In town there were a lot of people, but out and about there were a lot less . Unless we got lucky and went to the right places at the right times.
It was a lot cooler most of the time too, especially after it rained. Which it did somewhere around there everyday.
It even tried to wash the bikes out of Deadwood on wednsday when they had a flash flood come running down the street. Heard it knocked a few bikes down , but they stoped when they hit a trike and it wouldn't fall.
But it was a fun time, I think the wantabee's were afraid to ride cause they might get wet, and there purty bikes might get dirty too.
I talked to one guy that was in a hour and a half wait to get into Keystone on Tuesday, and we meet a line about 4 miles long trying to get in to Hill City that day too.
Guess we just got lucky each day. Only time on the bikes we about got caught by the rain was just as we parked in Sturgis on Thursday and it all broke loose, just got a little bit wet then.
But we got caught it a big storm east ot Mitchell Sat night on the way out. we were on a side road and had to stop and just stand there with our backs to the rain cause you couldn't see where you were going anymore.
I agree. This was my first year, so I cannot compare first-hand, but speaking with my dad and others, it sounds like last year was the year to go. This year was SO crowded. More accidents, more fatalities. Just TOO many people. If I go back it will be a week early to ride everything before the crowds, then just spend a day watching the crowd, and then get out. The scenery was gorgeous, but when you are encountering wheel to wheel traffic on Iron Mt. Road, and Needles Hwy, it can get dangerous and did for a few people.
Ridingferret you have exactly the right idea. For the last 3 years we have gone the week before the Rally and ride all the sites with out a crowd. I prefer riding to just sitting in traffic. Then leave out about 3 days into the rally. All the vendors have set up a few days before the rally offically starts and you can look and talk with the vendors while they still have time and aren't burned out yet. I even get discounts on dyno runs and some parts because they aren't doing much business yet. Don't tell everyone then it will get crowded early too.
Yeah, when we were driving in through Wyoming and as early as Colorado, we encountered a lot of bikers going the other way. Other than returning for missed exits (which occurred to me after we did it once I was wondering, "Where is everyone going?" Apparently, a lot of bikers in the area leave fo Sturgis because of the crowds, but also some of them were people coming back from the week before.
Then after Sturgis I was thinking that enough people come the week before it will be a 2-week event. But then again, I figure that the people who come to avoid crowds are probably quieter and safer anyway. So that will probably be my plan next time.
I arrived late in the week to catch the last weekend. Road traffic was alright, as most everyone was already headed out. Did downtown on Saturday, and what a mess. I've gone two other times, including the 60th, and this was the worst.
I can deal with the people. Sturgis with out the crowd would be just like any other small town. My problem is the streets are so congested, you can't even walk and look at bikes any more. My specific complaint would be strollers. Never seen so many people with little kids and strollers, blocking up the sidewalks. Years past, I've seen random children, but never like this year.
The streets were absolutely full with the Grizzwalds out on their family vacation. They cluttered up the Sturgis area with car and camper traffic. Spoke to some really nice folks in Heulett and Sundance. Sounds like that area is the place to be, at least on Wednesday.
I had the same experience as most of you. Rained on almost every day, hailed on twice, rode through two lightning storms, was in Deadwood for the flood and mud, squeezed through the crowds in Sturgis, and had a blast... ready to do it again...
Except for one thing, saw way too many accidents this year, mostly due to people not paying attention. I would rather ride through a herd of buffalo or any sort of weather than encounter stupid people crossing the center line, weaving, speeding up/slowing down, riding too close, and generally being ignorant.