Driving a motorcycle can leave you exposed to all elements around you and it is that time of year again when thousands of bikers are hitting the open road and heading to Sturgis, SD! Sturgis is one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the world. Last year, 700,000+ people flocked to the streets of this little town (actual population: 6,627) to motorcycle, camp and explore the countryside. This year the rally runs from August 8th – August 14th and it is starting off a little on the stormy side. As we all saw in 2009 Mother Nature has struck Sturgis before with tangerine size hail and she very well could again!
Today Rapid City, SD & Sturgis, SD are listed under a slight risk for severe weather. This means the atmosphere has the potential of producing strong storms with heavy downpours, damaging winds, large hail & isolated tornadoes. On a bike, exposed to the weather elements, it is extremely important to stay weather aware and to have a plan when inclement weather strikes.
Chances for strong storms decrease tomorrow but scattered showers will hang over the biker’s head until completely clearing out for the weekend. So there is a light at the end of a rainy week, but keep these tips in mind to stay safe out on the open road: Be extra cautious in bad weather and bad road conditions; minor problems for cars are major hazards for motorcycles.
Wear proper gear. Have rain gear stored in your bike or plan to pull over and take a break until the rain stops.
Aim for smooth control. Be gentle with your brakes and throttle, but balance your grip. When you’re riding in the rain, aim to complete your turns before you accelerate.
Avoid last-minute reactions whenever possible. In wet weather, you must plan ahead to determine when you will need to accelerate or brake. Using engine braking for corners and junctions will reduce the risk of skidding.
For WeatherNation, Tracey Anthony