Standing out like a hippie at a biker festival...
Trip Start Dec 28, 2008
49Trip End Dec 07, 2009
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Its an all American festival dating back from the late 1930s... for BIKERS..
Up for everything weird and wonderful, we packed the car and Shaun and I headed down to Sundance(a tiny town an hour from Sturgis) to stay with some of his old friends.
After 4 hours of miles and miles of beautiful plains and mountains we arrived at Tyler and Nancys home (which was originally his nans house built within 6000 acres of land that been claimed during the land rush years ago). It was so beautiful and rural, the sound of crickets in your ears, the sight of grasshoppers bouncing around and wild cats roaming. They (like everyone I have met out here) welcomed me into their home and we sat on the porch like old friends drinkin' and chattin' till the early hours.
Dan (Walters partner) had been fillling my head with all kind of silly stories about Sturgis and I had no idea what I was letting myself in for and though I was superbly up for it, found myself slightly worried I would be beaten up by some huge bikers chick. It did used to have a bad reputation y'see.
The festival lasts for a week and we started our festival here in Sundance which is famous for its 'burn-outs'. This is where bikers gather and watch crazier bikers try to burn out their tyres. They drive their bike onto a platform, wedge the front wheel in concrete and just rev the back wheel till it explodes (see video). It was cool and very weird to see. People spend thousands on their bikes just to blow the back wheel, rendering it useless(till replaced) and all for their 5 minutes of fame...
People LOVE it. They flock to Sundance specially for it and hows this for a fact. The bars here in Sundance(its so small here there aren't many) and also in Sturgis make more money in this one week of than they do in the REST OF THE YEAR!! The population of Sundance is 1,161.. during this week, some 300,000 people descend here.. It was crazy.
I could not stop smiling and was just taking every delicious bit in. It was such a hot day and it was making my teeth itch to see people walking round in not just jeans, but in some cases, leather chaps OVER their jeans... you also had the other end of the scale with women walking round with open waistcoats and nothing underneath.. whatever articles they did have on you could gurantee there would be something leather in and around an open boob or g-stringed bottom..Fringed, strapped or chapped, it was all there, encased in leather! I stuck out ridiculously as I walked around in a bright pink sarong and yellow visor. Hard to blend in when all your attire screams 'TOURIST!'
One of the organisers came up to me at one point with a clipboard asking if he could add my name to his list..'what list is this' I enquired taking the pen and was just about to add my name as he said 'the wet t-shirt competetion maam' with a smirk.. that pen flew back at him with such horror attached to it, its probably recieving councelling!
We stayed for a few of the burnouts (man it was the stinkiest thing ever, especially as the wind would change and hurl billowing rubber smoke right up your nostrils!) but had to leave before the wet t-shirt comp(shame) as we had to get to Sturgis to set up our tent at the Buffalo Chip as in a few hours time, we were going to an Aerosmith concert!
Where I stayed
Tyler and Nancys house