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Extra staff hired, jail space prepared for Sturgis motorcycle rally

By | General Posts

STURGIS, S.D. — Law enforcement agencies in Meade and Pennington counties are hiring more officers, temporarily opening a second jail and keeping a courthouse open seven days a week for the Sturgis motorcycle rally and the hundreds of thousands of free-wheeling visitors it will attract over the next several days.

“We’re already busy,” Sturgis Police Chief Geody VanDewater said before the rally officially began Friday, Aug. 2.

VanDewater wouldn’t say how many temporary officers he hires but said they come from South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, Minnesota and other neighboring states. Some are working the rally for the first time while others, like one officer who is returning for his 41st rally, are repeat visitors.

Permanent officers will continue to work 12-hour shifts with no days off during the 10-day event, VanDewater said.

Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin also hires temporary deputies, mostly relying on the office’s own reserve deputies and officers with Game, Fish & Parks. The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office hired eight deputies from South Dakota and neighboring states and will also have about 10 of its reserve deputies working full-time, said Chief Deputy Willie Whelchel.

The eight temporary deputies are assigned to two-person foot patrols in the office’s contract communities of Wall, New Underwood, Keystone and Hill City, Whelchel said.

The Rapid City Police Department didn’t hire extra staff and isn’t requiring its officers to work overtime as they have in past years, said Captain James Johns.

During the rally, the Meade County court remains open during the weekends and the old jail — located in the basement of the courthouse across the parking lot from the new jail — is reopened, Merwin said. Extra staff from the area is hired to help the corrections officers, but they don’t carry handcuffs or weapons.

The old jail has large group cells made of “old iron bars” and “doors that clang and bang” that hold about 25 people, Merwin said. When people are arrested, they’re first brought to the old jail to be booked and detained until their court date the next morning. Guards take away their belts and shoes for safety reasons, but let them wear their street clothes. If defendants can’t make bond, they’re moved to the new jail.

“Every day, we clean out the old jail and get ready for a new batch,” Merwin said. “It is quite a procedure. It’s been working for years and everybody is pretty conscientious about everybody’s rights, and we try not to do anything different than we do any other time of the year.”

The Pennington County court functions as normal during the rally and while no extra jail staff is hired, workers aren’t allowed to take vacation or do any special training, Whelchel said.
Enforcement priorities

“You name it, we have it here,” VanDewater said about the crimes he sees during the rally.

But he said the most common issues Sturgis police officers deal with are people parking where they’re not allowed to, followed by drunken driving and drug use.

Cars and motorcycles illegally parked in alleys, handicap spots and other off-limits areas are ticketed and towed to impound lots, the police chief said. “If we just leave them there, we’re not fixing the problem.”

“We allow officer discretion. We just ask that the issue is addressed,” VanDewater said when asked if his officers have to let some violations slide since they’re so busy. “We give more verbal warnings than we do citations.”

VanDewater said officers may give warnings to people urinating in public, carrying open alcohol containers and breaking traffic rules by speeding or not wearing a seat belt. But anyone charged with violent crimes or DUIs will be arrested.

“They will go to jail, and we don’t need them hurting themselves or especially someone else,” he said of drunken drivers.

James said most of the Sturgis activity in Pennington County takes place outside city limits, on the highways, and in Wall and the Mount Rushmore areas. Rapid City officers are mostly focused on road safety and noted some popular stores and venues, such as the Harley-Davidson dealership in Rapid City, provide their own security. He said the department’s goal is to make sure things go smoothly and seem normal for those who work and live in Rapid City.

Pennington County deputies focus on traffic safety and stopping drunken drivers as they prepare for six or seven major motorcycle rides that cross through the county, Whelchel said. Deputies make sure they’re visible and stationed around the county so they can quickly respond to emergencies.

“We want to be able to save lives. That’s our goal every day we come to work,” he said.

Whelchel and James agreed that it’s important to distinguish between those who are recklessly breaking traffic laws and those who may make a mistake because they’re tourists who aren’t familiar with the area.

“We got to help educate folks and guide them,” Whelchel said.

