STURGIS MOTORCYCLE RALLY 2017
Pappy’s Enduring Tradition
Times change. But traditions endure.
Until they don’t.
Usually they come and go, to be honest. People get excited about something—the hula hoop or disco or beehives hairdos—and they think yes, this is amazing, this is here to stay! And then it’s gone and something else comes along. Whatever the wonderful thing was, it ends up being just a fad, a funny memory.
The difference is that traditions are substantial. They tap into something deep and important in the human psyche, and we hold on to them because we feel it, we embrace that expression of our deeper selves, and if we’re lucky, maybe once in a lifetime, we get to be part of a new tradition, one that is so important, so honest in its expression of our humanity, that it catches on and is passed to future generations. That’s the way with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Pappy Hoel’s old Motorcycle Classic—it’s 77 years old and growing.
To see how it all happened, how a sleepy cow town on the edge of the Dakota plains got in the habit of transforming itself for one week a year into the world’s motorcycle mecca and biker heaven, you have to make your way to the east end of Legendary Main Street in Sturgis.