STURGIS, SD – Despite the coronavirus pandemic, tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts converged over the weekend outside the small South Dakota community of Sturgis for the 80th 80th anniversary of the Sturgis Motor Rally.
The sounds of reborn tires and engines were echoing across Chip Sturgis Buffalo, a 600-acre camp site that will be home for next week for most in attendance. This year, many said they were not worried about the virus, as they walked around without masks and took helicopter trips and attended outdoor concerts and motorcycle shows.
Some of the bikers were here for the first time. Others have participated for decades, and said they were not willing to lose what they consider an annual tradition.
Officials said about 250,000 enthusiasts were expected this year – about half the number who attended last year, but a figure that would make the rally one of the largest public rallies in the country since its inception. coronaviruses appeared in the spring. Here are some of the attendees, their thoughts and travels.
– 2005 Harley Fat Boy –
Michael Brown, 47, Lemoyne, Neb.
“I come to meet old friends, people I have not seen forever and many people I grew up with.”
“My biggest concern is the drivers – they just don’t pay attention to the bikes. But I don’t know a person in a six-state range that Covid has had. I think it’s all political.”
“I go to the rally for a day and travel for three. Between beer and women, this place will make you break down.”
– 2004 Harley Davidson Softail Deuce Cvo –
Monica Hartman, 43, La Junta, Colo.
“We got married here three years ago, so we go out here every year for our anniversary. Now we have a reason to come here every year.”
“We have no worries – if we get sick, then we will get sick.”
– 2015 Shefi Indian Vintage –
Lee Wheeler, 57, Tyler, Texas
“I would always have wanted to come to Sturgis. Then it was 2020, and it’s the 80th anniversary, so the numbers worked for me.”
“You have to be smart. I have masks. When I walk around or ride around, I wear a mask.”
– Harley Davidson Street 2013 Glide –
Scott Corrolli, 38, of North Minnesota
“We are burying our friend and placing his plaque on Mt. Rushmore. I do not have any concerns in the world.”
– 2007 Harley Davidson Softail –
Thomas Seale, 41, Denver, Colo.
“On my trip here, I had a problem with my bike, so it was a struggle to get here. Right now, I’m trying to sit down and rest.”
As for the coronavirus, Mr Seale said he was not concerned.
“I’m not convinced it ‘s true. I think it’ s nothing but the flu. If I’m dying from the virus, it ‘s just me.”
– 2015 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra –
Todd Irwin, 53, Union, Neb.
“I took my grandmother to be buried with my grandfather in the military cemetery. It was just me and my wife who came out here and did it. We tried to do it a few times before and it snowed.”
– 2016 Harley Davidson Road King –
Kellyn Fluke, 21, Bath, SD
“I’ve been here for four years now. My dad is really on motorcycles and he’m a really big cyclist. So when the Iron Camp owner got in touch with a friend of mine and asked him if he would “I went out, I did and since then. I do not travel here, but I want to soon. I just need more experience before I go to Sturgis. I mostly travel with my dad, it ‘s our thing to do together.”
– 2005 Harley Sportster –
James Lathrop, 50, Broomfield, Colo.
“I go out every year. This is my first year staying on the island. I was invited by my cousin. People here, we have become an extended family. “