Day one of the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is full throttle

Local News

STURGIS, S.D. (KELO) — Day one of the Sturgis Rally is underway. Tens of thousands of bikers from across the nation are packing into the city to celebrate the 80th annual event, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bikes, bikes and more bikes. Streets in Sturgis’ downtown area are reserved for motorcycle parking, and spots are full.

Joel Morris traveled here from Washington State, this will be his 7th year in a row.

“But we’ve been on and off ever since really about the 50th so yeah I can remember the 50th when it was here so about 30 years ago,” Morris said.

Morris says he’s happy to see the rally go on this year and that he is taking personal responsibility when it comes to health precautions.

“I’m glad, I think we need to see an America that we are not going to be fearful, cautious but not fearful with what’s going on so it’s good to see all these people out,” Morris said.

Normally during the official first day of the Sturgis Rally, we’d see the opening ceremonies. But due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, this year, they’re cancelled.

Ralph Martinet is at the Sturgis rally for the first time from Orange County, California.

“I love the riding here. Where I live in Southern California you had to ride two or three hours in traffic to get to any kind of riding like this,” Martinet said.

Martinet says it’s personal choices that will keep folks from spreading the virus.

“I try and social distance a little bit, I give people their respect and I do have a mask that I wear in stores and when I’m near a lot of people and I keep my distance from all the crowds,” Martinet said.

There are hand sanitation stations located throughout the downtown area which anyone can use.

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