Sturgis Bike Week USA 2020 - "Screw Covid"

DrGMIA

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The Annual Sturgis Bike Week (actually 10 days) drew a purported 450,000 vehicles. Some call it a circus, supported by the carnival-like atmosphere with the Ferris Wheel in the background.

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The "bikers" made me feel as if I was out of place, their taking photos of my Kawasaki KLR650 parked and me among the hordes of predominately Harley-Davidsons on Main Street.

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Numerous signs and T-shirts expressed the unofficial theme for the 80th Sturgis Rally for some attendees, "Screw Covid," supported by attendees opting to express their freedom of choice by not wearing masks or social distancing.

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My assignment as a moto-journalist was to capture the essence of the Sturgis Bike Week 2020 atmosphere, a dangerous assignment if one believes the data, government reporting, fake news and USA CV-19 death toll of nearly 140,000 to date.

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The "Welcome" mats :-) were out for beering and partying at/in both open and closed air bars.

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I chose to attend the festivities wearing ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time), including the gloves hidden in my Aerostich Darien jacket pockets and a Nolan N70-2-X Adventure Crossover helmet with a functional removable chin guard.

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I was the only person I saw on Main Street wearing a mask, and one of the few with a motorcycle helmet, and the only one with a full helmet (I've removed the chin guard for this pic) versus a beanie helmet. My adventure in Sturgis on Main Street lasted only 10 minutes, with no fist bumping, high fiving or hand shaking, but considerable head shaking. I captured the essence and as I left town felt I was leaving a toxic cloud of virus. Inside the cloud I'd left behind it seemed like it was "Party on down!"

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In 2013 I was honored to receive the Lifetime Achievement In Motorcycling Excellence award from the prestigious motorcycle publication BACKROADS Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure magazine. I listen carefully to what the publishers/editors opine. This year Brian Rathjen, one of the publishers, suggested that after I struggled through the circus of Sturgis Bike Week I find a quiet lake or stream to camp next to and recharge my moto-mojo. I took his advice and found myself solo camping for the night alongside a trout stream where I caught a nice 24 inch Rainbow trout for my frying pan.

'Dr. G'
Professor of Motorcycle Adventure, SOUND RIDER magazine, and Adventure Motorcycle University
Moto-Journalist, author and script consultant
Sole sexual survivor: www.greataroundtheworldmotorcycleadventurerally.com
 
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The Bigfella

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Suuure..... a 24" Rainbow. No photo.... didn't happen.
 

DrGMIA

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Pit stop after 6th ride around the world, in USA,
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Blow back from the massive biker gather is starting to roll in:
  • Health officials in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota have now traced multiple new COVID-19 cases back to a motorcycle rally held in Sturgis, South Dakota between August 7 and 16.
  • The rally, which drew hundreds of thousands of bikers to the 6,900-person city, has been tied to 15 new coronavirus cases in Nebraska, seven in Minnesota, and multiple incidences in South Dakota, according to CNN.
  • The event was one of the largest public gatherings in the US since the coronavirus pandemic began.
It will be hard to trace cases directly back to the event as many attendees traveled through multiple states to attend, often ignoring recommended social distancing and masking up.

As for fish tales from my moto-mojo rehab, the selected river is described on the Big Sky Fishing website as follows:

“The Bighorn River is considered to be one of the finest trout streams not just in Montana but also in the lower forty-eight states. The river consistently pulls out large fish. Brown trout average about 15 inches, while rainbow trout average around 16 inches.

Estimates put the fish populations on this stretch between 3000-5000 fish per mile, with a significant proportion of the fish well over fourteen inches. The rich fertility of the Bighorn River on this section allows trout to grow very quickly.”

Couple of pics below to support their claim below;
Kawasaki Fishing.jpg

BMW Fishing.jpg


Sometimes when the fish are hungry I wear ATGATT for protection :-)
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"Ride to fish, fish to ride." Sigmund Freud might proffer that catching the big ones all depends on how you present or wiggle your worm:-)

'Dr. G'
Professor of Motorcycle Adventure, SOUND RIDER magazine, and Adventure Motorcycle University
Moto-Journalist, author, script consultant and fisherman
Sole sexual survivor: www.greataroundtheworldmotorcycleadventurerally.com
 

DrGMIA

Senior Member
Joined
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Location
Pit stop after 6th ride around the world, in USA,
Bikes
Oldest 1931, newest 2016, numerous makes and models in between on several continents
Infection numbers from the "Party on down" and "Screw Covid!" attendees at Sturgis 2020 are slowly filtering in. From the Associated Press came the below with the US State of Wyoming being added:

"Health departments in four states, including South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wyoming, have reported a total of 76 cases among people who attended the rally."

