RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — If you’ve ever wondered how bikers from across the country make it to the Sturgis Rally without riding for days on end, sometimes it’s because truck drivers haul their motorcycles for thousands of miles.
This is a familiar stop for Jim Singletary. The Florida trucker has been hauling motorcycles for the Sturgis Rally for nearly 25 years.
“I have friends here now and I like to see them, a lot of them are connected with the airport,” Singletary said.
While Singletary works all day at the airport for about 2 weeks, he finds time to do a little riding himself.
“Absolutely my motorcycle’s here, that truck doesn’t roll without my motorcycle so it’s pretty great,” Singletary said.
Stephen Marinella flew in from Jacksonville, Florida. This is his 18th year attending the rally.
“I’ve ridden out 6 or 7 years in a row but at this stage of the game, I think it’s better to ship it.”
Sydney Thorson: How far of a drive is that for you?
Marinella: It’s 1,900 from my house to here, so it’s a long way.
This year the Rapid City Airport has 17 semis filled with motorcycles coming for the Sturgis Rally. That’s the most the airport has seen, ever.
“Each year it seems to get a little bit bigger. We did have a strong year last year. On a normal year we might see 7 or 8 trucks out there,” Broom said.
Deputy Airport Director Toni Broom says about 12,000 passengers are expected to fly in just this week.
“We are looking at possibly another record year so people come here not just for the Sturgis Rally but because it’s such great riding,” Broom said.
Great riding and a tradition for many.
“Whenever you get here, it’s more of a homey feeling,” Singletary said.
With the increasing number of passengers flying into the Rapid City Airport everyday and the lack of staff, airport officials ask that people be patient during this time.