USA – 2000 Motorcycle Rally IRENA VLKOVÁ teacher
Motorcycle Rally I have been a friend with motorbikes literally since my birth. All family trips, including my mother's way to maternity hospital, were never made in a car but on a strong motorbike with a "sajdka" (lateral double- chair wheel lift for my brother and me). We called our motorbike "Viktorka" and we enjoyed it a lot (perhaps when during our dad's driving the "sajdka" had fallen off as well with us, his kids, into a forest near the road without our dad's taking notice).
But back to the U.S.A. Every good biker knows Sturgis, hidden in the middle of the Black Hills in South Dakota. Each beginning of August this small quiet American town changes, thanks to the global Motorcycle Rally, into the non- stop roaring and honking (this year with over half million participants) reunion of the most bizarre models of Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki, Indian…
During the rally time it isn't easy to get to this Mecca of all bikers at all. Most ordinary tourists' goal is the nearby mountain Mt. Rushmore (with carved heads of American statesmen), sometimes at most Rapid City, but such "travellers" usually don't have any idea of only a few miles away Sturgis and continue travelling to the west or east coast. During the one-week rally usually a few-minute motorbike journey from Rapid City to Sturgis takes six hours or more and places to sleep in near camps are measured in inches.
I've known about Sturgis for a long time but all my American wandering that are always flexible, without a specific schedule, had avoided Sturgis for unknown reasons. Until this year, thanks to my friendly American bikers, I was able to live out this rally with them in one of the biker campsites directly in Sturgis. In addition to unique experience I've brought some information you could be interested in.
As a co-rider don't forget to give the other bikers cheery waves. They are partial to it like our avocational watermen.As a co-rider don't forget to give the other bikers cheery waves. They are partial to it like our avocational watermen.
Motorcycle Rally After your arrival in a town you're expected to unfasten your helmet strap as the proof of your desire for freedom. (You can amplify overall impression by lying back on the back seat).
A little silver or brass bell suspended on the exhaust is supposed to protect American riders from road elves (Evil Road Spirits). They cause all bikers‚ crashes and problems. Magic power of donated bells is double.
As Harley-Davidson motorbike requires, thanks to its continuous tremor, everyday checking (my sloppy friend's Harley-Davidson kept losing single parts during riding), some riders prefer reliability to trendiness and ride on Kawasaki motorbikes.
The motorbike decoration fantasy knows no bounds. Riders wear demons, raging wolves, snakes, skulls, eagles and voluptuous beauties' bodies drowned in colors and chrome, so the attributes of the male tough' world. Some motorbikes are coated with buffalo skin and handlebars are replaced with buffalo horns.
The rally is becoming to be the showcase of the typical biker fashion: leather, leather and leather again (even female co-riders' underwear is made of leather), dead wolves' heads instead of hats, bandanna headscarves, live snakes replacing scarves, piercing on really "all" parts of the body, patriots' swimsuit made of the American national flag, the wide range of metal studs and ornaments... The rally is becoming to be the showcase of the typical biker fashion: leather, leather and leather again (even female co-riders' underwear is made of leather), dead wolves' heads instead of hats, bandanna headscarves, live snakes replacing scarves, piercing on really "all" parts of the body, patriots' swimsuit made of the American national flag, the wide range of metal studs and ornaments...
During the week of the annual rally Sturgis is chock-full of tattoo salons (it is customary to bring a new image as a souvenir on your skin each year), traders with fox tails, bobcat leather, buffalo and bull's genitals or accessories made of the skull or a rattlesnake.
Even musicians' ears can have a slice of the action. Sturgis evenings are dedicated to rock, blues, western and jazz, performed by both local and top American bands and soloists (the Doobie Brothers, ZZ Top, Steppenwolf, Joan Jett, Neil Diamond, Tanya Tucker, Waylon Jennings...)