The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2010 has come and gone and the count-down begins until next year when the Buffalo Chip will be celebrating their 30th anniversary. This year according to all reports, attendance was up 17 % from last year. According to the Rapid City Journal, 460, 000 vehicles were counted entering Sturgis during the official rally week from Aug 9th to the 15th. That number increases to 600 000 if you count the number of vehicles entering Sturgis in the days leading up to the rally. Many motorcyclists who want to experience the riding in the Sturgis area but want to avoid the hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists head into Sturgis early, see what’s happening then avoid Sturgis completely during the official Rally. One biker I met on the flight back to Los Angeles does just that. He rides in early, takes in all Sturgis has to offer then during the official rally week he enjoys the beautiful rides in the Black Hills area. Smart plan. My Los Angeles group (Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®) arrived the day of the Kid Rock Concert at the Buffalo Chip and we sat in a ton of traffic. Kid Rock, who performed on Tuesday night is one of the major draws and we started to notice traffic decline from then on.
Drinking and driving are always an issue when you get 600 000 bikers together at a rally. Sad but true. According to reports there were 26 fatalities and 16 of these were alcohol related. The average age of the deceased was 54.2, 21 men and 5 women.
The City of Sturgis is reporting vendor licenses were up 13% from 2009 with at total of 757 vendors operating in the City during the rally. They hauled away 15% more trash then 2009 and police contacts were down 25%.
Police presence is an interesting thing during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. You don’t notice them around till something happens. We were at a bar late one night when a fight broke out at a bar across the street. Within seconds there were at least 50 cops rushing the site. It’s nice to be at a rally where motorcyclists are bringing in a lot of business and cops aren’t busting them for loud pipes or handle bar height infractions.
You can get married during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and as of August 13th over two dozen couples had tied the knot.
My 2010 rally experience was centered around the Buffalo Chip. Russ Brown Motorcycle Lawyers and BAM, Free Breakdown and Legal Assistance for Motorcyclists were set up there with a trailer. The concerts were great, weather was fantastic and the people memorable. It was an extra bonus for me to be set-up next to Chris and Jennifer Calaprice of a Road 2 a Cure. They are riding across America to raise awareness of Pancreatic Cancer. Chris is a survivor of Pancreatic Cancer.
It was a great rally and I look forward to 2011 and the 30th anniversary of the Buffalo Chip!
Let’s look at the high end from the South Dakota State Police:
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