Originally published on www.hagerty.com
There is a low, deep rumble surging statewide in anticipation of the 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Riders come from all over the U.S., and this year Aug. 3-9 has the potential to be one of the greatest and largest gatherings of motorcycle enthusiasts ever.
The Sturgis Rally was not even a twinkle in modern motorcycle enthusiasts’ eyes when Clarence “Pappy” Hoel purchased an Indian Motorcycle franchise during downward slope of the Great Depression in 1936. Little did he know, he was going to be the man to start a new revolution as the founder of the most famous motorcycle gathering in the world. In 1938, Pappy and his wife, Pearl, decided to host a race in Sturgis with their newly founded Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club. There were nine participants and a mere 200 spectators in attendance. Compare that to participant numbers in 2014 with a whopping 442,200 bikers —astonishing growth that proves the commitment and brother and sisterhood that motorcyclists share.