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DOT Counted 525,768 Vehicles Entering Sturgis During Rally

The South Dakota Department of Transportation reports 525,768 vehicles tripped the wires on the way into Sturgis during this year’s motorcycle rally. That’s 13.8% more than the last time we held South Dakota’s biggest T&A fest amidst a pandemic.

I’d like to think the increased traffic count is a sign that people got smart about coronavirus, got vaccinated, and thus reduced the chance that traveling cross-country would increase the spread of the disease. But I also notice that last year, in the week before the Rally, the nation’s seven-day average of daily new cases of coronavirus dropped from 64,000 to less than 56,000, this year’s national daily case count in the week before the Rally rose from 77,000 to over 100,000. If rallygoers were sensible, you’d think some fraction of them would have looked at the covid numbers the week before the Rally and said, “Dang, the pandemic is actually worse this year than last. Maybe we should wait and go to the Hills later, when it’s less crowded.”

And maybe some fraction did. Maybe we would have seen 575,000 or 600,000 vehicles coming through Sturgis (and multiple gas stations throughout South Dakota) if some fraction of riders and trailerers hadn’t canceled their plans. But we don’t know those numbers. What we do know is that there were almost twice as many new coronavirus infections a day in this country when this year’s Rally started than there were last year at the same time, and more people kept on coming.

South Dakota Tourism, thy name is Pyrrhic victory.

The 2021 Sturgis traffic count appears to be the highest since the big 75th Rally in 2015. But according to Wikipedia, Sturgis posted higher traffic tallies in 1990 and from 1999 through 2005.


  1. Arlo Blundt 2021-08-19 August 1969, I stopped for lunch at the Phillips 66 Truck Stop and cafe in Sturgis and the waitress told me there were “over 2,500” people in town for the “Hill Climb”. I’d never heard of it.

  2. jerry 2021-08-19

    On the floor laughing at that one Cory “If rallygoers were sensible”. We’re a long way from that.

  3. Mark Anderson 2021-08-19

    Well Cory, you have to admit, it’s all the right people.

  4. Bob Newland 2021-08-19

    Rallygoers ARE sensible. They spent several tens of thousands of $s on photographs of themselves at various highway venues. I was the beneficiary of several thousands of such $s. Eat me, John Dale.

  5. grudznick 2021-08-19

    I saw you standing there on the side of the road, Bob, with your little sign and fancy camera device. You did not take grudznick’s picture, but I had to chortle a bit and am glad you got a little walking around money out of it all.

  6. Donald Pay 2021-08-20

    Well, in my view that’s 525,768 souls who I hope die quickly so they don’t infect the rest of us who stayed away. It’s not just rallygoers that on my death wish list, however. Rallygoers are just one in a long list I have for people I want to see die quickly after being irresponsible. The people who went to the Deer Garden during the Milwaukee Bucks run to the NBA championship are on my list, as are anyone who attends the Badgers and Packers games this year. I’ve already talked about politicians, like Noem and Trump, Too bad Trump didn’t buy the farm when he got Covid. America would have been much better off: no Jan. 6 insurrection, a return to a rational Republican Party. And, don’t you think South Dakota would be far better off with Noem six feet under from a good dose of Covid? I think any politician that gets Covid deserves to die, and that includes Democrats.

    I never stopped being cautious with Covid. I always wear a mask inside stores for necessary shopping only. I shop during early morning “senior hours.” I got vaccinated in February, and am trying to line up a booster shot. I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of getting Covid and passing it on to the few loved ones in my life, or even to someone I pass by in the store. I welcome the death of those who don’t share my views. But die quickly, will you?

  7. John Dale 2021-08-20

    I wonder if Bob was taking pictures of license plates, but really I stopped by to let you know that the pandemic is over. I got this email from the democratic secretaries of state:

    “Team – it seems that as we start to leave this pandemic behind us, we re-enter America’s epidemic of gun violence. Just this year there have been over 400 mass shootings alone. Enough is enough. It’s time for Congress to take action, and pass legislation curbing the proliferation of guns across the country.”

    From one hustle to another, the DSOS are working hard!

  8. Neal 2021-08-20

    Don has a hit list.

    Get help dude. What a miserable way to live.

  9. Donald Pay 2021-08-20

    Yes, Neal, I agree. It is a miserable way to live. Sharing this world with massively selfish, stupid and irresponsible people is a real chore. My death list is just what a more potent strain of Covid is going to evolve to as long as some people, like Neal, have an IQ lower than a virus. Covid would be under control had the dipsy doodles taken some responsibility, and acted, you know, like they really believed in the social compact, rather than their own selfishness. China has had outbreaks of the delta strain. They have been able to control it. What is wrong with our culture, and some of our people? We have a death cult spewing Neal-type nonsense, and the lower than virus IQ folks are killing the rest of us. They need to die fast, and let the responsible people live.

  10. cibvet 2021-08-20

    Don, you have to realize that some Americans believe that we are the superior and exceptional country. Being smarter than everyone else has led us to lead every other country with deaths and now lead every other country with the D variant. I, personally do not care if all of these smart people die as I believe that the IQ average of this country will improve. A small price to pay for improvement of the US.

