Bikers are social people, they live to get in the wind, meet people and have fun, and with the help of local promotion some of the nations largest motorcycle rallies and events were created to give motorcyclists a place to have fun ad let it all hang out. The oldest and most well known rally is the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
1938 was considered as the motorcycle cultures adolescence; motorcycle enthusiasts were hungry for place to go and ride and they wanted to meet and mingle with other people who shared their love for motorcycles and thanks to Clarence “Pappy” Hoel and the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club who started the first event, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was born.
Originally called the Black Hills Classic, the rally only featured racing and stunts and had 19 in attendance. Each subsequent year the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally grew in popularity and attendance, and is now considered the Mecca of the motorcycle culture.
As the rally grew in size, event promoters and coordinators worked hard to keep up with new challenges in an effort to make each new rally more fun and exciting than the last. In 1982 when the city of Sturgis outlawed camping in Sturgis City Park, the need to provide camping for the multitude of bikers who flocked to the rally each year helped create the Sturgis “Buffalo Chip Campground”. While in the beginning the “Chip” as it is commonly known was started to give bikers a place to camp and relax around the campfire. The modern day Sturgis Buffalo Chip Campground is far more than a camp spot for bikers; working hard year round, owner Rod Woodruff, AKA Woody, and family have made the Buffalo Chip Campground the hottest attraction in Sturgis boasting the best named musical acts, top notch food and drinks and a variety of camping options from regular tent sites, parking and hook ups for RV’s and campers to full blown rental trailers, and, oh yeah, they even have WIFI for us seasoned road warriors! The Buffalo Chip is almost like a Sturgis event on its own!
The live music is in my opinion the main reason why so many bikers choose the Buffalo Chip in the first place. The camping area is situated around the stage and 2-minute walk gets you to the food and drink courts that encircle it. The outdoor stage has the finest lighting and sound system that I have ever seen, and there is nothing finer than enjoying an iced cold beer while kicking back in a folding chair and being blown away by live music. The 2010 Buffalo Chip featured ZZ Top and Kid Rock, and while I have seen both at indoor concert halls, seeing them outdoors at the Chip was like seeing them both for the first time!
I was fortunate to make the 2010 Sturgis Rally, and it was so much different than the 1980 Sturgis rally I had attended when I was only 18. Riding from Northern Michigan with a small group of friends to the 2010 rally was just as exhilarating as making it to the Sturgis Rally itself. We met many motorcyclists on road to Sturgis and we all shared the same love for motorcycles and the need to be in the wind experiencing life, and that alone is legend!