Friday, March 12, 2010

Sturgis Bike Week

Besides the creators of South Park, many people feel Harley Davidson riders are “fags”. However, the motorcycle has become synonymous with American cultures just like baseball and apple pie. And although the machine is over one hundred years old, it continues to connect with our population’s need for speed. In fact, Harleys have become so popular that they head their own movement. So just like the hippies had Woodstock, motorcycle riders have their own rally. But why in the world is it held in a small town in South Dakota?

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (here and also here) is held annually in Sturgis, South Dakota the first full week of August. This tradition started on August 14, 1938 by the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club which still owns the tracks, hill climb, and field areas where the core of the rally takes place. While the first event had only 19 bikes, lasted two days, and concentrated on racing and stunts, today’s Sturgis Bike Week is a huge deal to Harley owners across the continent.

Did you know?- One of the events main stunts involved riders colliding head on into parked automobiles. (Why?!)

Other than some years off during the second World War, the rally will be celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2010. And while bikers have been given a reputation as a rowdy bunch, bike week is a family affair at heart with many of the attendees being parents dragging their kids along.

Even for the people who don’t feel like riding their bikes hundreds of miles, sometimes choose to drive trailers and campers to the rally only riding their motorcycles the final couple miles into town. This has prompted several riders to start wearing patches and shirts saying "I Rode Mine to Sturgis" with the year they attended on it to separate the diehards from the wanabees.

Did you know?- In 2005, attendance was estimated at 525,250! A lot of people right….especially when you compare it to the state’s population of 754,844 as of the 2000 census.

1 comment:

  1. Going to motorcycle events might be one of the more exciting pastimes for those that enjoy riding motorcycle. They give riders a chance to get away from the every day routines that we all seem to find ourselves in.