  11. Jake 2021-08-20

    Isn’t that just typical John Dale and Neal outlook? Belief in conspiracy to the utmost.

  12. Neal 2021-08-20

    Don said: “Sharing this world with massively selfish, stupid and irresponsible people is a real chore.”

    The feeling is mutual. All roads lead to formal political and social separation. Let’s figure out a way to collaborate on that so it doesn’t have to be ugly.

  13. Donald Pay 2021-08-20

    Fine, Neal, you are welcome to leave to live in, oh, Hungary, Russia or some other similar fascist regime that would suit you better, but, no, you don’t get any part of America. America is for Americans, not fascists.

  14. Neal 2021-08-20

    Sorry Don, I don’t need to go anywhere. The numbers don’t lie. Despite your 18+ month hysteria-fear propaganda campaign, *still* only about half of Americans are fully “vaccinated” for covid. And of that half, many of them don’t share your patently fascist views on forced inoculation. You’re truly on the lunatic fringe here.

    And 50% is about as good as it’s gonna get for you. Everyone who wants it already has it. The rest of us don’t trust you, the pharma industry, the government, the medical “experts,” or anything else on this topic – and we never will.

    That number is only going to go down in successive years. Ultimately it’ll be much like the flu vaccine, which less than half of Americans usually get.

    Like I said a few weeks ago, it’s about 50/50 on this. I don’t need to go overseas to find the kind of freedom I want. It’s right here in South Dakota. Whatever state you live in may take a different approach. That’s the beauty of the type of federalism envisioned by the founders of this country – you can go to the place that suits you, with people who share your political and social views.

    That’s the only solution short of formal dissolution of the republic – a return to real federalism. Perhaps we can continue to share a country under those circumstances. Otherwise, I’m done with you and your type. Go far away from me, and stay there.

  15. Donald Pay 2021-08-20

    Nope, Neal. Get out. Better yet, die. No one wants your fascist death cult lies. Now, as covid ravages the red states, even the lower IQ folks there are beginning to see the truth. You are killing off your support. and those that live are seeing through your lies. Keep it up. You’ll all be dead or progressives in a year. I can stand a few more months of masks and senior shopping hours just to have covid run wild amongst the death cult.

  16. mike from iowa 2021-08-20

    January 6th shows the lengths of ugly Neal’s fascists are willing to go to destroy America from the magatside. drumpf and his followers need to be expeditiously expedited to some third world sh#thole they want to turn America into. They ain’t patriots and their claims they want indoctrinate patriotic garbage into America’s schools rings as dingy as they are,

  17. Porter Lansing 2021-08-20

    South Dakota now has the highest new Covid-19 case increases, per 100,000 people, in America. – NYTimes

  18. mike from iowa 2021-08-20

    FREEDUMB, Porter, and it is rampant in magats. Freedumb to infect others, family included, and freedumb to die because drumpf and Noem Nothing assures them their deaths are for a good cause. Eventually suppressing magat voters through attrition and turning America and all states blue.

  19. cibvet 2021-08-20

    mfi–Covid won’t get them all, but at least it will thin the herd to where they become irrelevant and the country will be better for it..

  20. mike from iowa 2021-08-20

    You are likely right, cibvet. Sure wish a simple dream would come true. Several years ago I discovered how real magats could be useful idiots in my garden. I raised broilers on wood chips and had grandsons tote the used chips to my garden. They dump them in a pile and we let the laying hens out and they would scurry out to garden and scratch through wood chips for magats. I got the compost evenly scattered and the protein laden magats kept most of the hens from eating my tomatoes.

  21. bearcreekbat 2021-08-20

    Well for folks like Neal that “. . . don’t trust . . . the pharma industry [and] . . . the medical “experts,” is it only a question of whether Covid 19 might be fatal before some other medical condition that would be treatable by “medical experts” and/or pharmaceuticals. For example, non-trusting folks like Neal that have allergies to bee stings, or ashma, or similar conditions surely would never use the EpiPen to inject epinephrine when their throat swells up and closes so they can’t breathe. After all EpiPens are made by that nasty “pharma industry”. Likewise I am sure they would refuse to put nitroglycerin under their lip when suffering a heart attack, or submit to one of the frightening and dangerous stint or bypass procedures. Indeed, I can just hear Neal screaming “leave me the hell alone you facist” at some miscreant “medical expert” trying to get Neal’s heart restarted with a defibrillator, or God forbid some other so-called “medical expert” tries to encourage immediate treatment to minimize the damage from a life threatening stroke, let alone try to treat a broken back, head fracture, loss of limb, polio, cancer, etc, etc, etc.

    So folks that want Neal and his ilk culled from the human herd only have to wait awhile (unless Neal decides that maybe, after all, some “medical experts” and some pharmaceuticals might be trustworthy after all). If Neal is being honest with readers about not trusting “the pharma industry” and the “medical experts” then he is screwed as it would be a dangerous fool’s errand to try to pick and choose based on instinct, especially if Neal’s asserted lack of trust is premised on the belief that the “pharma industry [and] . . . the medical “experts,” are evil entities really just out to harm people. Or perhaps Neal doesn’t think “the pharma industry [and] . . . the medical “experts” are evil, just too dumb to trust. Whatever the case, watch out for bee stings Neal!

