When a town swells from 7,000 in population to over 600,000 in population, the advance planning is all-consuming. The preparation is very different, depending upon your participation, needless to say. Think about the sound crew responsible for concerts at Buffalo Chip; law enforcement officers who assist during the Rally; traffic engineers managing all the additional vehicles, sanitation workers, food vendors, accessory vendors and the list goes on. However, those folks coming to Sturgis have a different, more personal sort of preparation: Bikers, whether they be riding a Harley-Davidson custom chopper head or a BMW motorcycle or somewhere in between, they make their gear lists and check them twice. Helmets, gloves, leathers, and, yes, motorcycle sunglasses (hopefully from us). Every possible item that they may need goes in that saddle bag. That is what most of the participants think of when talking about getting ready for Sturgis.
The city staff, planners and civil engineers have already made most of the necessary changes and additions to help make people safer. Their responsibilities are very important to all aspects of the week. One example, the temporary, but very necessary stoplights, are now in place for the 2019 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally®. Helping motorcyclists and cars negotiate the area is critical to the safety and enjoyment of the rally. Not only that, but any time this many humans come together in one place, there is potential for problems.
Which brings me to the unpopular conversation that goes under "I Never Really Thought of That" or maybe never gave it much consideration. After the very hard work of many, many people putting safety precautions in place, accidents can still, and do, happen. All the additional, highly skilled doctors, nurses, EMT's, etc. will be limited in their ability to treat people with emergencies if they don't have immediate access to one thing: DONATED BLOOD. I never gave this much thought in relationship to the Sturgis rally. Earthquakes and other natural disasters, yes. So, when I heard someone on the radio explaining that many blood donations were needed before the Rally, it gave me pause. This representative went on to explain, that in the event of an accident (regardless of the type of accident - motorcycle, car, fights, other traumatic injuries), the donated blood needs to be already sitting on the shelf at the hospital waiting for the medical professionals to access it in order for victims to benefit. That is precisely why medical professionals, regardless of where you live, ask that those of us who can donate blood, do so regularly. So, here's to hoping we never need it. And here's my heartfelt and sincere thanks to those who selflessly donate blood whenever they can. Be safe, be seen and enjoy the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally®!