Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

The 65th Annual Sturgis Rally in Review

Written by  August 30, 2005

The 65th Annual Sturgis Rally is now history, and this year an estimated 525,250 bikers attended the rally, compared to 514,951 in 2004. I don't know about you, but to me, the traffic in and around Sturgis seemed much lighter than over the past several years. Hulett, on the other hand, seemed more packed than usual for No Panties Wednesday.

Stripe and I inquired into this at the media center in Sturgis and were told that this year, more people than usual showed up a week or two prior to the official start of the rally. That may be true, but it also seems to me that the rally is continuing to expand out from the city of Sturgis and people are finding more things to see and do in the outlying towns and cities such as Deadwood, Rapid City, Spearfish and others.

To be perfectly honest, since I've been to Sturgis a few times now, I now prefer spending my days riding through the Black Hills and hanging out in the smaller towns, then bypassing Sturgis as much as possible to get to the Full Throttle Saloon a few times throughout the week.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy hanging out on Main Street Sturgis and people watching just as much as the next guy, but once I've walked up and down the main drag a couple times, hit a few vendor booths and had a drink...or two...or three...at the Side Hack Saloon, Broken Spoke and Roadhouse, I'm ready to get the hell out of Dodge...or Sturgis as it is, to see what's going on elsewhere.

Plus, with all the nakedness, big-named bands and activities going on in the larger campgrounds such as the Buffalo Chip and Glencoe, there's almost no reason for anyone to leave the grounds because everything is right there within walking or riding distance. This also reduces the chance of getting a DUI, having too tall of ape hangers—or both!

This year I was encouraged to transfer my personal road trip notes, chicken scratchings and photos into an article I entited Road Trippin' to Sturgis. While everyone has their own stories to tell, I thought I'd start off by sharing my Sturgis experience with you and encourage you to send us a brief recap of your own personal Sturgis experience.

If you would like to share your Sturgis experience with our readers, send your story and at least one photo that best reflects your experience to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and it might be published in one of our upcoming issues!

If you haven't had a chance to check out our rally picture pages yet, I'll give you a heads up and let you know that we made a feeble attempt to separate them into somewhat logical categories for your viewing pleasure.

Our Babes page features...well...babes, and our Bikes page features...you guessed it...bikes, with a focus on tank art and unique paint jobs. Our Bikers page is mostly a hodgepodge of bikers doing what they do best...partying!

If one of our photojournalists took your pic and handed you one of our glossy black business card like the one above, and you haven't been able to find your photo, keep checking back. We took several hundred photos at this year's event and we're still sorting through and posting them as quickly as our fat little fingers can type.

If your photo isn't published by September 15, it may be because you are either too ugly, too beautiful (we keep those for our private collection) or you were moving around too damn much for our drunken photojournalists to get a clear shot of you!

Plus, if you happen to have some good digital photos of something unusual that you think we need to publish, send them to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and if we publish your photos we'll send you a free Cycle Connections beer...oops...I mean soda Koozie!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy our coverage of this year's rally, and if you didn't, then get your ass off the sofa, buy your own camera and go hit the streets yourself!

OK, if you're into stats, here are the facts and figures (and a few educated guesses) from this year's rally as compared to a few of the previous year's events:

Estimated Attendance:
1990 - 50th - 400,000
2000 - 60th - 633,000
2002 - 62nd - 450,000
2003 - 63rd - 502,000
2004 - 64th - 514,951
2005 - 65th - 525,250
NOTE: I personally stood next to the road counting everyone myself and made sure not to count anyone twice. Therefore, I know this figure is totally accurate.

Tons of Garbage Hauled:
1990 - 50th - 408.88
2000 - 60th - 769.55
2002 - 62nd - 499.28
2003 - 63rd - 706.77
2004 - 64th - 705.87
2005 - 65th - 795.18
NOTE: This figure doesn't include all the rice burners that were transported to the dump on tow trucks...oops...did I say that out loud...just kidding!!!

Marriage Licenses Issued:
1990 - 50th - 179
2000 - 60th - 197
2002 - 62nd - 110
2003 - 63rd - 100
2004 - 64th - 133
2005 - 65th - 109
NOTE: Stupid drunken sons-a-bitches!

