2008 has come and gone, many things have changed. We elected the 44th and first black president of the United States, the economy has sunk to a historical low and many of us are now looking for new jobs. One thing hasn't changed however and that is the Sturgis Annual Motorcycle Rally. Yes indeed no matter how things change you can always count on the Sturgis Rally to lift your spirits. This year being the 69th :) is set for August 3rd - 9th. Are You Ready! Don't count on the world stopping and waiting for you, it's time to make your plans. Before we know it, August will be here and we'll be right back in the middle of Main Street madness and partying mayhem, loving every minute of it! Many of us begin planning for "next year" soon after leaving "this year". The excitement and memories are hard to let go, new friends are made and old acquaintenances are renewed, deciding to come back and do it all over again is a no brainer. Some folks will be coming for the first time, and others will just show up. No matter what group you fit, you are sure to make some wonderful memories, new friends and have a fantastic time. The beauty of the Black Hills is breathtaking; the roads are pure joy for a biker. There are many places on this planet that offer this kind of riding but Western South Dakota in August is unbeatable. Incredible roads like Iron Mountain, Needles Highway, Spearfish Canyon and the Wildlife Loop take you to amazing destinations. Rides to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, Bear Butte State Park, the Badlands and Devil's Tower National Monument are truly incredible rides you are sure to enjoy. Highway 14A's big, wide turns transport you to the infamous town of Deadwood and the mining town of Lead, and the awesome Highway 385 meanders past towns like Hill City, Silver City and Custer, all contained in the Black Hills National Forest. These rides are awe-inspiring and amazing and are a joy that will be remembered until the day you (insert own word or phrase here). In addition to the roads and day trips there are many events: concerts, races, and bike shows, five blocks of Main Street bikes-only street vibe, the 7th Annual Mayor's Ride, Michael Lichter's annual exhibit, the 6th Annual World Championship of Custom Bike Building, free style stunters, the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame, organized rides, the Limpnickie Lot, some pretty impressive watering holes, custom legends, blue skies, warm and sunny days. There are many other of motorcycle related events to keep participants occupied. Boss Hoss demo rides are featured throughout the event. Burnout competitions are popular with spectators and are offered a few times during the week at the Full Throttle Saloon. There are demos and exhibits throughout the day each day of the event and shows featuring custom bikes from around the country. There will also be many vendors on hand offering everything from motorcycle related merchandise to tattoos as well as great food and of course your favorite beverages are plentiful. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an experience of a lifetime, if you haven't started your planning now is the time to begin. The town of Sturgis has a population of less than 7,000 so it is understandable that an event attracting over half a million bikers would create logistical problems with lodging concerns. If you are planning to attend, it is wise to make reservations for accommodations well in advance of your trip to ensure you can secure a room close to the main site of the rally. Below is a list of some great places where your sleeping accommodations can be made. To find a lodging in the Sturgis area go to: /. Camping is the most popular option for those attending the rally (mostly because there are not enough Motels for everyone), don't sweat it though, some of the best parties are in the camp grounds! Nearby campgrounds include the following: Big Rig RV Park: - features wireless Internet access and spacious lots of 60' and 100' close to the rally site.* Bulldog Campground: - features RV camping as well as cabins which accommodate 2-8 guests. This campground is located five miles from Sturgis and features nightly entertainment and happy hour as well as an onsite restaurant. Creekside Campground: - located 4 miles from Sturgis, this campground features RV camping, tent camping as well as cabins. Highlights of the campground include an onsite store selling food and beverages and easy highway access. Glencoe Camp Resort: - has been catering to Sturgis participants for over 20 years. This campground has over 160 acres of camping with ample shade. In 2006 they will unveil a 34 acre outdoor amphitheater which will feature live music all week long. A 24 hour restaurant is also onsite for the convenience of campers. Hog Heaven Campground: - with over 150 acres of camping, this campground situated in the Black Hills is an ideal location for Sturgis participants. The campground is open from July 31st through Aug. 13th this year and will host live bands providing entertainment for guests. Katmandu Campground: - features 250 RV sites, cabins and 50 acres of camping. Located just two miles from Sturgis, this location is convenient for participants. Highlighted amenities include laundry facilities and wireless Internet access. Sturgis View Campground: - located only 1.5 miles from downtown Sturgis. This campground is famous for its spectacular views. Other highlights include RV camping, cabins and ample acreage for tent camping. For more information about these accommodations do a web search using the respective venue name as the key phrase. One Word of Caution Don't want to be a downer here but please be advised. An unfortunate aspect of Sturgis is the frequent occurrence of the disappearance of motorcycles. Estimates indicate approximately a $250,000 worth of motorcycles are stolen each year. Considering today's prices this is equivalent to 3 to 10 bikes or so. That's not many considering there could be 200,000 bikes at the event. However if it's your bike that gets stolen this fact is not going to make you feel any better. Motorcycles on the higher end of the price spectrum as well as custom bikes and show models are those most likely to be stolen, but all participants should take precautions to avoid becoming a victim. For more information about Sturgis 2009 do a web search on key phrase "Sturgis Motorcycle Rally". There are many great sites available with complete event information and news to help you plan a great and enjoyable adventure. This article written by Woody Longacre and is brought to you on behalf of HarleyResource.net, - Harley News, Videos, Articles, Chat Forum and Online Shopping for Everything Harley!