Week 8 was one I will never forget. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is held in South Dakota every year. It is one of the most anticipated weeks of the year for people in every corner of the United States. Bikers travel miles and miles to attend the Rally. Daryl and Sally Isburg, two longtime volunteers in the Miss South Dakota Organization, escort Miss South Dakota to the Rally every year. It is tradition.
Although the Rally is one of the largest events in South Dakota, I had never been. To be quite honest, I was slightly nervous. This may be surprising to some, but I have never been much of a motorcycle gal. But, after going to the Sturgis Rally, I was ready to go out and buy my own motorcycle and jump on the bandwagon. I loved every second of my time in Sturgis.
As my mom and I drove out to Sturgis, we passed an increasing number of motorcyclists. You could almost feel the energy from inside the vehicle. When we first got to Sturgis, we pulled into a gas station. We were, quite literally, the ONLY car in the entire parking lot. Motorcycles took over every nook and cranny. I told my mom, “We may look a little out of place in Rosie.”
Once we connected with Daryl and Sally, we drove to downtown Sturgis (where the magic happens). Not 5 minutes after I stepped out of the vehicle, someone walked up to me to ask for a picture. If I took nothing else away from Sturgis, it is that the people were some of the kindest, most genuine I have ever met. I did a quick interview with News Center One about the Sturgis Rally and what I would be up to that day.
For the next three hours, I walked up and down main street, talking with people from around the world and taking all the pictures I could. The streets were packed with motorcycles. I even got a commemorative t-shirt, which I proudly wore the very next day!
My favorite part of the day was learning about the Commemorative USS South Dakota 2018 Harley-Davidson Street Glide. The USS SOUTH DAKOTA (SSN 790) will be one of the newest, most innovative submarines in the US Navy’s fleet. The SSN 790 is the third boat commissioned with the name “USS SOUTH DAKOTA.” The first was Armored Cruiser USS SOUTH DAKOTA, which was later renamed USS HURON. Then, BB-57 (Battleship SOUTH DAKOTA) was one of the most decorated battleships in WWII. Below is a little bit about USS SOUTH DAKOTA (SSN 790):
Length: 377 ft.
Beam: 34 ft.
Speed: 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour)
Max Depth: 800+ ft.
Crew: 15 officers, 117 enlisted
The USS South Dakota 2018 Harley-Davidson Street Glide is a one-of-kind motorcycle to represent the USS SOUTH DAKOTA. J&L Harley-Davidson donated the Street Glide motorcycle and South Dakota artist, Mickey Harris, painted the intricate design. The motorcycle will attend the submarine’s official Commissioning Ceremony and then reside in the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame. Any USS SOUTH DAKOTA Sailor can ride the bike across South Dakota – the crew’s official motorcycle.
My dad served in the US Army for 20 years. I have a deep appreciation for the men and women that serve our country and fight for the freedoms we enjoy every day. It was an honor to get a picture with this commemorative motorcycle and learn about its’ history.
My time at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is something I will never forget.