During a typical year, late spring through early fall is prime time to attend local motorcycle events. Some are charity rides to support a specific cause, while others are simply for camaraderie.
Due to COVID-19 concerns and social distancing measures, many annual bike events have been canceled or rescheduled to next year. Yet across the country, some events are still on with significant changes from previous years.
If you plan to attend a motorcycle event in 2020, here are some common precautions being taken and what you should expect.
Most motorcycle events have adapted to be outdoor-only for 2020. Take Myrtle Beach Bike Week’s Fall Rally as an example. This event will take place outside under a pavilion and feature about one-third the usual number of vendors.
Although an outside event eliminates some risk, those in attendance still need to practice social distancing and be mindful of the surrounding community.
Especially for events that have attracted thousands of motorcycle riders in the past, some organizers are debating, if not requiring, COVID testing pre or post-event.
In the case of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, this 80-year-old event attracts riders from all over the country, who could have brought in the virus or took it back home to loved ones. It’s estimated that more than 400,000 people attended this year’s 10-day rally.
Due to opposition from the surrounding community, Sturgis organizers encouraged attendees to be tested four to seven days following its conclusion on August 16th.
While some Coronavirus cases have been attributed to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, official numbers have not yet been determined.
Fewer Events, Limited Community Contact
Among the changes and restrictions for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, local residents were encouraged to stay home and utilize contactless shopping and delivery through a city-sponsored program.
Meanwhile, event organizers decided to cut most of the city-hosted rides, contests, racing, parades and 5K runs.
As another safety measure, local businesses were supplied with sanitation gear and masks, while vendors were expected to follow specific safety protocols. City police were present to enforce these measures.
A similar approach was taken for the Freedom Rally in Algona, Iowa. Typically expecting 10,000 motorcycle riders, the Freedom Rally redesigned the event to accommodate social distancing measures outdoors and encouraged riders to follow the same recommendations, including limiting the number of trips they take into the surrounding town.
Local residents were asked to limit grocery shopping and running errands during this time.
Surveys and Denial of Entry
The Freedom Rally enacted another measure to help curb the spread: Requiring participants to fill out a form asking if they’ve been in a COVID-19 hotspot or had contact with anyone symptomatic or diagnosed with the virus. Attendees who said “Yes” to any one of these qualifiers were to be blocked from attendance.
Towards the end of July, Connecticut put stricter self-quarantine guidelines in place for individuals who have been to or are traveling from states with high infection rates, which can limit where you can go and if you should be traveling.
Trantolo Tours with Norm
This summer, we launched a new weekly event to replace all the 2020 rides that have been cancelled due to Coronavirus. Called “Trantolo Tours with Norm”, these invitation-only rides have a maximum of 30 people and social distancing measures in place. To learn more about our upcoming group rides, sign up for our newsletter!
Have you attended a bike event this year? Share your experience on our Facebook page.