James and VanDewater said they’re not worried about how the rally will be impacted by South Dakota’s new law that says permits aren’t needed to carry a concealed weapon. They said officers are already trained to act as if anyone could be armed.

American Flat Track Ready to Rock at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip

By | General Posts

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 31, 2019) – Following a short layoff to rest and reload, American Flat Track is set to kick off an intense six-week, eight-event run starting with this weekend’sBuffalo Chip TT presented by Indian Motorcycle in Sturgis, S.D., on Sunday, August 4. 

A relatively recent addition to the legendary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the Buffalo Chip TT has already established itself as a highlight of the massively popular 10-day event. Originally conceived as ‘a race that broke out at a rock concert,’ the TT has proven to be exactly that, as the heroes of AFT will set the stage for Godsmack this year in its third annual running.

Some 10,000 raucous fans are again expected to line the fences of the purpose-built TT circuit that winds its way around the legendary Sturgis Buffalo Chip Campgrounds. Those fans will be expecting plenty of drama and excitement and the race has historically delivered and then some.

The Buffalo Chip TT has a tendency to spice things up with a bit of podium variety, including last year’s AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines victory on the part of Jake Johnson (No. 5 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), and the ‘17 triumph of Briar Bauman (No. 14 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) — coming at a time when that sort of success was a bit less the norm for the AFT Twins championship leader.

Henry Wiles (No. 17 Bandit Industries/DPC Racing/Wilco Racing Indian FTR750) has also demonstrated race-winning speed at the venue, as has two-time race runner-up Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750).

Two riders who may be poised to deliver an upset are Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R Rev X) and Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750); both men have shown to be strong at the Buffalo Chip event in years past.

Meanwhile, the Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys class has been even more unpredictable, with both previous Main Event victories going to riders who ultimately finished the season outside the championship top 15. The race’s maiden win was taken by full-time roadracer Hayden Gillim, while last season’s went to all-around two-wheeled ace Ryan Sipes (No. 264 Red Bull/Leatt/KTM 450 SX-F).

Last year’s podium also featured Jacob Lehmann (No. 14 Vince & Denise Holt Honda CRF450R) and his teammate Cole Frederickson. While Frederickson is on the long road to recovery following a serious training accident, both Sipes and Lehmann will be back to give the Roof Systems AFT Singles’ regular fits again in 2019.

That said, the likes of Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 D&D Cycles/Gobert Smash Husqvarna FC450), Mikey Rush (No. 15 RMR Honda/Red Riders Rewards Honda CRF450R), Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F), and Jesse Janisch (No. 132 Roof Systems Dallas TX/Öhlins Yamaha YZ450F) all expect to be up front and contending for the race win come Sunday evening.

Directly following the AFT Twins podium ceremony, Godsmack  the iconic metal band with multiple Grammy nominations and a Billboard Rock Artist of the Year Award to its name — will unleash its particular brand of musical aggression to cap off the evening.

The Buffalo Chip TT and Godsmack performance are just two of a huge number of attractions at the Buffalo Chip during this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The venue will also host the likes of Skid Row, Keith Urban, STYX, Snoop Dogg, Toby Keith, Zakk Sabbath and legions of other diverse and popular musical acts, along with nine bike shows, ongoing stunt performances, BMW demo rides and much more.

Buffalo Chip TT tickets are on sale now at www.rallytickets.com. Race-day campground admission tickets are $72 and include free access to Buffalo Chip entertainment and activities unless otherwise noted as a separately ticketed event.

For fans watching remotely, FansChoice.tv will offer live coverage of the Buffalo Chip TT presented by Indian Motorcycle when the gates open at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT. Opening Ceremonies are scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m PT. The Open Paddock/Rider Autograph Session will take place at 9:05 p.m. ET/6:05 p.m. PT, followed by the Main Event program, which is slated to begin at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT

Be sure to catch the feature broadcast of the Buffalo Chip TT presented by Indian Motorcycleas part of a two-hour block on NBCSN that will also include flag-to-flag coverage of the Black Hills Half-Mile presented by Law Tigers. The back-to-back broadcasts will debut on Saturday, August 10, at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT and re-air on Wednesday, August 14, starting at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT.

