To celebrate the 75th Sturgis Rally, here’s a photographic look at the South Dakota town before the bikers arrive. To help you see the forest in the trees.

motorcycle riding on the road to Sturgis

It’s the biker party to end all biker parties: Sturgis 2015! And this year, it’s the 75th rally held at this little town of the South Dakota high prairie, on the edge of the Black Hills. For a few weeks, Sturgis is the battle cry of bikers worldwide. Be there!

Inside this huge biker party, there are the iconic sites from Rapid City on west: Black Hills Harley-Davidson, The Knuckle Saloon, One Eyed Jack’s, Easyriders Saloon, Loud American Roadhouse, Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Full Throttle Saloon, the Buffalo Chip Campground, the Broken Spoke Campground, No. 10 Saloon, to name just 10 of the many dozens. Plus, there’s a hidden Sturgis.

Sturgis town scene

Many who attend Sturgis leave with an inspired glimpse of what else to see, do, and enjoy, beyond the sound of loud pipes saving lives. There are many roads to ride and trails to take through this region where geology has also had a damn big party, creating Devil’s Tower, Bear Butte, The Black Hills, the Badlands, The Needles, Wind Cave, Spearfish, and Vanocker Canyon. This truly is where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the mountain goats play, or something like that.

Here, we offer a photographic preview of Sturgis Unplugged. Our recommendation: Rise early, ride long, get lost, experience why these lands are sacred. There’s no better way to do it today than on a motorcycle.

For our full story on Sturgis ("Not-Sturgis: The anti-social biker rally of one"), see the October print issue of Cycle World, which hits newsstands on September 1 and becomes available on iTunes and Zinio August 22). Written by Peter Jones, our story explores the beauty of Sturgis the place instead of Sturgis the happening. It's a great read, accompanied by exquisite photos, and it's guaranteed to give you a new appreciation for this beautiful and sacred land that's alive right now with the sound of rumbling American V-twins.

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