How the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Works

Motorcycle Image Gallery The Main Street of Sturgis, S.D., is packed with people and motorcycles as the 69th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally reached its midpoint on Aug. 6, 2009. See more pictures of motorcycles.
AP Photo/Steve McEnroe

The small town of Sturgis, S. D., is a peaceful community almost all year long; however, every year, for one week in August, the town hosts the biggest and wildest motorcycle rally on the planet. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is one of the longest-running weeklong motorcycle rallies in the country, and in 2010 it'll celebrate its 70th year.

There are plenty of other motorcycle rallies throughout the world, but over the years the Sturgis rally has earned its fame by attracting motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the globe. But everyone in attendance shares at least one thing in common -- they're all looking for a good time. The weeklong event boasts of bike shows, concerts, motocross events, lots of alcohol and more than its share of unconventional entertainment.

Motorcycle enthusiasts know it simply as "Sturgis," or "The Rally," and the people of South Dakota know it as the time of the year where their state's population almost doubles in just one week. But what makes this bike rally so special? In this article we'll find out how the rally started, what goes on there and the type of culture the rally brings to Sturgis every year. Up next, let's see how the rally got its start.