In any normal year, motorcyclists organizing a ride, event, or other outing for a charitable cause is just a regular thing that riders do. After all, it’s wonderful to give back to your community no matter where you and that community are. Helping other people also helps you, and the positive cycle goes on and on.
Thing is, this is 2020. We all know this is no normal year because we’re all collectively living through it together. Charitable food programs like Meals on Wheels and others are having an even tougher time than usual—and that includes the Sturgis MoW. Enter a GoFundMe and accompanying on-site fundraiser set up at Sturgis to raise money for the local elderly. You know, the people who are most affected by the simple fact of motorcyclists from all over the country coming to their town.
In any normal year, motorcyclists from all over the country coming to one town to hang out and ride would just be what the Sturgis rally is—with all its ups and downs. However, again, this is 2020, and whether you choose to believe in it or not, the fact is that we are in a global pandemic.
Asymptomatic carriers of this virus make up around 40 percent of COVID-19 cases, according to the CDC in a report dated July 10, 2020. Unfortunately, the older Americans who happen to live full-time in the Sturgis area will also be among those most at-risk of serious complications should they contract COVID-19 in the weeks following this event.
“We respect any riders who choose not to come to the event due to Covid, but encourage them to ‘donate a tank’ to thank and help the local seniors who have seen the rally become the most famous of its kind in the world. Supporting the Sturgis Meals on Wheels program is a natural fit for any biker and will have a hugely positive impact for local senior citizens,” GiveAShift founder Robert Pandya—who is supporting the SMoW initiative—told J&P Cycles.
Don’t get me wrong—taking care of the elderly and those in need is an important part of living in a society. If you want to donate to the cause remotely, you can do so via their GoFundMe page.
The cognitive dissonance of this thing is absolutely astonishing, though. As most of us here at RideApart have said at one point or another, putting yourself at risk is one thing. This instance, though? This is raising money to help mitigate a harm you are actively cultivating because you insisted on holding a gigantic public event during a global pandemic.
Again, that’s absolutely not to say you shouldn’t still donate money to SMoW—I mean, they’re clearly going to need it. After all, most Sturgis residents didn’t even want the rally to happen this year, but the city council decided that the region had no choice in the matter, so they might as well make the best of it.