Women have been a part of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally since its inception in 1938. However, in recent years, as the number of women riders across the nation has dramatically increased to nearly 20% of the motorcycling community, the number of ladies on two wheels at the rally has grown as well.
Five years ago I was 23 and attending Sturgis for my first time. Every year I attend, I've seen the demographic change. I've seen more women riding down main street or through the beautiful twisty roads in the hills. There used to be a time not so long ago that a woman on a motorcycle was almost like seeing a rare mythical creature. But not anymore. Women are rolling into Sturgis by the masses, and I can't help but smile ear to ear when I see packs of ladies ripping through town on two wheels!
Women are making an impact at the Sturgis Rally in more ways than just attendance. Numerous rides and events are hosted by women. To name a few: Jody Perewitz and her father, Dave, host a custom paint and bike show every year at the rally. Looking to meet and ride with some of the industry's leading female motorcyclists? The Biker Belles Ride had a record breaking 11th year with nearly 180 women joining in on the ride for 2019. And, the Buffalo Chip hosted it's 3rd year of an all women's camp out known as the Wild Gypsy Tour during the rally. Lastly, Britney Olsen hosts the Spirit of Sturgis, a vintage motorcycle race at the historic Sturgis half mile track.
Through women's events hosted at the Buffalo Chip and throughout Sturgis, I've met dozens of women from all over the world that I'm fortunate to call friends now. We come from different states, countries, lifestyles, ride completely different kinds of motorcycles, and still have the time of our lives together.
"It's so empowering to connect with other women who ride motorcycles. Every year I form more friendships and these women are the reason I come back to Sturgis. I look forward to riding with them all year!" Says Stephanie Catherine Gubernat, a female rider from Pennsylvania who's ridden her Dyna to Sturgis the past three years.
"Having always wanted to make the trip to Sturgis, it initially felt unsafe and I was unsure as a woman going alone and riding all the way from Canada," says Allison Ussyk, now on her second year of riding to Sturgis by herself. "Wild Gypsy Tour gave me a place to feel safe and to experience Sturgis, to get my feet on the ground there. Biker Belles creates a greater community of women supporting women, and in the end, has allowed me to meet life long friends. Now, going to Sturgis is exciting for the adventure it will be, the people, and the community of women who are there."
If you didn't attend the rally this year, we hope to see you ladies at the next one! No matter what you ride, or how long you've been riding, there's a place for you to put your kickstand down in Sturgis.
Ride to food is a travel website created by Staci Wilt to show you the places you need to experience for yourself, inspire you to go against the grain in whatever fashion that entails and to break stereotypes of women.