Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the United States saw a major lack in all kinds of things. From toilet paper and firearm ammunition to willing employees and dedicated truck drivers, the country struggled. Now, as the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally comes to Sturgis, South Dakota, truck driver shortages could potentially have a major impact on rally goer attendance.
While locals may drive to the rally, those from out of state depend on truck drivers to transport their bikes. According to KEVN Black Hills FOX, the rally begins Friday, August 6, and concluding on the 15th. And because of the set dates, it can be tough to guarantee a bike’s delivery or pickup.
The lack of truck drivers compared to the popularity of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is definitely a problem. However, transport isn’t the only issue bikers and fans are facing. According to Lubo Lazaro at Montway Auto Transportation, the lack of drivers creates an inability to commit to the business. If companies can’t contribute to the business, rates increase for drivers and companies that can, which makes accessibility more difficult as well.
As if that weren’t making things hard enough, the flow of supplies to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally could also get backed up, again to the lack of truck drivers.
Law Enforcement Prepares for Outlaw Gang Activity at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Law enforcement officials nationwide saw a lot of struggles and increased criminal activity during the coronavirus pandemic. Local law enforcement in the area is preparing ahead of expectedly huge crowds at this year’s rally. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally marks its 81st anniversary this week and local law enforcement to the area, as well as businesses and vendors, are taking extra precautions ahead of the opening day.
Because of the significance of the number 81 for the infamous motorcycle gang Hells Angels, the biker club is expected to show in full force at the rally. For Hells Angels bikers, the number 8 stands for the 8th letter of the alphabet, “H,” and the 1 represents the first letter of the alphabet, “A.” Nevertheless, Meade County Sheriff, Ron Merwin, said that officers are aware of the problem and are preparing accordingly.
Despite the potential threat to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the sheriff said crowds are typically respectful. They added that they hope the same goes for this year. Law enforcement, however, may run into other problems as the city has imposed a new beer ordinance. The ordinance allows individuals to leave bars and controlled areas to walk around the city with open containers. While rally-goers have permission to walk around with open containers, they have to use a commemorative rally cup.
Additionally, that doesn’t make exceptions for local liquor laws. Those consuming liquor must remain within the bar/location which they got their drink as usual. However, law enforcement may run into some problems with the new law if some people choose to be brazen.