Day: November 7, 2020

A Motorcycle Rally in a Pandemic? ‘We Kind of Knew What Was Going to Happen.’

Mayor Mark Carstensen in Sturgis, S.D., a town that hosts a popular annual motorcycle rally late in the summer, Oct. 24, 2020. (Benjamin Rasmussen/The New York Times)
Mayor Mark Carstensen in Sturgis, S.D., a town that hosts a popular annual motorcycle rally late in the summer, Oct. 24, 2020. (Benjamin Rasmussen/The New York Times)

STURGIS, S.D. — Albert Aguirre was amped as he and a buddy skimmed across the South Dakota plains, heading to join 460,000 bikers for a motorcycle rally shaping up to be a Woodstock of unmasked, uninhibited coronavirus defiance.

“Sit tight Sturgis,” Aguirre, 40, posted on Facebook on Aug. 7 as he snapped a photo of the sun sifting through the clouds. “We’re almost there!”

A month later, back home in the college town of Vermillion, South Dakota, Aguirre was so sick he could barely take a shower. He had not been tested but told friends that it had to be COVID-19.

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