McCain to Roll Into Sturgis for Motorcycle Rally | Black Hills Travel Blog

McCain to Roll Into Sturgis for Motorcycle Rally

By : 
Dan

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Talk about a Secret Service nightmare.

The Buffalo Chip Campground, the sometimes wild and wooly outpost on the eastern edge of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, announced last week that Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, will be at the Chip this year.

McCain, a decorated veteran and Vietnam POW, will be on hand for the annual Tribute to American Veterans and Active Duty Servicemen. He will be there Monday, Aug. 4, the first official day of the rally, according to the Buffalo Chip announcement.

Actually, Sturgis is a good place to campaign for McCain. The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally attracts hundreds of thousands of bikers from all over the United States. And despite the event"s reputation, most of the people trend politically somewhere between conservative and libertarian. But they"re also more open-minded than a lot of constituencies.

I remember at the 2000 rally when singer Cher went onstage at the Chip on behalf of the Children’s Craniofacial Association. She told the crowd that her next stop was a performance for then-scandalized President Clinton. For a minute, I thought the crowd was going to boo her off the stage. They warmed up, however, after Cher gently scolded them: "I can"t believe this ... You of all people."

It will be interesting to see how the Secret Service handles the McCain appearance. Almost by definition, the Buffalo Chip crowd is not amenable to metal detectors, crowd-control, herding and other Secret Service stuff. I mean, these guys ride their bikes right into the Chip"s second-floor beer garden.

But if the Secret Service can get President Bush safely in and out of Baghdad, I"m sure they"ll be able to handle Sturgis.

About the Author

Dan is an on-again, off-again Black Hills resident since 1978. The Aberdeen native hit the road after high school, building houses in Boulder, working oil rigs on Colorado's Western Slope, delivering cars in California. In Wyoming and Idaho, he worked as a newspaper journalist. But the Black Hills kept luring him back. For 18 years, he wrote for the Rapid City Journal. The job gave him a chance to see the Hills from atop Mount Rushmore and the bottom of the Homestake Mine. Whenever possible, Dan grabs his dog Kody and heads to the Hills. These days, he's perfecting the art of low-impact backpacking: hike two hours to a scenic spot, break out the wine, cook up the pasta, watch the sunset and fall asleep under the stars.

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