While a motorcycle festival in France has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s biggest motorcycle rally in the USA will go ahead next week despite almost 1000 Americans dying every day.
Even a week ago, the Wheels & Waves event at the Biarritz Lighthouse in France, was a goer and Hedon helmets even launched a limited-edition Wheels & Waves 2020 open-face Hedonist helmet worth $A711.
However, the festival which had already been postponed from June to 3-6 September 2020 has now been further postponed to June 2021 for their 10th event.
“The intensification of the situation has made it impossible for us to continue to prepare the ‘Hors Serie’ (out of series) edition as we imagined it at the beginning of June,” officials say.
“And even if we were to bring the project to fruition, where would the pleasure be in coming together without the spontaneity, coolness, craziness and freedom?
“What is the point in holding an event based on exchange and sharing at a time when everywhere we go, we have to keep our distance?”
In France, only a handful of deaths from coronavirus are recorded daily, with 184k confirmed cases, 81,311 recovered and 30,223 deaths so far.
Main Street at the 2014 Sturgis rally
In the USA, about 1000 Americans die every day from the virus. There have been more than 4.4m cases in the USA and a total of more than 152,000 deaths so far.
Yet in the land of freedom and litigation, the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will go ahead from 7-16 August 2020.
This is despite 62% of the 7000 people who live in Sturgis, South Dakota, voting last month against holding the famous rally, the biggest tourist event in the state.
It seems that vote was overturned by threats of litigation from a gift wholesaler based in nearby Rapid City.
The rally has attracted about half a million people in recent years with a record of 2015 of 739,000.
Authorities still expect several hundred thousand to attend the rally.
That’s hundreds of thousands of people from all over the USA and perhaps from many other countries coming to the small rural town.
There they could spread or pick up the virus, then take it back to their home state or country.
Rally organisers and city officials say they will have various “modifications” for health reasons which you can hear about in this video from Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen.
The Black Hills Motorcycle Film Festival which was to be part of the rally will now be held online from 14-16 August for free! Click here for details.