The Little Known Rowdy Sturgis Secret: Camp Zero
Forget everything you think you know about the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and start from ZERO.
Over the years there’s been a lot of debate about what Sturgis is or isn’t, and who it is or isn’t for. “It’s just a bunch of big wheel baggers.” “It’s not my scene.” “There’s nothing there for me.” Insert any number of other zero fun or legit excuses.
A few years back, the Sturgis Buffalo Chip decided to call BS on that line of thinking.
The Buffalo Chip asked themselves, if you’re with the largest gathering of moto enthusiasts and music festival fans in the world and you can’t make a new scene or your own scene, whose fault is that, really? If you want to do your thing just start by getting your friends together and doing your thing. Don’t worry about who’s soiling their pants from flexing too hard down the street. So, that’s exactly what The Chip did… they soiled their pants with dirt instead.
Camp Zero was built in 2018 by a group of folks who wanted to ditch the preconceived notion of what the Sturgis Rally is and party like 1980s animals who love rad bikes and wild parties. #Zero OGs like @DaymonWoodruff the Unsung Zero, Jesse Andersanchez @Jessebytheslice, Tanner Preedo @montanner17, Brady McClean from @GoFastDontDie, Cosmo Varriano @cosmoschoppers, Big Joe Mielke from @SnapFabrications, Jason Lightner from the @TheGambler500, @pgarvin from J&P Cycles, @KellyYazdi from Ride Wild, Brad Schneck @video.brad, @MotoLady Alicia Elfving and others all contributed to creating a space to push back against the perception that the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is filled with old men and big baggers who think that there is no room for riding anything else. ZERO truly is the launch site for raising hell and rallying like the old days.
Were you in on this rowdy Sturgis secret? If you were there, take a walk down memory lane. If you missed it, picture this:
In the southeast part of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip, you grabbed a beer from your favorite bartender at Zero bar, a punk rock bar that was built inside of an 80-year-old barn. Whether you’re into minibike shenanigans, Sasha’s Cycle’s motorcycle rodeo, an incredible Sportster Showdown and Mini Bike show, wild parties, Harley wheelies, wicked burnouts or just hanging out with insanely cool people, you found yourself knee-deep in the madness that is Camp Zero @campzerosturgis.
Everyday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., you kept your name at the top of the time trial list as you ran the fastest time around Camp Zero’s notorious Hell Track. This open track was available to race alone, with someone, on your own bike, or someone else’s. It didn’t matter, you just. Went. Fast.
Camp Zero’s #UnsungZeros made sure the grass clippins were out of the way as you tested your minibike skills and speed. You raced with the best as you battled to win the top spot in the Pull-Start Barrel Racing event.
You celebrated choppers, talked chop, and had a good time during an evening of old-school rodeo games during @SashasCyclesofSturgis Sasha’s Cycle’s Rodeo Games. From the weenie bite, slow races and cowboy barrel cross to a rail ride, highway cones, barrel races and more, this was a night to saddle up for.
You headed over to one of the weirdest and wildest events at Camp Zero, the Mini Bike Rodeo where road barrel/keg dragging, pool noodle jousting, and flip cup races were just a few things to do. It’s a good thing you brought your cowboy hat!
You stumbled upon a mind-blowing collection of customized Sportster models and a large dose of memorable mayhem. Led Sled Customs @ledsledcustoms hosted a free-to-enter communal event celebrating the history, culture, and diversity of one of the coolest bikes in existence, the Harley-Davidson Sportster, along with Biltwell, Metzeler, S&S Cycle, J&P Cycles, Cycle Source, Lowbrow Customs, and Chop Cult.
The grass race to top all grass races. You grabbed your Coleman @colemanpowersports_usa mini bike and a buddy and headed to the Race Pit Area in the Powersports Complex where you participated in a head-to-head event where you proved once and for all that you are the fastest grasser out there.
After the Sportster Showdown and Mini Bike Show for Anarchy Games, you showed up on a bike/mini bike and survived the Gauntlet and caught some airtime.
Being punk rock isn’t always just about jumping minibikes and beer wall smashes – though, those things ARE pretty rad. It’s also about making sure that the space that surrounds you is cleaner than it was when you got there. The Gambler 500 @thegambler500 mini bike and scoot crew cleaned the ditches next to the highway leading into Camp Zero, and you helped them.
Zero is the point from which a positive or a negative are reckoned. Zero is the Jump off point for all things that move forward. If you are going to start over, you must start at zero.
Jump in, jump off, or stand there staring while your friends egg you on. Everyone starts at zero. Forget everything you think you know and start at Zero.
Yeah, it is a good time. Annnnnnnnnnd it means something.