Little did we know when we rung in the New Year 2020 way back on January 1st could we ever imagine what a sh!t year we were about to face. Prior to this year Corona had only one meaning to most of us, it was a beer best served in a bucket of ice. Unfortunately we all know now that Corona is also the name of a highly infectious disease that has killed over 428,000 people as of today and infected over 7.69 million people worldwide. Think about that for a second, over 428,000 plus people have died from this disease worldwide. Take the biggest football stadium in the USA, which has a full capacity of 107,420 people. Imagine four days of this stadium, to max capacity, and every single person in the stadium, every day for four days is dead, this will give you the idea of the world body count as of today, June 15th. There is no sign of it going away, so the infections and deaths will keep mounting till a vaccine or medical treatment is proven to work. Here in the States, unfortunately the response to the epidemic as been politicized. Some people were led to believe that the warnings and shutdowns over the virus was something that was over blown, while others believed this was something really dangerous and heeded the per-cautions and warnings from the medical community. I judge not what ever group you fall into, from my experience I choose to follow the warning issued by the medical community.
Lethal Threat is based a half hour ride North of New York City, and the first hot spot for the virus spread in New York was a town called New Rochelle, which is the next town over from us. The whole town of New Rochelle was under a police / National Guard lock down for weeks. Soon the whole state of New York had over 100,000 infections, with hospitals pushed to the breaking point and the dead being stored in refrigerated truck trailers. So for us at Lethal Threat, this was all too real for us. Thankfully nobody was infected here at Lethal Threat, and we followed all the recommended precautions, but while things are slowly opening up across the State, things will not go back to normal anytime in the foreseeable future.
The big question for us, and bikers around the world is when will motorcycle rallies start up again and how will they be different in this new age of the Coronavirus? Many events and rallies have been postponed till 2021 but the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the Super bowl of motorcycle rallies in the States, is taking place this August 7th till August 16th. It will be the 80th Anniversary of the event, and in these pre-coronavirus days, this year’s event was expected to break the attendance record set in 2015 of over 739,000 people in attendance. I don't think any records are going to be broken this year for over attendance, maybe the will have a record for the least attended rally in recent years. The City of Sturgis had not officially made the final decision if they would support the Rally or cancel it. The decision was due today, June 15. I will tell you what they decided at the end of this blog. The question had shifted, in the previous weeks, to how to run the Rally if the City of Sturgis decides not to participate. The City of Sturgis can only control what happens within their city limits. If you have been to Sturgis, you know there are events and concerts happening within a 100 mile radius of the actual Main Street in the City of Sturgis. The surrounding towns, campgrounds and event locations will have vendors, bars, concerts and restaurants to welcome the bikers, regardless if the City of Sturgis postpones the rally for this year.
Question is would you go? Having been to Sturgis many times for the rally, this crowd is about having a good time. I don't think social distancing and wearing face masks is the priority of the attendees. Riding to the various locations on your bike is not the problem, it is when you get to your destination, and you will be one of many thousands of people at the same attraction or event. If the Sturgis Rally was to be cancelled it would be devastating for the businesses that make 1/3 or more of their annual income at this rally for the whole year. Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t. If the City of Sturgis decides the rally is cancelled, the many vendors will shift their retail locations to neighboring cities. The event is going on regardless. For all those who attend and work the event, we offer you our best wishes and be safe as best you can! We will have our dealers selling our Lethal Threat products at the Rally, and always appreciate the support of our customers!
Update: The Sturgis City Council voted last night to go ahead with the Rally this year. An 8 to 1 decision to move forward with the event. Some of the ceremonies will not be held and vendors will be given a set of guidelines they must follow such as wearing face masks and sanitizing stations everywhere. It won’t be the rally of previous years but any time in this area of South Dakota is great for motorcycling.