Kudos to the people of Sturgis, Rapid City, and all the surrounding communities for their hospitality during rally week. It’s easy to say that the economic benefits of having a few hundred thousand visitors is a powerful motivator, but that usually isn’t enough to change underlying attitudes, especially if they are negative to begin with.
From servers in bars and restaurants to hotel staff to retail personnel, the people of South Dakota were genuinely welcoming, friendly, and enthusiastic. “Welcome Bikers” signs started sprouting along I-90 (along with the ubiquitous Wall Drug and Corn Palace billboards) as soon as we crossed into the state, and through their actions the people demonstrated that this was much more than simply a marketing pitch.
I suspect few other places in North America would not only accept but embrace the idea of having so many strangers and so many motorcycles disrupt their lives for what actually amounts to a couple of weeks every summer, so thank you all for making a great trip even better.