This weekend, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally officially began. It’s a massive gathering of those who love motorcycles, mainly Harleys, in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When we lived here, I tried to leave the state during the first week of August to avoid the hundreds of thousands of bikers. Our schedule this year has us stuck here during the rally. I’ll be stuck in a campground for a whole week, avoiding the roads as much as possible.
I’m not a motorcycle fan and I’m not a business owner so I pretty much despise the invasion of hundreds of thousands of bikers each year. The population of the Black Hills is about 125,000, but last year, 735,000 people came to the rally. This year’s crowd isn’t expected to be that large; only 500,000 are expected. That’s still way too many for me. Before they hit town, I fill the car and buy enough groceries to last for a couple of weeks so I can hole up somewhere out of their way.
Why do I hate the rally so much? I’ve driven down the interstate with motorcycles passing me on both sides and pulling in right in front of my bumper while driving 65 miles per hour. They’re like bees that swarm around you, threatening your safety. I’ve sat in my car through three red lights because the swarm refused the stop for the red light in their direction. A lot of them drive like they have a death wish and I don’t want to be the one who grants that wish. I’ve seen biker gangs with their arsenal guarding the hotels that they take over. They’ve had gun battles here and there. They are scary people.
As much as anything, it’s the noise that annoys me the most. Harleys are loud. Very loud. And with hundreds of thousands of them, the noise level is high and never-ending.
When we lived here, we left town during the rally. When we moved away, I was thankful I would never have to go through another rally week. Never say never because here I am during rally week. Don’t expect to hear from me until after the place clears out and life returns to some semblance of normal.
P.S. As you can probably tell, I’m not a motorcyclist. And I’m not a business owner in the Black HIlls. A lot of businesses rely on the rally for a large part of their annual income so the rally is not all bad. It’s an inconvenience for those of us who prefer four wheels to two.
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