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Riders Get Early Start On Sturgis

July 28, 2013, 10:03 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Riders Get Early Start On Sturgis

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally doesn't officially start until August 5, but you can already find riders making their way to the Hills.

It's a long road from Indiana to South Dakota.

"A lot of wind burn. A lot of wind burn. It has been a good ride though, a little bit of rain but not too much," Dale Abbott said.

But that's not stopping Dale Abbott from making the two-wheeled trek. 

"I'm looking forward to going out to Sturgis for the first time ever. It'll be different," Abbott said.

Abbot and his family aren't alone. More riders are making their way out west before the official start of the rally each year. 

“We really don't want to go during the wild time. I've heard during the week is really crazy so we want to go pre-week and see what it is like and go out and visit Mt. Rushmore and some other places around here,” Abbott said.

While this is the first trip to the Black Hills for some riders, others return year after year. That's why this time of year is so important for businesses like this.

"This is harvest season for J&L Harley-Davidson. This is when we break it," Jim Entenman of J&L Harley-Davidson said.

In fact, J&L Harley-Davidson has a registry at the front door to track the thousands of visitors brought to the state by the rally each year.

"We're still getting some of the same customers coming back that we saw 30, 35 years ago. It is really pretty cool," Entenman said.

J&L Harley-Davidson is preparing for the rally. The business is stocked up with parts and merchandise and will have extended hours starting next week.

"Next week is going to be our really big kick off. By mid-week, usually by Wednesday, we start to see some heavier crowds," Entenman said.

It's that welcome from businesses and the attraction of the rally that keep people coming back.

"Oh yeah, probably come back. For sure, Abbott said.

Both riders and those at J&L say this is also a good time for all drivers to remember more motorcycles are on the road, so be extra careful and watch for them.

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