember much else about that trip, but I still have the burn scar as a souvenir.
     It was 5 or 6 years later before my biker man talked me into going again. He also talked me into camping at Hog Heaven…in a tent and you know I hate camping! All night long music blared and Hell’s Angel wanna-be’s revved their engines. As if that wasn’t enough to make me want to slit my wrists, he dumped his bike over and ejected me off it. We were barely moving, so it was no big deal, but I still put a knot on his head just for the principle of it. He promised to never drink beer and ride the Harley at the same time again and I promised to stop using my brand new, pink helmet for head butting. Besides the pink helmet, I came home with chaps and a tattoo, but overall I still thought Sturgis sucked.
Sturgis finest
     It should be noted here that The Big Guy has gone to the Rally every year since 1987, with the exception of 1994, 2007, and 2009. He's a die-hard and he loves Sturgis for the Indian Tacos almost as much as he loves it for the drags (races, not queens) and for the great bands that play every night at the Buffalo Chip. Right about now you must be thinking I’m clueless to make such an idiotic statement, because Sturgis is as much about the chicks as it is the bikes. It’s kind of like saying you buy Playboy for the articles. Well, if you’ve seen one Miss Buffalo Chip, you’ve seen em all and what I learned about Sturgis after my first trip is that the girls not wearing clothes are the ones who really should be. I’ve seen better looking ladies on Hollywood Boulevard…oh wait…they were drag queens. Don’t get me wrong, there are beautiful women there, like there are everywhere, just not as many.
Yes, he is getting a tattoo
     So, every year he invites me to ride along and every year I decline. The last time I manged to hold out for about 10 years before I finally agreed to go, mostly because he promised me a hotel room and something besides an Indian Taco to eat. The Road Kill Café was not exactly what I had in mind, but hey, I can be bikerish when I have to be, so I bellied up.
Our friend, Dennis,
 riding the Needles Highway
     Truthfully, Sturgis is much more than the greatest freak show on earth. Yes you will see a lot of big, hairy guys walking around noshing on turkey legs and there are bound to be some big hairy woman street fighting. But there are also beautiful custom bikes with unbelievable paint jobs, the best rock bands in the world, and even some Playboy worthy girls. If you haven’t been there, you should go—at least once. The best part and the real reason that I have been there at least three times, is for the ride on the scenic Needles Highway and through beautiful Custer State Park. The trip wouldn’t be complete with out a ride past Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse.
     This last time I went I got a sunburn and a fake ponytail. I was even, sorta-kinda starting to look the part. I won't admit it in a court of law, but I may have even liked Sturgis, but no need to go there this year. Been there, done that.

Grilled corn with Green Goddess Butter
and with Parm-Herb Butter
I'm not a real street food lover (unless it's from an authentic roach coach), but if I was going to do food for bikers, and sell it at Sturgis, I would make corn on the cob, with gourmet butters. Two of my favorites are Green Godess Butter (from Cuisine Magazine) and Parmesan-Herb Butter (from my own kitchen). Corn is in season now, so try it. You may never go back to plain old butter! Go to the "Soups-Salads-Sides" tab at the top of this page to view it. 


  1. Sturgis sounds kinda shady. I would only go if I was flanked by the shit brothers and Ross that is for sure! That corn does look really good maybe I can talk mom into making it for me.

  2. Jordan, hmmm, a Shit Brother sandwich, sounds very Sturgis-ish. You may be on to something! Make that corn girl-it is easy! Thanx for reading!