Perhaps the name is an omen of things to happen in this dirty little town in southwestern South Dakota. A broken spoke on any two-wheeled vehicle is generally quite unwelcoming. Most of us are thousands of miles from home. And I doubt we carry an extra wheel in our chase vehicle, assuming we have one.
The famous Sturgis Bike Rally and Broken Spoke began as a small event twenty years ago. It was geared for riders who loved the open road, looking for an adventure, and enjoying several days with their motorcycling brethren or sisterhood. That sounds like a car part for an auto owned by a female.
The famous Black Crowes will perform on Sunday, August 4th. But the Broken Spoke campground is located eleven miles outside of town. The “town” resides on 600 acres, with two Laundromats, loads of private showers with hot water (very important), but nudity and sexual acts are prohibited. They strongly suggest leaving the little ones at home.
Alcohol is allowed everywhere but inside the concert area, the saloon itself, the vendor area and food booths. They also operate a free shuttle, called the Spoke to Spoke, every two hours, at no charge. Food options include pizza, burgers, and even some healthy salads. A nearby general store sells beer, milk, water, cancer sticks, morning coffee, and I hope, condoms.
The campgrounds will also have Wi-Fi, and allow pets. I cannot imagine our dog, Buddy, there with 100,000 Harleys revving up around the clock. He thinks they are wild animals, and loves to chase and bark at them. Fortunately, he is not going with us.
The venue is not cheap, at $199 per individual RV or tent camper. But it does include free admission to the music concerts, and the free shuttle into town, as well as a swimming pool. There will be several contests, including Best Male Pole Dancer, Loud Pipes, Bikini Contest by the pool, and Slow Bike Races.
But the Broken Spoke has become the largest biker bar in the world, at least for this week. They profess to offer the best bikes, hot babes, cold drinks, and fast friends, not necessarily in that order. Their parting words to the many bikers leaving town, “Keep the shiny side up, and the rubber side down.” Wise words for all of us, biker or not.
Slightly more sane (questionable) over at the Buffalo Chip, the weeks activities might be a little more appealing. It starts with the Miss Buffalo Chip contest, then graduates up to the Homemade Bikini Contest. Class exudes as we approach the Fake Orgasm Contest, soon followed by the Beer Belly Contest, and the Sassy and Classy Over 35 Model Contest. I am sure one of these competitions will be you to Sturgis next year!
But the ultimate is both poor taste and political incorrectness occurs at the Midget Bowling. Contestant select a midget, oil him/her up, and slide him/her up the ramp. “Bad Boy Brian”, “Short Sleeve Sam”, and “lady Victoria” will vie for the best bowling “ball.” Please let it be known that I will personally boycott this event for obvious reasons.
Slightly more tasteful is the Lingerie for Life Contest to raise money for cancer awareness (American Cancer Society). Twenty seven special bras will be in the contest, with three auctioned off each night. I am told that the nearby Buffalo Chip campground is the ideal venue for maximum exposure.