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Motorcycle Rally Briefly Makes Sturgis Older But Less White

Are Sturgis Rally Goers Getting Younger?” asks KELO-TV. Well, they may feel younger with the wind whipping through their hair, but every one of them is getting older, just like the rest of us.

But the average age of attendees of South Dakota’s premier sex-trafficking event has dropped during coronavirus, according to surveys by the City of Sturgis:

In 2019, the average age of a biker who attended the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was 54.

…The average age for a rally biker was 46.5 in 2021 while the median age was 48 in 2021, according to the city’s 2021 report on the rally [Rae Yost, “Are Sturgis Rally Goers Getting Younger?” KELO-TV, 2022.08.02].

I suggest that some of that age shift may have resulted from older people, while not monolithically more sensible than whippersnappers, tending to limit their travel more due to coronavirus concerns.

And we should note that while the last couple years have brought the average Sturgis Rally age below 50, last year’s median Rallygoer age of 48 is still well above South Dakota’s median age of 37.6 and Meade County’s median age of 36.5. So the Rally still makes Sturgis older.

But that older crowd isn’t as white as South Dakota. The Sturgis surveys say 70% of Rallygoers are white. The Census says white folks make up 84.2% of South Dakota and 89.7% of Meade County.


  1. larry kurtz 2022-08-03 08:07

    Twenty two years of Sturgis was certainly enough for me and most of today’s wildfire potential is clustered in Republican counties including Meade.

    Party on.

  2. P. Aitch 2022-08-03 08:10

    The Census says white folks make up 84.2% of South Dakota and 89.7% of Meade County. – CAH
    However, the white people of SD still have a lot to learn about the true cultural and intellectual members of their own environment.
    The second season of the national hit comedy/drama “RESERVATION DOGS” begins today. The first season was a masterful portrayal of NDN life with a strong development of characters that became dear to the hearts of America.
    This reviewer (me) finds Generation Z fascinating and gives hope for the future of America. Rez Dogs and Stranger Things are truly fine shows.

  3. Sheldon 2022-08-03 08:44

    Huh, young professionals, students, and kids don’t have as much time to take a week away at a bike rally??? This is not a story. Of course the age is going to be higher than the median for the area. The event is not for young people…

  4. Arlo Blundt 2022-08-03 16:48

    Sheldon is correct. The bike rally does not target young people for attendance. Simply, young people don’t have enough money to blow on a week long bash loosing a wild hair. Middle aged men, middle aged women, chasing their lost youth and being irresponsible, and running up an impossible balance on their credit cards.

  5. grudznick 2022-08-04 21:18

    Those noisy machines ought be banned, indeed, but the folks who can afford to have fun should be able to have fun. None of us old sticks-in-the-mud should be able to say BAH to them doing what they want. This is America, you know. And, way back in the olden days, even grudznick was known to visit some of the places where the music was played the some of the ladies would parade about. No harm came of it. Today, when grudznick and my good friend Bob walk into a joint, of course the average age goes way up, but so does the class of the joint. At least when Bob is wearing one of his hats it does.

  6. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-08-10 19:11

    Yep, I’m reviving an old subject. I woke up at 02:04 today by a very loud motorcycle with a bad exhaust system and a purposely damaged muffler.
    What makes it even “funnier” is I could hear Taylor Swift’s re-recorded “Love Story” which I’ve only heard on Ryan Reynold’s “Satan and 2020 are Dating” video.

  7. grudznick 2022-08-10 19:53

    The fellow or perhaps gal riding it, Ms. Fairbank, was probably intoxicated or high on the demon weed, possibly leaving a party that could have been going on at Bob’s house.

  8. P. Aitch 2022-08-10 20:05

    It’s an invalid comparison to equate California soil with Dakota soil. I’ve spent a lot of time in the San Joaquin, and I grew up farming in ESD. Large scale vegetable production in the Dakotas isn’t feasible. There is however opportunity for profitable organic growth in SD. It’s growing organic grain to feed to dairy cattle to produce high milk fat content, organic milk used to create very high-quality cheese products. Not the low-grade mozzarella that’s being produced now in SD that’s being used to make the cheap frozen and cheap delivery pizzas. The quality cheeses grown in France, Italy, Vermont, and Oregon could be profitably replicated in SD cheese factories and small farm garage operations.
    Also, growing organic hard amber durum wheat to create top shelf pasta products. Few soils worldwide can grow that wheat.
    Those are the organic farming opportunities that are being ignored.

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