Today, Sturgis sits there like a bad hangover, the flash of chrome and rumble of bikes replaced by dusty parking lots and littered campgrounds. Another successful event is in the books, leaving me with a few thoughts about this year’s rally and a tremendous urge to get back home.
It was a record year, according to most accounts, with attendance numbers like 600,000 to 800,000 being tossed around by the folks who should know such things. Counting crowds is a nebulous business at best, with possibly the worst suggestion I ever heard requiring an accurate count of all the feet and then dividing by two. It’s like percentages. Nearly 74 percent of all percentages are made up — including this one.
But my best guess is that record attendance figures were achieved this year. And that’s based on the traffic on Lazelle and Main streets, along with the number of people coming through the J&P Cycles store and our newly added 8th street lot. Even with the crowds and high temperatures, the J&P crew didn’t miss a beat as our folks welcomed massive amounts of customers into the air-conditioned superstore.
It was certainly a banner year for us. We opened earlier than ever and had customers lined up just about every morning in anticipation of the biker goodies that waited for them inside. Our resident installers, Fix Cycles, was on the premises installing more than 900 tires this year — sending any fears of a double recession fading into a haze of tire smoke.
The unveiling of the Paul Jr. Designs Bikers Choice bike was a much-anticipated and much-talked about event. There was a ton of buzz on the J&P Cycles Facebook page as well as this blog leading up to the big event and — whether you like them or not— the O.C.C. boys are back in full effect. Mikey, Vinnie and Paul Jr. revealed the spiderwebbed themed bike “Anti-Venom” as well as a lizard-looking pro-street machine built for Geico insurance to an appreciative crowd on Friday afternoon. Check out TLC on Thursdays for the new TV show and coverage of the event on the J&P lot.
The second event that sticks out in my mind was the AMD World Championship of Bike Building. Having never attended this before I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew there would be world class machines there, but outside of that I really didn’t have a clue. What I found was an incredible event run by great people with not only talented builders, but all around good guys. As a sponsor for the event, J&P got to pick a bike for its Partner Pick of Excellence Award and we chose the bike DMX built by Danny Schneider of HardNine Choppers who had an out-of-the-box take on a 1942 WLA. Danny also placed third in the Modified Harley-Davidson class. Danny’s an interesting guy and couldn’t have been a better choice for our award. Stay tuned to the blog and Facebook pages for more coverage of Danny, DMX and HardNine Choppers in the days to come.
I can say with this without a doubt — this was the biggest and best Sturgis ever. If you didn’t have a chance to attend this year, start making plans now. And if you were there you’re probably still doing laundry like me. We will see you next year between Main and Lazelle.