I'm finishing Day 14 of a carefully monitored social distancing mode, self-quarantine and temperature checks. A worrisome fit of sneezing was attributed not to CV-19 but to the February and March Chiang Mai-like air quality from current wildfires.

One attendee did diss me for implying no one else was wearing a mask at Sturgis, sending the photo below to support his claim :-)
Sturgis Masking.png


'Dr. G'
Professor of Motorcycle Adventure, SOUND RIDER magazine, and Adventure Motorcycle University
Moto-Journalist, author, script consultant and fisherman
Sole sexual survivor: www.greataroundtheworldmotorcycleadventurerally.com
 

DrGMIA

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Pit stop after 6th ride around the world, in USA,
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Oldest 1931, newest 2016, numerous makes and models in between on several continents
Several USA states have been added as the reported number of CV-19 cases has bubbled up. From the Associated Press today:

"State health departments have reported at least 103 cases of COVID-19 from people in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Washington who attended the 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, bringing the number reporting to eight."

A new term has been applied to this type of gatherings: Superspreader events.

Photo below was posted as an example of bar life during the event. I did not get close enough to capture the image with a long lens; was able to suss the essence in the open air of Main Street.
Sturgis 2020.jpg


'Dr. G'
Professor of Motorcycle Adventure, SOUND RIDER magazine, and Adventure Motorcycle University
Moto-Journalist, author, script consultant and fisherman
Sole sexual survivor: www.greataroundtheworldmotorcycleadventurerally.com
 
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DrGMIA

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Pit stop after 6th ride around the world, in USA,
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Oldest 1931, newest 2016, numerous makes and models in between on several continents
The numbers keep climbing, albeit slowly. So far 196 cases have been tied directly back to persons attending the rally, broken down as follows by states, reported on August 28:

SD: 88
MN: 35
ND: 21
CO: 20+
WY: 10
NB: 7
MT: 6
NH: 6
WI.: 2
WA: 1

Rally organizers predicted 250,000 would attend. The South Dakota Deptartment of Transportation later reported 462, 182 vehicles entered the small town of Sturgis (population 6,627) during Rally days. According to the RAPID CITY JOURNAL (nearest big city newspaper) “more than 360,000 bikers and enthusiasts” were “attracted” to the event over the 10 day period.

Unknown to many, Big Brother was watching: “Sturgis rally goers visited about 61% of all counties within the United States, according to an aggregation of anonymized mobile phone activity shared with The Associated Press by the data analytics company Camber Systems.”

The band which got the biggest play in the media was Smash Mouth, “perhaps best known for its song “All Star,” which appeared on the soundtrack of the 2001 animated film “Shrek.” Ironically, it contains the lyric, “I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed.”

Of course, all the above numbers are subject to veracity and sources. So far, if one accepts the “360,000” attendees, the 196 cases reported as of this date is relatively a small percentage at this superspreader event, except for those 196 now dealing with their attendance.

A few miles away the photo below shows where some say sharper tools in the shed could find solitude and significant social distancing, CV-19 free.
No Loud Popes or CV-19.jpg


'Dr. G'
Professor of Motorcycle Adventure, SOUND RIDER magazine, and Adventure Motorcycle University
Moto-Journalist, author, script consultant and fisherman
Sole sexual survivor: www.greataroundtheworldmotorcycleadventurerally.com
 

The Bigfella

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KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
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Seems it was a bit of a petri dish
 

DrGMIA

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Pit stop after 6th ride around the world, in USA,
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Oldest 1931, newest 2016, numerous makes and models in between on several continents
Sturgis 2020 was an economic "petri dish" in a sense, as the numbers keep rolling in from various sources, like this German source:

Economics: $26, 553.64 USD to stay at home versus “party hardy” at Sturgis 2020

"The findings come in a new study: “The Contagion Externality of a Superspreading Event: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and COVID-19,” published by IZA — Institute of Labor Economics, a German think tank. Its four authors are all researchers affiliated with American universities.

The researchers found that the rally, which hosted 462,182 people between Aug. 7 and 16, “generated substantial public health costs,” totaling $12.2 billion. (That calculation is based on figures on health care costs associated with the coronavirus from another IZA study.) The authors note that the cost was “enough to have paid each of the estimated 462,182 rally attendees $26,553.64 not to attend.”"

Simply sifting through the reported 2020 Sturgis numbers, real or fake, can be a cranial adventure in extrapolation or contraction - likely the true ripple effect of attending will never be known.

'Dr. G'
Professor of Motorcycle Adventure, SOUND RIDER magazine, and Adventure Motorcycle University
Moto-Journalist, author, script consultant and fisherman
Sole sexual survivor: www.greataroundtheworldmotorcycleadventurerally.com
 
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The Bigfella

Senior Member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Bikes
KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
I've been seeing various studies on it. Amazing.
 
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