  22. jerry 2021-08-20

    Neal takes a handful of doctor prescribed meds for what ails him, including for his ED. Neal is one who doesn’t blush when he sees the ads for Viagra he just denies his own usage.

  23. Jake 2021-08-20

    And by the way Neal, don’t hurry to the emergency room for treatment either-it’s staffed by those science trained “medical experts” as are the ambulances that respond to a call from your concerned associate!
    If you suffered from a bad cut with something rusty a “lockjaw” shot might be in order-so you could talk or swallow. Gosh-darn, you’re going to save yourself or society a
    bunch of $$$ aren’t you?

  24. jerry 2021-08-20

    Neal also supports his dear leader Putin in the discussion of the Balkanization of the US. Putin saw this right in his smug face when it happened to the Soviet Union. Why do you think Putin put trump in the White House and why Neal thinks it’s all just great.

    “The agenda of Balkanization is therefore to transform a unified country into a squabbling aggregation of different racial, religious, and ethnic groups. This makes its promoters useful idiots for foreign and domestic enemies who seek to undermine the foundation of American nationalism as described by Theodore Roosevelt. This is the proposition that America is one indivisible nation for all who share our values regardless of what they look like, how or if they pray, where they or their ancestors came from, or when they or their ancestors became citizens.”

    I only know one thing, South Dakota’s hospitals are filling up fast and now we have the Central States Fair. Looks like death and hospital bills will continue to rise. Thanks Neal

  25. Neal 2021-08-20

    Don said: “Better yet, die.”

    No good person would say (or even think) something like this to (or about) a political enemy. Don, I’ve been polite and civil with you. This kind of response is the sign of a deeply dark and tormented soul. I’m truly sorry for your condition, and for those who jumped in to support your death wishes upon me.

    I won’t engage you directly anymore. Not because I care about you wishing death upon me, but because I don’t want to be complicit in such a grotesque and horrifying display of spiritual self-harm. When you wish literal death upon someone you hurt yourself much more than the recipient of your reprehensible thoughts.

    I hope you can find peace.

  26. Donald Pay 2021-08-20

    I actually feel sorry for Neal. I really don’t want him to die. I want him to come to his senses, throw off the death cult ideology, embrace science and live a good, long life. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The first of these is life. You can’t have liberty without it. But, I realize some people are just too far gone down the rabbit hole. They’ll be anti-vaxers and anti-maskers as they gasp their last breath. If it was just themselves they were killing, that would be fine with me, but they risk killing others, too. So, yeah, better they die fast, than they take others down with them.

  27. mike from iowa 2021-08-20

    Neal is playing Russian Roulette with all cylinders loaded in a crowded room where everyone lines up side by side every time the trigger is pulled. The 7th in line wins. This is the freedumb he seeks.

  28. grudznick 2021-08-20

    It’s not Mr. Pay’s first wishing-of-death-upon-others, no. I recall in a dark moment when his tortured soul reached up through his bowels and put a half-Nelson on his aorta and he wished me death, too, but I knew he still needed my love and we’re both still here today.

  29. Donald Pay 2021-08-20

    Neal, I look at this as “the trolley problem.” I have decided to save the five people you would kill with your irresponsibility. You, of course, don’t care about the five people you would kill. You’re content to spread Covid to five people infecting each one by one as you go about being selfish, and adhering to your death cult ideology. So, I, as the moral person in this, have to decide whether I prefer to see you die quickly before you kill the five, or do I think it’s just dandy that you walk around with murder on your mind.

  30. grudznick 2021-08-20

    But Mr. Pay, grudznick is fully vaccinated and everything! They put me in the fast-pass line, and I’ll be due my booster in no time, and I’ll take it happily, to protect you and yours.

  31. Arlo Blundt 2021-08-20

    Well…grudz…I think Donald is just frustrated by the total obstinance and utter lack of any “love thy neighbor as yourself” social conscience on the part of the vaccine deniers…so am go into a second year of self isolation in defense against this belligerent nonsense is I’m pleased I can count on you to stay in the booster shot “fast lane” and hope you corral any number of your Conservatives with conscience breakfast buddies to cozy up to the old hypodermic. We’re all in this together.

  32. Lottie 2021-08-20

    So remember what KN says “its a personal choice and personal responsibility…we need to have our freedom”. If we survive, i say.

  33. mike from iowa 2021-08-21

    Can Grudzilla prove he has his rabies and canine distemper vaccinations? He foams at the mouth over out of state name callers.

  34. Porter Lansing 2021-08-21

    Neal Tapio –

    61% of Americans have Covid protection.

    47 % of voters voted for Donald Trump.

    Smart people outnumber fools.

  35. Jake 2021-08-22

    Porter-so much crickets from Tapio, eh? figures.

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