STURGIS, SD – Despite the coronavirus epidemic, tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts gathered outside the small South Dakota community of Sturgis for the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The crooked tires and engine sounds echo in the 600-acre campground Sturgis Buffalo Chip, which will come home next week for most people to come. This year, many said they were not worried about the virus, as they roamed without masks and rode helicopters and attended outdoor music and motorcycle shows.
Some bikers came here for the first time. Others have been participating for decades, and said they were not prepared to remember what they consider an annual tradition.
Officials said about 250,000 enthusiasts were expected this year – almost half of those who attended last year, but a figure that would still make the rally one of the country’s biggest public celebrations since the first coronovirus cases occurred in spring . Here are some of the people present, their thoughts and their ride.
– 2005 Harley Fat Boy –
Michael Brown, 47, Lemoyne, Neb.
“I come to meet old friends, people I haven’t seen forever and a lot of people I’ve grown up with.”
“My biggest concern is the drivers – they just don’t pay attention to the bike. But I don’t know a person in the six-state realm who has a Kovid. I think it’s all just political.”
“I go to the rally for one day and ride for three. Between beer and women, this place will break you. “
– 2004 Harley Davidson Softail Due Civo –
Monica Hartmann, 43, La Junta, Colo.
“We got married here three years ago, so we come here every year for our anniversary. Now we have a reason to come here every year. “
“We have no worries – if we are going to get sick, we will get sick.”
– 2015 Indian Major Vintage –
Lee Wheeler, 57, Tyler, Texas
“I always wanted to come to Sturgis. Then it was 2020, and it is the 80th anniversary, so the numbers worked for me. “
“You have become sane.” I’ve got masks. When I walk around or ride, I wear a mask. “
– 2013 Harley Davidson Street Glide –
Scott Corolli, 38, Northern Minnesota
“We are burying our friend and putting his plaque on Mt. Rushmore. I have no concern in the world. “
– 2007 Harley Davidson Softail –
Thomas Seeley, 41, Denver, Colo.
He said, “I had a problem with my bike when I got out of here, so getting here was a fight. Right now, I am trying to sit comfortably and relax. “
As a coronavirus, Mr. Seeley said he was not worried.
“I’m not sure it’s real. I think it is nothing more than the flu. If I die of a virus, it was bound to happen. “
– 2015 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra –
Todd Irwin, 53, Union, Neb.
“I buried my grandmother with my grandfather in the military cemetery. It was only me and my wife who came here and did this. We tried a couple of times before that and were out. “
– 2016 Harley Davidson Road King –
Kellyanne Flook, 21, Bath, SD
“I’m getting four years now. My dad is really into motorcycles and is a really big biker. So when the owner of the Iron Horse campground came in contact with a friend of mine and asked if I would come out, I did, and since when. I don’t get out of here, but I want to leave soon. I just need more experience before riding Sturgis. I ride mostly with my father, it’s our thing to do together. “
– 2005 Harley Sportster –
James Lethrop, 50, Broomfield, Colo.
“I come out every year. This is my first year living on the island. I was invited by my cousin. People here, we have become extended family. “