SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The 83rd Sturgis Motorcycle Rally revs up today. From riding in the Black Hills to showing off your ride, there will be a lot of things to do.

In this week’s Flashback Friday, KELOLAND’S Perry Groten takes us back to 1988 when every type of bike was on display.

Each year, thousands of motorcyclists turn main street Sturgis into the place to see and to be seen. But the more hardcore show-offs escape to the pastoral setting of the city park to compete in the annual chopper show.

“Well, a chopper is a stock bike that has been changed radically.”

More than 200 bikers are competing for trophies, determined by who has the shiniest chrome, the most artistic paint job, the strangest bike.

“Of course, it’s hard work, it’s time and money, but it’s a labor of love”

“We have fun, it does the trick. Goes fast, looks good. It’ll work.”

The man they call Big Daddy Rat is the big cheese behind the show. He started the contest 16 years ago in Daytona, Florida to show the rest of the world that bikers are just regular Joes and Josephines.

“It seemed like there was a need to cement a biker relationship between the police department and the city. And after 16 years, I’m very happy to say today that we have the chamber of commerce and the blue ribbon committees and the police department all for the bikers in Daytona. In Sturgis, there was no need. You have a real great police force up here that walk around with baseball caps on, no riot gear, it’s really great.”

It’s only a matter of time before Sturgis surpasses Daytona as the world’s largest chopper show. Proving you don’t need sandy beaches to make a biker happy, just plenty of towels. Perry Groten, KELOLAND News, Sturgis.

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