Every year modern-day cowboys are seen frolicking around South Dakota. They prepare to race and show their unique physical feat by riding their iron horses. There are thousands of them, and all are motorcycle enthusiasts. Bikers from different places travel to the so-called Mecca of hardcore motorcycle fanatics to witness the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally event, which is held in Sturgis, South Dakota. This event happens only during the whole first week of August every year. This is where bikers break away from all the hustle and bustle of their daily stressful lives.
At the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, radical motorcyclists create their own nirvana.
Types Of Attendees
The goal of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is to gather people as well as motorcycles. Bikers from all walks of life converge to participate in this grand event. You may be surprised to know that doctors, teachers, engineers, and other blue-collared professionals are included in the crowd. These individuals are those who consider motorcycling a lifestyle rather than a simple means of getting from one place to another or from point A to point B.
How It All Started
It all started when Clarence Hoel, also known as Pappy, bought his Indian Motorcycle Franchise in the same city where the rally is held every year. Soon afterward, the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club was born. This club owns the field areas, tracks, and hill climb where the rally takes place. The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) recognized the club only a year after.
It was on August 14, 1938, when the first Sturgis Motorcycle Rally began. Back then, it was popularly known as the Black Hills Classic. There were only 19 participants and a few members in the audience. The rally included a half-mile track and unbelievable stunts. The stunt performances included intentional board-wall crashes, motorcycle jumping on ramps, and a head-on collision with another motorcycle or a different automobile. Johnny Spiegelhoff from Milwaukee won most of the prize money given by four local businessmen. Five hundred dollars was a huge amount of money during those times. The first Sturgis Motorcycle Rally lasted only for two days.
WWII Suspended The Rally
Since then, the rally has been held annually. However, the rally was canceled during World War II. This is to support gas rationings for war tanks. Moreover, young men were also brought overseas to be part of the country's armed forces.
When the war was declared over, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally returned to life, gaining tremendous popularity. For the first time in history, the main street of Sturgis was blocked just to have a ceremony that lasted for two hours. During the early years of the 1960s, the club of the Jackpine Gypsies introduced the Hillclimb and Motocross races. One block of the Sturgis main street was closed to be used for motorcycle parking purposes. The rally became a three-day course. However, by 1965, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally became a five-day event. About one thousand motorcyclists from all over the U.S. attended the rally.
How The Rally Changed
The event included a feeding program led by the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce held in the city park. Awards were given to the longest-married couple, oldest rider, best-dressed male and female, and the cyclist who traveled the most distance to reach Sturgis in South Dakota.
In 1989, a sad day befell everybody as they mourned the death of Pappy Hoel, the founder of the rally. The whole week of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was dedicated to the father of the said motorcycle event. He earned a national citation for his dedication to making the said motorcycle event into one of the biggest occasions in the world of
In 2015, more than 747,032 participants attended the year's rally. This is the highest figure they have so far. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally had also recently celebrated its 67th anniversary, attracting more and more people, both bikers and non-bikers.