(Originally Posted by Creeping Jennie on Sunday, 21 June 2015 in Sturgis.com Blogs)
Face it, we have all fallen victim to a particularly bad piece of advice in our lives at one time or another. Bad advice can range anywhere from "Yes, you should totally go blonde" to "I know he cheated on you in the past, but you should marry him anyway." This is the reason why I started a Sturgis Rally info group on Facebook. I was tired of witnessing people give others bad advice about the Rally. Some of this bad advice could have resulted in simple disappointment, but some could have resulted in arrest and legal charges. Some examples:
"Don't bother making reservations! Just find a place when you arrive." Why is this bad? Especially with landmark anniversaries, full hookup camper spots tend to sell out very quickly. In fact, I would advise anyone who knows that they are going to be RV camping, and will need hookups to reserve at their campground of choice as early as possible. This will not only ensure that you have a place to camp, but that you will get the best price possible as well.
"Just go camp in the forest. Camping in the National Forest for less than two weeks is free, Brah." While this may be true, primitive camping is not for everyone. One must be mindful of the needs of the forest flora and fauna, as well as his or her own needs. There are no facilities, and campfires are not allowed. It can be difficult to determine if you are on public land or private property as well. Add to this the knowledge that mountain lions do not exactly announce their presence. They don't typically attack humans, but it can happen. If you are adept at primitive camping you may want to give it a go, but if your idea of camping is a fully stocked RV, then pass on it.
"Save money on drinks- take a flask with you wherever you go!" State law prohibits bringing alcohol into an area that is licensed to serve alcohol, and also prohibits one from consuming alcohol in a public place other than where it is legally served, and possessing a container of alcohol in public that has a broken seal. What's the worst that can happen? You may get arrested. You may get kicked out of the bar. Your flask might be confiscated, or dumped out. Talk about a buzz kill!
"Go topless, ladies! Nudity is A-OK in Sturgis!" Not in City limits! That may be true in some of the campgrounds, but public nudity laws will ensure that if you get the girls out, you will pay a fine. Even wearing body paint requires that an opaque covering, such as pasties or underwear, must be worn under the body paint. Now, I have seen some nudity in both Glencoe and the Buffalo Chip that I wish I could unsee. On private property that is away from view of public streets, roads and highways, and where alcohol is NOT being served, the public nudity laws do not apply. Just know where you can and can't get naked.
"Port-a-potties are disgusting! Just go take a piss in the alley." Nope. You will likely get slapped with indecent exposure and deposit of filth. It's actually better to piss your pants than to whip it out and piss in the alley, from a legal perspective.
"You've had too much to drink? Avoid a DUI by leaving your bike parked on Main Street. Oh fuck no. They will impound your bike, and probably not in a gentle manner. My advice: plan ahead. Park somewhere safe BEFORE you start drinking, and take a shuttle bus back or walk.
"You're brand new to riding? You have to ride Iron Mountain Road!" OMG please don't. That ride is very tricky, even for advanced riders. There are no shoulders, and the dropoff from the black top is a good six inches. Add this to steep, sharp, hairpin turns, and insane traffic, and you can see why it can be quite dangerous. If you have little or no experience riding on this type of terrain, then don't try it during the Rally.
"You have to pet the buffalo at Custer State Park! They are just big cows! They are tame!" Nope nope nope. Bison are wild animals, and they aren't crazy about motorcycles. Never attempt to approach them. If you see one nearby as you are riding through the park, don't stop. Don't get off of your bike to take a photo. For fuck sake, don't stop in the fucking road. That's how accidents happen. Only pull off onto designated pulloff spots, and don't approach the wildlife. Obey all signs. Those cute little prairie dogs? They can give you the plague. Seriously.
"So much traffic in and around Sturgis! Take the back roads!" This is ill advised if you are not used to riding your bike on loose gravel. Also, if the attempt is to avoid a DUI charge, know that these roads often have DUI checkpoints stationed on them.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list. If you have fallen victim to other bad advice, please tell us in the comments