Photos: Paul Ward

For Paul Ward, Sturgis was more about the riding than the party

“I traveled from Devil’s Tower to the Stoneville Saloon in Montana, so I could say I’d been there. There’s little cell service, almost no traffic, and the ride is absolutely beautiful. It’s truly God’s country out there.” 

“It really was all about the ride, for me,” Paul said. “And riding in and around Sturgis allowed me to reflect on everything I’ve been through riding motorcycles (over 60k miles). I decided that the motorcycle community includes the most polite and courteous people I’ve ever met, and I’m around a lot of different types of folks as a career law-enforcement officer. Among motorcyclists, you cannot meet a stranger.”

“Visited the Buffalo Chip and stuck around for one of the concerts,” Paul relayed, “although I couldn’t hear much of the concert with all the bikes revving (and I’m an ’80s geek). Between the gravel roads and dirt and gravel at the Chip, when I got back my bike was the dirtiest it’s ever been.”

I think it’s become an iconic trip through Americana, and an adventure from wherever anyone comes from. I look forward to doing it again as I chip away at my ‘BikeIt’ list.”

“I had to have one drink at the Dungeon Bar,” Paul mentioned. “But if you’re a germophobe, I don’t recommend it. Everything in there that you could touch had some type of graffiti on it. They had dollars on the wall and bras, panties and other large underwear hanging from the ceilings that had accumulated dust.” 

Mt. Rushmore is a popular spot for most riders who visit the Sturgis Rally. “I wasn’t as impressed with Mt. Rushmore as I thought I’d be,” Paul told us. “I guess it seemed more commercialized than what I’d anticipated. But going up and down the hills and mountains to get there…I enjoyed that the most.”

Thunder Press will be publishing stories and photos submitted by readers throughout the month of September to celebrate the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.


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