Sturgis Mayor’s Ride brings scenic views, aid to first responders

For two decades, the ride has brought about 200 riders to various locations around the Black Hills.

STURGIS, S.D. — It wouldn’t be the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally without the annual Sturgis Mayor’s Ride.

For two decades, the ride has brought about 200 riders to various locations around the Black Hills. The event started at the Sturgis Community Center and ended in Custer State Park where the riders had lunch.

City officials say in its own way, the ride is a kickoff to the rally and that it brings around $500 million to as much as $1 billion a year for businesses.

“Our town grows to one of the largest towns in America from our 7,000 [residents], and our staff basically stays the same,” said Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen. “People that have year round businesses, their staff, I mean obviously they’ll ramp it up. But it’s the same people year-round that are working and that’s the return that they get is this influx of people and visitors.”

Carstensen says the most important part is what the ride brings back to the community of Sturgis.

Mayors Ride 3Specifically, where it helps its volunteer fire department and other first responder services.

“It’s a situation where without the support of others, it’s a lot of hard work for those guys that raise the funds, have the meetings and fight the fires. It’s a lot,” Carstensen said. “We try to help where we can help.”

On average, Roth says the ride raises around $40,000 for the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Service.

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