The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally comes to a close today, and participants are already looking back on the memorable event.
On their official Instagram page, the Rally posted a gorgeous shot of the Black Hills (featuring a peek at Mount Rushmore). Several motorcycles cruised through in the pic as well. The caption asked the bikers, “What’s been your favorite Black Hills ride this Rally?”
Around three or four of the same answers popped up in the comments. Some said Spearfish Canyon, others Vanocker Canyon, and some said Iron Mountain. One person described Vanocker Canyon as “big sweeping fast curves, and always beautiful!”
For the last 10 days, almost 600,000 people have gathered at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. In between gorgeous rides around the Black Hills, they’ve enjoyed several events and concerts, as well as trips to the bars. Now the city’s starting to empty out as people make the long (or short) trek home.
One commenter on the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Instagram photo said people started leaving even earlier than that. When asked which Black Hills Ride was their favorite, this rally-goer said, “The ride back to Sheridan today because half the vendors were packed up and leaving first thing this morning. Guess I’ll have to come the first weekend from here on out. Second weekend is a joke.”
Two Fatalities Occur at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally This Year
Saturday, the South Dakota Highway Patrol confirmed that another fatal crash took place at the Rally on Thursday, August 12.
According to Argus Leader, the 58-year-old motorcycle driver was not wearing a helmet when his 2013 Harley-Davidson FLTRU crossed the center line and collided with a Chevy Impala. The biker was pronounced dead at the site. The 19-year-old Impala driver and his 15-year-old female passenger were not injured. Both wore seatbelts.
The other fatality occurred on the first day of the rally on Friday, August 6. A 52-year-old man driving a pick-up truck crossed the center line to pass a group of bikers. But he collided with an oncoming motorcycle. The collision threw both riders off the bike. The 70-year-old male driver was pronounced dead at the scene, and he was not wearing a helmet. The 71-year-old female passenger sustained serious injuries but not life-threatening ones. She did wear a helmet.
According to the outlet, Tony Mangan, spokesman for the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, said that rally fatalities only count if they occur after 6 a.m. Friday, Aug. 7, and before 6 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 15. So, anything happening in the week leading up to the rally doesn’t g towards the official numbers. The North Plate Telegraph recorded six pre-rally deaths total.