Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2021: Here’s What Happens Overnight While Bikers Are Sleeping

by Shelby Scott

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, biker event in the nation and it stands to reason that the event sees loads of trash throughout. So while the bikers are sleeping at night, clean-up crews go around Sturgis, cleaning up from the days-long event.

According to street sweeper Kevin Aga, crews are only able to clean in the early morning hours as it would be completely unreasonable to do it during the day. “You don’t have the traffic” at night as the city does during the day he said. Further, “doing this during the day would be impossible without blocking every road off in town.”

So instead, the rally enlists a crew of about 25 people overseen by Sturgis Public Works Director Rick Bush. According to Keloland Media Group, the process is routine for the people that make up the cleaning crew. “They do a really good job,” he said, “most of my guys have been here for a long time.”

While work dedication is definitely important, some members of the Sturgis clean-up crews have remained on for over 25 years. “Everything just kind of clicks,” Bush commented.

Aga is a longtime veteran of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally clean-up crew, beginning as a member during the 55th annual event. Aga further explained how the clean-up process goes.

“We come in at 2 in the morning, the other crew washes the street in front of us, then we follow them up by picking up all of the stuff left over on the roadways,” he said. Overall, it seems like a pretty efficient process.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Clean Up Crew Adopted COVID-19 Precautions That Will Likely Endure

While the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally clean-up crew seems to do a rather phenomenal job of keeping rally streets clean and safe, Bush said they’ve also adopted further safety and health measures. In this way, they hope to best protect clean-up crews and rally attendants alike.

Bush said that last year, clean-up crews adopted coronavirus precautions such as inputting hand sanitizer stations and cleaning trash. “We’ll continue that probably from here on out,” he explained, “there’s certain things like that that we have adopted that are good for the public.”

According to, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally collects hundreds of tons of garbage throughout the event. Bush also said the crew goes by a kind of moto which is that they try to make “every night look like the first night,” at the rally. “Every night they go out and get everything ready just like it’s the first day of the rally.”

And with hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the nation, the amount of trash collected from day to day, nevertheless throughout the event, is unimaginable. So if you happen to be at the rally and come by one of the clean-up crew members, send them a big thank you from us here at Outsider.