Every August a migration of bikers pours into western South Dakota for what is basically the biggest biker party on the planet. This year was no different as motorcyclists descended into the Black Hills for the 79th annual Sturgis Rally. The Black Hills classic is my favorite rally of all because it has so much to offer. Most bike rallies are one trick ponies at best, but Sturgis is in such a unique location and has so much going on, from bike shows to races to concerts to the non-stop craziness of Main Street, there is a limitless amount of good times to be had...trust me, I tried to have them all.

The riding at the rally is spectacular due to it being located in the Black Hills. Sturgis is home to some of the best motorcycle rides in America. Routes like Spearfish Canyon, Iron Mountain Road, and Needles highway are just a few of the routes to get a good ride in on twisty roads and take in some spectacular scenery.

The rally was founded by Pappy Hoel and the Jackpine Gypsies who started the rally with racing. And in recent years there has (thankfully) been a resurgence in racing throughout the rally. To kick it off the Buffalo Chip hosted the American Flat Track TT race where once again the J&P Cycles Gold Club VIP area was the best seat in the house. The Black Hills Half-Mile followed the TT where the J&P Cycles-sponsored Indian Motorcycle Wrecking Crew finished with both the Bauman brothers on the podium. Briar finished in the top spot and Bronson took 3rd. J&P Cycles also hosted the Hooligan hill climb at Camp Zero and proved how much fun you can have drag racing your buddies up a dirt hill. Everything from Danger Dan's chopper and dudes who rode their Sportster scramblers in off the street to full-blown race bikes raced up the hill for cold hard cash. The racing peaked with the Buffalo Chip round of the RSD Super Hooligan series where I put the J&P hooligan Sporty through its paces in the J&P Cycles Amateur hooligan class. It might have been the most wrecks I've ever seen at one race (and one good old-fashioned dirt track fist fight) but in the end everyone walked away in one piece grinning from ear to ear.

There are a ton of bike shows taking place all over town but I'm partial to a few in particular. The Michael Lichter Motorcycles as Art show changes themes every year and this year featured skinny bikes whose style is a breath of fresh air after being beat over the head with fat tire bikes for what seems like an eternity. The FXR and Dyna show obviously caters to a niche but it's a bad ass niche. The Dyna bros were out in force with a range of FXR and Dyna styles that warmed our high sock wearing hearts. The Led Sled Sportster Showdown continues to be my personal favorite show with a real grass roots attitude that continues to prove why the Sportster is the best and most versatile H-D platform ever produced.

And of course we partied. The Sturgis Rally just isn't a bike rally, it's quickly turned into a huge music festival. With the Buffalo Chip doing the heavy lifting in the concert scene the entire rally had huge acts with every kind of music from Toby Keith to Snoop Dogg. And of course historic Main Street is the ultimate scene to be seen and toss back a cold one or six. One thing is sure, you don't have to look far for a party at the Sturgis rally. Hell, generally the party finds you. Even though the 79th just wrapped up, we're already looking forward to next year because the 80th anniversary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is guaranteed to be huge. Huge!!