For more information on American Flat Track visit www.americanflattrack.com.

To get the latest American Flat Track clothing and merchandise visit www.americanflattracker.com.

How to Watch:

NBCSN and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of American Flat Track. For the 2019 season, NBCSN’s coverage of AFT moves to highly-coveted, weekend afternoon programming slots within two weeks of each event. The complete schedule for AFT on NBCSN can be viewed at http://www.americanflattrack.com/events-nbcsn/. FansChoice.tv remains a cornerstone of AFT’s digital strategy, providing live streaming coverage of every event on AFT’s live page while previous events and exclusive features are available on AFT’s VOD page.

Harley-Davidson Revs Up at Sturgis; Builds New Headquarters

By | General Posts

Harley-Davidson is revving up its involvement at the 79th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with a new headquarters, exciting activities, and workshops that are sure to inspire riders just as much as the beautiful roads around them. Most notably, Harley-Davidson is going all-in on creating experiences across the rally that keep riders engaged including:

New this year, Harley-Davidson will call the Full Throttle Saloon’s Pappy Hoel Campground in Vale Township, S.D. home to its official headquarters for the 79th, 80th and 81st Sturgis Motorcycle Rallies. As the main Harley-Davidson destination, the grounds will now host Harley Owners Group® (H.O.G.) H.O.G. member check-in as well as demos of the brand’s first electric motorcycle, LiveWire™.

Complimentary pinstriping by Skratch, tattoos by Mike Davenport, and fabrication demonstrations by 7 Metal West taking place at Full Throttle Saloon’s Pappy Hoel Campground.

The campground will also host special exhibits including P&A customization demonstrations on 2019 bikes and a showcase of Harley-Davidson’s Battle of the Kings U.S. competition winning bikes in the chop, race, and dirt categories. Riders won’t want to miss a daily display of six builds from the 2019 Born Free show that are sure to inspire what’s possible in customization along with open Q&A on August 3rd and 4th with two of the build teams from San Diego Customs and Suicide Machine Company.

Harley-Davidson is also offering more ways for attendees to unlock all that Sturgis has to offer through its H-D Black Card.

Additional details can be found in the release below and at H-D.com/Sturgis.

MILWAUKEE (July 30, 2019) – As the official motorcycle sponsor of the 79th Annual Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™, Harley-Davidson Motor Company welcomes all motorcycle riders and fans to the beautiful Black Hills region of South Dakota for the largest motorcycle rally in the United States. Harley-Davidson will host activities starting August 3rd through August 10th at multiple venues throughout the region.

New this year, Harley-Davidson will call the Full Throttle Saloon’s Pappy Hoel Campground in Vale Township, S.D. home to its official headquarters for the 79th, 80th and 81st Sturgis Motorcycle Rallies. As the main Harley-Davidson destination, the grounds will now host Harley Owners Group® (H.O.G.) H.O.G. member check-in as well as demos of the brand’s first electric motorcycle, LiveWire™.

“We are excited to be based at an all-new facility at Pappy Hoel,” said Ann Janikowsky, Harley-Davidson Director of Marketing, Community and Experiential. “The all-new H-D Garage will house a stage for demonstrations, a great new-bike demo area, custom bike displays, special events, the H.O.G. venue and more. While we’ve turned Pappy Hoel into Harley Headquarters, there will also be outposts at the Harley-Davidson Rally Point and Sturgis Community Center, and tour destinations in Deadwood and Hill City.”

Additional notable activities taking place at Full Throttle Saloon’s Pappy Hoel Campground include complimentary pinstriping by the legendary artist, Skratch, tattoos by Mike Davenport, and fabrication demonstrations by 7 Metal West. The campground will also host special exhibits including P&A customization demonstrations on 2019 bikes and a showcase of Harley-Davidson’s Battle of the Kings U.S. competition winning bikes in the chop, race, and dirt categories. Riders won’t want to miss a daily display of six builds from the 2019 Born Free show that are sure to inspire what’s possible in customization along with open Q&A on August 3rd and 4th with two of the build teams from San Diego Customs and Suicide Machine Company.

