Sturgis Bike Rally 2012
You Never Forget Your First
By John Zamora, Photography by Chris Long, John Zamora, Rudy Alba
You might not be a huge football fan, but I bet you’ve heard of the Super Bowl. And you might not ride a Harley, but I bet you’ve heard of the Sturgis Bike Rally. The world famous annual biker gathering that takes place deep in the Black Hills of South Dakota and got its roots in 1936 when Clarence “Pappy” Hoel purchased an Indian Motorcycle franchise, and formed the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club. Two years later the event got its start, at the time known as the Black Hills Motor Classic. It included a half-mile dirt track race with a whopping nine riders and a capacity crowd of around 200 spectators. From that cloud of dust created so many years ago grew what would become one of the greatest spectacle of bikes, booze, and boobies.
Due to circumstances out of my control this was my first time attending the legendary event and let’s just says it didn’t disappoint. While arriving at the end of the seven-day week proved to be lesser of two evils, there was still enough leftover mayhem to make some memories. What I left with was a hazing recollection that involved mostly sun-burned faces, scantly clad bartenders, ladies with fox tails, pasties covering boobies far past their prime, and a sense of brotherhood for all things two wheels. It’s hard to describe the cast of characters that roamed the streets. This year it’s best left to photos. Check ’em out.
By John Zamora
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