A quiet Sturgis is left behind after the rally

STURGIS, S.D. (KOTA TV) - After hundreds of thousands of bikers revved up their motorcycles at the 79th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the sound left behind is people packing up tents and hauling off equipment.

Buffalo Chip looks bare after the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. (KOTA TV)

Main Street was packed with motorcycles and people barely squeezing by on the sidewalks. Now, the city looks vastly different.

Less traffic is exactly why Mike Larson and his friend came to Sturgis Monday.

"You know, I understand the importance of the rally to the economy of the area. I'm glad the more people that are out here for the rally, the better. That's great for the economy. For me personally, I don't do the rally anymore. I come out to the Black Hills to ride the Black Hills," said Mike Larson, who is from Minnesota.

During the rally, bikers seemed to own the roads like Lazelle Street. But now, the street light timings have changed and only a few cars pass by.

A handful of empty white tents line the street. One tent shop is still racking up last-minute sales as they pack up their merchandise.

The head manager of the pop-up shop said it's a bittersweet moment.

"Everybody is ready, you know, to get their vacation time in and get home. But for the most part, everybody is really happy. I mean it's a beautiful area. The weather today for tear down, we couldn't ask for anything better," said American Iron Clothing and Promotions head manager Donovan Waheed.

When the rally was in full swing, Buffalo Chip was packed. The entryway was lined with colorful motorcycles. Now, not one bike in sight.

Fifty workers collect trash, leftover tents and haul hundreds of porta-potties off the campground site. The sea of American flags are now rolled up and the groups of vendors are gone.

"I think it's just sad saying goodbye to everybody. We immediately just get a little nostalgic and then start thinking about what we can do next year," said Daymon Woodruff, Buffalo Chip.

Woodruff said they're looking forward to seeing the lost and found pile.
He said every year they find some odd items while cleaning up the campgrounds.