Harley-Davidson is also offering more ways for attendees to unlock all that Sturgis has to offer through its H-D Black Card. Visitors are encouraged to register for a Black Card at any primary Harley-Davidson location and use the card at all Harley-Davidson activities to receive access to exclusive programming throughout the rally and be automatically entered to win prizes, including gift cards, merchandise and concert tickets.

Racing fans can catch Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team racers Sammy Halbert and Jarod Vanderkooi in action at two exciting American Flat Track series events during the Sturgis Rally. The team will race on August 4th at the Buffalo Chip TT in Sturgis, and on August 6th at the Black Hills Half-Mile Presented by Law Tigers at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, S.D. For race schedules and ticket information visit Americanflattrack.com. Fans can also visit the Full Throttle Saloon’s Pappy Hoel Campground on August 5th at 3 p.m. for an autograph session with the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines drag racing team riders Andrew Hines and Eddie Kraweic, and at 5 p.m. with the American Flat Track team.

For Sturgis Rally details and a complete schedule of events at all Harley-Davidson venues go to H-D.com/Sturgis, or pick up a copy of the H-D Official Schedule and Map at H-D sites and other locations in the region.

Klock Werks Pre-Sturgis Press Release

By | General Posts

Hey gang,

In 2018 the World’s Only Corn Palace brought the Klock Werks Annual Pre-Sturgis Party to Main Street of Mitchell, SD.

Those in attendance witnessed Cole Freeman jump his 850 lb. Harley-Davidson Road Glide an unexpected 99’ 11”. That’s right, just one inch shy of 100 feet! There were over 1 million views of the video in just 24 hours!

We have teamed up once again with the Corn Palace to bring the fun back downtown. Join us on Thursday, August 1st from 5-10 pm for the Palace City Pre-Sturgis Party.

Cole Freeman is back again this year!! We’re not suggesting he will do anything as ridiculous as last year, but he definitely has something up his sleeve…

The music will be located to the east of the Scoreboard this year on the newly nicknamed Corn Palace Jam PadLotShelby Lee Lowe will bring his country style all the way from Nashville courtesy of our friends at Jack Daniel’s, and the night will be capped off with local favorite – and former Nashville singer – Dustin Evans.

The team at Klock Werks has teamed up with clothing sensation Dixxon Flannel and will be debuting the exclusive Klock Werks Flannel Colorway at the Pre-Sturgis Party! Known for their fit, comfort, and quality the Dixxon special editions have become collectibles. The creator of Dixxon Flannel, Danny himself and his beautiful wife Nicole will even be in town for the launch and word is there are people planning on being at the Pre-Sturgis Party from as far away as Boston to get theirs. It’s something you definitely won’t want to miss!

Once again we will welcome back the local car enthusiasts with free downtown parking as they show off their wares between 5th and 4th Street. Let’s fill all of Main and invite a friend who has a cool or unique car. The block on 5th Street west of Main will be reserved for the UTV Werks Show and Shine entries and of course bikes will have special parking as the feature of the evening.

  • Once again the Jack Daniel’s beverage garden will keep everyone refreshed. Catch up with friends, and make new ones, on 6th Street.
  • For those that rode into town, the therapists from Integrated Massage Solutions will be on hand.
  • There will be great food vendors filling the parking lot with great food for your tastebuds.
  • The Mayor will take the stage early in the evening and present the Keys to the City to a couple of fortunate people. There will be a proclamation and expect some industry celebrities to be in town for the party!!

New this year you’ll find Drag Specialties present to answer questions on parts new and old, expect some fun fromJ&L Harley-Davidson and full support from Law Tigers.

Fun for all ages – motorcyclist or not – there is something for everyone to enjoy and partake in during this annual event. Whether it’s the people, the music, the food or the camaraderie that draws you to the heart of Mitchell, SD – don’t you dare miss this year’s Palace City Pre-Sturgis Party!

p.s. Make sure to RSVP as ‘going’ on the Facebook Event (check out the link below). Doing this will ensure that you’re one of the first to find out what else gets added to this epic event!

https://www.facebook.com/events/422981644964427

*Peace*Love*Happiness Teams Up with Biker Belle’s Ride in Sturgis

By | General Posts

Celebrate the fastest growing segment of motorcycle enthusiasts while raising funds for worthy local charities.