Vendor Licenses Issued (Sturgis/Meade County):
1990 - 50th - 243/307
2000 - 60th - 943/187
2002 - 62nd - 806/136
2003 - 63rd - 848/165
2004 - 64th - 863/222
2005 - 65th - 901/287
NOTE: Opportunist sons-a-bitches!

Rally Related Deaths (SD per SD Highway Patrol & Meade Co. Sheriffs Office):
1990 - 50th - 11
2000 - 60th - 10
2002 - 62nd - 8
2003 - 63rd - 6
2004 - 64th - 4
2005 - 65th - 6
NOTE: What a way to go!

Parking Tickets (Sturgis Police Dept.):
2000 - 60th - 359
2002 - 62nd - 179
2003 - 63rd - 209
2004 - 64th - 221
2005 - 65th - 273
NOTE: Redneck sons-a-bitches!

Felony Drug Arrests (Sturgis Police Dept.):
2000 - 60th - 56
2002 - 62nd - 8
2003 - 63rd - 8
2004 - 64th - 16
2005 - 65th - 17
NOTE: Redneck sons-a-bitches! Can I please at least have my bale of pot back? Looks like the 60th rally was quite a party!

Misdemeanor Drug Arrests (Sturgis Police Dept.)
2000 - 60th - 307
2002 - 62nd - 111
2003 - 63rd - 84
2004 - 64th - 97
2005 - 65th - 110
NOTE: Redneck sons-a-bitches! Can I at least have my bong back? It's a family heirloom...seriously!

Arrests for Non-Traffic Violations (Sturgis Police Dept.):
2000 - 60th - 264
2002 - 62nd - 250
2003 - 63rd - 230
2004 - 64th - 248
2005 - 65th - 258
NOTE: Redneck sons-a-bitches! When ya gotta go, ya gotta go!

Traffic Violations (Sturgis Police Dept.):
2000 - 60th - 500
2002 - 62nd - 149
2003 - 63rd - 172
2004 - 64th - 145
2005 - 65th - 115
NOTE: Redneck sons-a-bitches! If you don't like the way I ride stay off the damn sidewalk!

Jailed (Meade Co. Sheriff):
2000 - 60th - 111
2002 - 62nd - 140
2003 - 63rd - 374
2004 - 64th - 405
2005 - 65th - 448
NOTE: Redneck sons-a-bitches! I want my phone call! Excuse me officer...can I borrow a quarter from your donut fund?

Calls for Service (Meade Co. Sheriff):
2000 - 60th - 1150
2002 - 62nd - 1119
2003 - 63rd - 1228
2004 - 64th - 1441
2005 - 65th - 1197
NOTE: Redneck sons-a-bitches! I ordered that large pepperoni pizza over an hour ago...damnit!

Hospital Emergency Room Visits:
2000 - 60th - 390
2002 - 62nd - 292
2003 - 63rd - 334
2004 - 64th - 340
2005 - 65th - 317
NOTE: I fall down and go boom! Can you kiss my boo-boo?

Taxable Sales (Temporary Vendors):
1990 - 50th - 3 mil
2000 - 60th - 14.3 mil
2002 - 62nd - 13.1 mil
2003 - 63rd - 14.8 mil
2004 - 64th - 16 mil
2005 - 65th - 14.9 mil
NOTE: Ha! Less than last year ya stingy temporary sons-a-bitches!

SD State Sales Tax Collected:
1990 - 50th - 177,000
2000 - 60th - 573,000
2002 - 62nd - 522,473
2003 - 63rd - 594,812
2004 - 64th - 640,523
2005 - 65th - 596,246
NOTE: Ha! Less than last year ya stingy state sales taxing sons-a-bitches!

Sturgis City Sales Tax Collected:
1990 - 50th - 59,000
2000 - 60th - 286,000
2002 - 62nd - 259,106
2003 - 63rd - 279,790
2004 - 64th - 303,894
2005 - 65th - 268,711
NOTE: Ha! Less than last year ya stingy city sales taxing sons-a-bitches!

SD Dept of Tourism Tax Collected:
1990 - 50th - 0
2000 - 60th - 143,000
2002 - 62nd - 129,856
2003 - 63rd - 147,766
2004 - 64th - 158,979
2005 - 65th - 148,060
NOTE: I think we should go back to the way you stingy opportunist sons-a-bitches had it setup back 1990!

By Mike Schweder

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