Harley-Davidson Staying Away from Sturgis This Year
Images of motorcycles pouring into the Black Hills of South Dakota have been a major headline across the globe the past few days, as an estimated 250,000 bikers gather for the 80th the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Certainly, the event is no stranger to all of the attention, but in 2020 a lot of the focus on the rally isn't about what's happening there, but the fact that it's happening at all.
With so many mass gatherings canceled or postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, there was speculation that this might be the year there was no official rally in Sturgis. But by a vote of 8-1 to hold the event as scheduled, the Sturgis City Council put those rumors to rest back in June.
The 2020 event kicked off over the weekend, but there was one notable absence on the streets of Sturgis.
One of the biggest things missing at the city's main intersection of Main Street and Harley-Davidson Way was Harley-Davidson itself.
According to a report by The Daily Beast, the iconic Milwaukee-based motorcycle company, whose brand has become synonymous with the rally, made the decision earlier this year to have no physical presence on Sturgis this year.
A company spokesperson told Daily Beast, 'We made the decision to kind of support it in a different way. This year, we're doing it in a way that supports social distancing.'
One of the things Haley-Davidson is doing to support the rally from a distance this year is the online Let's Ride promotion, which is giving hog enthusiasts a chance to win some prizes. The company is also using the website and accompanying app to spotlight three different rides from Sturgis - a jaunt through Spearfish Canyon, a journey to the Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments, and a trip to Devil's Tower in Wyoming by way of Alzada, Montana.
As for the rally itself, it was an active first weekend for law enforcement.
CBS News is reporting that there were 84 arrests for driving under the influence or drug-related offenses and 226 citations issued, Saturday and Sunday. During that 24-hour time frame, there were 18 crashes with no fatalities