This year Peace*Love*Happiness is teaming up with the very cool Biker Belle’s ride in Sturgis! This moto-centric event is an opportunity to connect with women who are shaping the motorcycle industry, driving change and breaking long held traditions.

The ride will be August 6th and take off from the Lodge at Deadwood and end at the Buffalo Chip!

Register Now https://www.bikerbelles.com/The-Ride

Upgrade your experience! VIP passes help support the Biker Belle’s mission to raise funds for worthy charities. Your contribution includes:

*VIP seat in the front row for the Biker Belles Forward Motion Symposium at the Buffalo Chip CrossRoads

*All access VIP wrist band to the Annual Big Kenny’s Pool Party at the Deadwood Mountain Grand hosted by Big Kenny of Big & Rich
*Live music
*Flaunt aerialist performances
*Outdoor pool
*Great food & margaritas

*VIP access to the live auction of 2 beautiful custom-built Indian Motorcycles by Motorcycle Missions- A 501(c)3 Non-Profit Corporation helping Veterans and First Responders who deal with PTS(D) and suicidal ideation find hope and healing through motorcycles.

*VIP all access and open bar at the Deadwood Mountain Grand sky

*VIP swag bag filled with Peace*Love*Happiness gear

Hall of Fame Highlight Class of 2019

By | General Posts

The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is featuring Hall of Fame Highlights of this year’s outstanding new group of inductees. For the full story join us at the 2019 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (tickets available below). This year we honor Lonnie Isam, Jr. with the Pappy Hoel Award.

Lonnie Isam, Jr.

The mindset that old bikes should be entombed in shrines has shifted quite dramatically over the last decade, due in no small part to the efforts of one very quiet, unassuming antique enthusiast. Sturgis resident, Lonnie Isam Jr., sparked a worldwide age of enlightenment with his opinion that old motorcycles should be allowed to live out their time here on earth as they were intended: in the wind. He set about sharing that view with riders around the world and now, every other year since 2010, antique motorcycle owners take their ancient machines out on America’s back roads to prove their mechanical marvel’s mettle and that of themselves, as well.

Learn more about Lonnie Isam, Jr. and all of the 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees on August 7, 2019 at the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

The J.C. Pappy Hoel Award is reserved for individuals who have played a special role in the founding, maintaining and/or promoting the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

2019 HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY

DATE AND TIME
WED, AUGUST 7, 2019
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM MDT

LOCATION
THE LODGE AT DEADWOOD
100 PINE CREST DRIVE
DEADWOOD, SD 57732

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient – Gloria Struck

By | General Posts

The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is featuring Hall of Fame Highlights of this year’s outstanding new group of inductees. Here is a glimpse at what they had to say. For the full story join us at the 2019 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (tickets available below).  Congratulations to this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient – Gloria Struck.

While Gloria Tramontin Struck came from a motorcycling family, she didn’t originally have any burning desire to ride. Gloria was born in 1925 behind her family’s business, Lexington Cycle Shop, in Clifton, New Jersey. The business had been selling bicycles and Excelsior-Henderson motorcycles since 1915.

In 1946, at age 21, Gloria joined the Motor Maids that had just started in 1941. She and the founder’s daughter, Betty Fauls, are the longest standing members still riding.

Gloria has logged over 500 thousand miles, riding all 48 continental states many times over. Gloria’s family shares her love of riding. Her daughter Lori is also a Motor Maid and can always be seen riding with Gloria.

Learn more about Gloria Struck and all of the 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees on August 7, 2019 at the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

 

SUNNY BIKERNET WEEKLY NEWS For March 14th, 2019

By | General Posts

Everything is beginning to Bloom

Everything seems to be falling into place for this year. The Salt Shaker is making major strides. The 20th Anniversary of the SmokeOut is coming together.

My plans have shifted regarding the Sturgis Run. I hope today to hear news about progress on the Wilmington waterfront and Yelvington shocks for the Salt Torpedo.

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