Okay, there’s Sturgis… and then there’s the way the locals do Sturgis. Whether you’re taking part in the Rally or you’re just passing through, if you find yourself in the Black Hills of South Dakota and you’re craving a day free from crowds, traffic and the general public…we’ve got you covered. There’s nothing quite like you, the open road and just the sound of your engine as it guides you through the area, and when you want some peace and quiet, nothing can compare to this ride. In episode two of the Thirsty Biker Chronicles, we’re taking you on a legendary ride from Rapid City to Belle Fourche, SD.

The Route

From Rapid, start at Shipwreck Lee’s and head out on Neck Yoke Road, which will eventually turn into South Rockerville Road. Ride that until you get to Highway 40, which will take you into Keystone, then straight across to Hill City on Highway 385. Once you’ve had your fill of Hill City, continue on Highway 385 to Deadwood and turn onto Highway 85 to St. Onge Road. Be sure to stop by the S.O.B (more on that in a second) and when you leave, take Highway 34 and head into Sturgis on I-90.

Must-See Spots Along the Way

biker chick signing her name on the ceiling in a bar

Don’t let this dirty, run-down shanty in the middle of nowhere fool you, the Silver Dollar Saloon in Hill City is the best kept secret of the hills. Serving up the best pub food in town, Silver Dollar is more than just a place for the bikers of the world to meet up. A build-your-own pizza menu, cool drinks and no-nonsense conversation greet you at this family owned and operated joint. When you’re ready to move on, ride over to the St. Onge Bar (S.O.B.) in St. Onge, and if you’re even remotely close to Western South Dakota, you’ve got to stop in for their specialties. Killer cheeseburgers, the best damn prime rib you’ve ever tasted on Friday nights and cold beer all the time give you a welcome rest from a long ride.

Finally, when you arrive in Belle Fourche, Stone House Saloon is a must. I’ll never forget the first time I rode up to this place. Picture it…there you are, cruising through the rolling hills and all of a sudden…BAM! A literal oasis suddenly appears out of nowhere. A sprawling ranch filled with motorcycles, horses, live music, lots of shade and (you guessed it) a really old stone house. Be sure to venture inside and write your name on the walls. Good times can be found here. Want some more places to explore in the area? Try these:

The Terrain

four bikes riding around a curve on a sunny day

The terrain is a lot different than the steep climbs and switchbacks of Needles Highway or Spearfish Canyon. This ride is one where you can twist the throttle, crank up the tunes and just forget about all the bullshit and straight up enjoy the ride. When you’re in the mood to lose yourself in the ride, this trip will get you there. All you have to do is decide which hole in the wall you’re going to visit next…and trust me, they’re all pretty sweet.

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