Dakota Thunder Motorcycle Run kicks off at Ellsworth AFB
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Military bikers rolled onto the Ellsworth AFB flight-line Tuesday morning to take part in the 22nd annual Dakota Thunder Motorcycle Run to Sturgis.
Through the ride’s fundraising efforts, the 68th chapter of the Green Knights Military Motorcycle club donates more than a thousand dollars each year to a retired veteran.
In the past, more than 700 motorists participated in the event until the Department of Transportation put a cap on how many could sign up and ride. Organizers say that Covid-19 played a role in enrollment for the last two years, putting a damper on attendance numbers.
“The goal for next year, the last veteran that we did was Stan Leberman; one of the last remaining World War II veterans from South Dakota. Next year I would hope that we can get with Sturgis to get another veteran out here and to max out our 200-motorcycle limit from DOT. Hopefully make it a little bit bigger, a little more splendid if you will,” said Tylor Evens, captain of the guard.
This year, more than 70 motorists signed up for the 57-mile ride from Ellsworth AFB through Vanocker Canyon to Main Street in Sturgis. On main street, the bikers took part in the rally’s military appreciation day, that included a B-1 bomber flyby.
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