Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2021: South Dakota Governor Speaks Out on Rally ‘Risk’ as Opening Weekend Kicks Off

by Madison Miller

The infamous and popular tradition known as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will gather bikers as they cruise through the countryside from August 6 to August 15.

The event will attract crowds of enthusiastic bikers in South Dakota’s Black Hills starting this weekend. There is an astounding 700,000 people expected to show up in the small town for the rally.

What we’ve seen in the past is that nothing will stall the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Even in 2020, bikers showed up in waves to the event.

The governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, is speaking out about how much risk is involved in the popular biking rally.

“The Sturgis rally is about hopping on your bike and exploring this great country through our open roads. Bikers come here because they WANT to be here. And we love to see them! There’s a risk associated with everything that we do in life. Bikers get that better than anyone,” Noem tweeted.

According to AP News, last year around 460,000 people attended. With the delta variant posing brand new risks, bikers at the 81st rally are facing similar risks yet again.

Noem is giving her blessing to the event and is even appearing in a charity ride. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally racks in about $800 million in sales for the small town.

As a motorcycle rider, many at the Sturgis Rally consider this all an added-on risk. Five bikers were killed in crashes in 2020 and there has been one fatal crash already in 2021.

Preparations for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Given the huge influx of visitors coming to Sturgis, the town is taking certain precautions.

According to Keloland, nearby towns are also getting a lot of visitors as people slowly make their way to the Black Hills.

“We heard it was going to be one of the biggest, but we like to come the week before to do all of the riding and then we stay for the first day but then we get on home,” Travis Pirotte, a biker from Texas, said to the news outlet.

Businesses are gearing up for the busiest time of the entire year. For example, the Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort is adding on an additional 109 rooms to help accommodate all the incoming visitors. Downtown Deadwood is also a major hotspot. Many businesses are experiencing a lack of staff members, so visitors will need to be patient.

The opening ceremony for the Sturgis Motorcycle rally kicks off at noon on August 6. There will be the Budweiser Clydesdales, a parade, as well as several special guests present.