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133 months ago

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Gary S. France's Tips for Riding in Sturgis

Gary S. France

Gary S. France

In his new book, France in America, Gary S. France travelled 21,000 miles across 26 of the American states on the motorcycle adventure he had been promising himself for 37 years. As a young Brit whose father passed away when he was a teenager, France had spent much of his youth working to help support his family. The trip across America was something of a gift to himself for his years spent in a high- pressure career.

France in America

France in America

‟The reason why riding through America on a motorcycle is so good is because it's so diverse,” says France. ‟I used to wonder why so many Americans didn't travel outside the U.S. Since visiting America, it became clear to me why; one day you can ski, you can be on a beach, you can be in the deserts. It has got everything a good motorcycle tour can give you.”

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His trip through South Dakota provided much of that diversity in one small Western corner of the state, right near where the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally takes place. Attending the Rally itself on its 70th anniversary opened his eyes to American motorcycle culture.

‟It was like a melting pot of every kind of person in America,” says France. ‟I loved seeing and meeting the people as much as seeing the motorcycles. They were very friendly; generally people were very friendly in America. For a Brit, I was treated with the utmost help and care.”

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 France says there is no shortage of places to see and roads to take when travelling through South Dakota, and he definitely had his favourites.

‟Riding through the Black Hills was fantastic. [South Dakota] is a very diverse state. The glorious Badlands scenery blew me away, it was like being on another planet,” he says.

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 Other notable places France recommends are Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon, Devil's Tower (in nearby Wyoming), and of course Mount Rushmore. He does warn that many of these places will be popular with rally go-ers, so picking the right time of day is sometimes the key to getting the best ride.

‟Needles Highway, I first rode there in the afternoon during Sturgis but it was very busy. I went back early the next morning to film it,” he says.

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What France remembers most about the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is the sheer number of motorcycles that populate the small town during that time, so sharing the road may be an issue. Just like America, Sturgis brings together people from all walks of life who share a love of motorcycles.

The EatSleepRIDE Motorcycles App is the perfect way for Sturgis riders to find the best motorcycle roads in the area, ride as a group safely, and meet new riders. Find out how you can win a download of the EatSleepRIDE Motorcycles App in time for Sturgis.

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