Women Of Sturgis

Perewitz is also the daughter of world-renowned custom bike builder, Dave“father of flames” Perewitz. When she’s not riding, Perewitz runs the marketing side of her father’s business at Cycle Fab. And if all that wasn’t enough, Jody Perewitz also landed the title of 2021 City of Sturgis Grand Marshall for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this year.When you think of motorcycle rallies, you may think of a big group of bearded and tattooed men on Harleys. But that’s not (entirely) the case at all. Yes, you’ll find your fair share of men at the rally. But there are almost just as many badass biker women. In fact, the city of Sturgis conducted a survey in 2013 to see just how many women attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. And the results were pretty awesome. Forty-four percent of attendees were women – that’s almost 50 percent! And we suspect that the number has grown since that survey was taken.The kick-off included live concerts and, of course, the famous motorcycle rally. The rally began 83 years ago in 1938 with just nine participants and 200 spectators. Last year, there were almost half a million participants and this year’s rally was expected to bring in even more people. But if you can’t make it this year, no worries, we got you covered with all the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally coverage you’ll ever need. And we’re starting it all off with some badass biker women.

We can’t make a list of the coolest women at the rally without first mentioning one of the most badass women of them all, Jody Perewitz. Perewitz is a biking legend. She currently holds sixteen Land Speed records, one of which is a World Record. Additionally, Perewitz is the fastest woman to ever ride an American V-twin-powered motorcycle. She rode in at over 200 miles per hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats. And she’s earned four AMA number one plates.Dedi is an incredible woman of Sturgis who has supported and initiated dedication to the arts in our community for many, many years. She is the President of the Sturgis Area Arts Council and received the Key City Award in 2002 for her work as a volunteer and advocate for the growth of visual art, theater, and music in our community. Dedi is highly involved in charitable causes and continues a long tradition of women with Sturgis’s best interests at heart.

A relative newcomer in Sturgis, Amanda moved to town to become the Executive Director of the Sturgis Economic Development Corporation in 2018. Since her arrival, she has been instrumental in invigorating our economy, guiding our businesses through the pandemic, helping our local businesses flourish, and attracting new ones to make our community even more vibrant. Amanda is a wife and mother, and can often be seen supporting her son at Sturgis Little League Baseball games or volunteering on various committees and boards across town.
Martina is our current Miss Rodeo South Dakota and a Sturgis native that we are proud to include in this list. “Martina grew up on a ranch just outside of Sturgis where her family raise Angus cattle. As a fourth-generation rodeo queen, her interest in the rodeo industry was sparked at a very young age. Miss Rodeo South Dakota is a dream come true, and Martina is excited to help other young women reach their dreams.” – courtesy Miss Rodeo South Dakota, Inc.In this week’s Throwback Thursday spotlight, we feature more than twenty of Sturgis’s INCREDIBLE women of past and present! These ladies are dedicated volunteers, masters of their trades, pioneers, community leaders, and activists. They exemplify the best of Sturgis – our grit, determination, hard work, creativity, and dedication. Who should we add to the list?

Paige truly exemplifies the spirit of this article – “She won the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics and is the first American woman to make three Olympics in taekwondo,” information courtesy of this fascinating article posted in the Miami Herald. Paige was adopted by the McPherson family of Sturgis at a young age, and states, “… And here I am, going to my third Olympics. I attribute this to my parents who were willing to take me in and give me everything.” Her determination, pride, and hard work clearly make her an Incredible Woman of Sturgis, wherever she chooses to go with her life!
Lisa is an Incredible Woman of Sturgis nominated for inclusion by her son. She clearly holds family dear, and has contributed to our community in many outstanding ways; she was the Director of the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce and the Director of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, to name a couple. Lisa has taken her positive impact to our state capitol, where she serves the Wildlife Foundation and the Second Century Habitat Fund, helping to make major State Park projects possible for the enjoyment of all (information courtesy of this article from the Capital Journal). Thank you for your service to Sturgis, and for inspiring a new generation of incredible community-minded women in our town. Marlene is an outstanding woman in our community for a variety of reasons. Just a few of her contributions include: Educating our youth as a celebrated music teacher for many years; volunteering as an active member of the Sturgis Area Arts Council; co-chairing efforts for the United Way; directing the Grace Lutheran Church choir; organizing the annual Easter Cantata; and dedicating countless hours to other causes. Marlene is one of those kind souls that is always willing to give, and nearly everyone in Sturgis knows her and cherishes having her as a member of our community. Thank you, Marlene, for giving so much to our town! Photo courtesy of the Rapid City Journal includes Marlene and husband, Gordon. This incredible Sturgis woman is a renowned educator and pioneer – she was one of the first group of civilians to enter the Black Hills, through which she survived harsh winters and other harrowing conditions. Her home still stands at 1603 Main Street in Sturgis. “Annie D. Tallent was a South Dakota teacher and pioneer. She was the first white woman to enter the Black Hills” courtesy South Dakota Hall of Fame.This incredible woman of Sturgis has served on the City of Sturgis City Council since 2018, and was recently selected as City Council President. Beka is a highly-involved and informed citizen of Sturgis and can be found at nearly every charity event and good cause in our community. She truly carries on the legacy of each of these women of past and present! Photos courtesy of City of Sturgis and Rapid City Journal.

First-ever female Grand Marshal of the 77th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and “Fastest Woman on Four Wheels,” Jessi was a pioneering woman. “Jessi’s passion for women in motorsports and the trades led to creating her own line of protective clothing with Lincoln Electric, specifically designed for females. Her image is known around the world as the “Go For It Girl”, born in South Dakota.” Jessi passed away in 2019 doing what she loved, but the mark she made on Sturgis will live on forever. Information courtesy of Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame.
“It was due in part to ‘grit and gitup,’ but also her farm friendly personality was a good deal responsible.” – information courtesy of this article from the Rapid City Journal archives. To which the article is referring, Kate Soldat was elected first-ever woman Mayor of Sturgis, SD. Her legacy of empowered women in leadership in our municipal government lives on through our City Council President, Beka Zerbst, her Councilwoman colleague, Angela Wilkerson, and others! Fun Fact: Kate is grandmother to Doreen, another phenomenal Sturgis woman featured here!An early Sturgis Motorcycle Rally attendee and dubbed “The First Lady of Motorcycling,” Dot exemplifies everything the Rally is today – daring, unique, free, and spirited! “Dot empowered women when efforts to prevent her from competing in [motorcycle] endurance runs failed. She competed throughout the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s. In founding the Motor Maids, Dot set out to unite women riders, to show that you could ride a motorcycle and still be a lady.” – courtesy of Motor Maids Inc.

“Pearl and her husband, Clarence “Pappy” Hoel, were instrumental in initiating the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 1937” – courtesy South Dakota Magazine. While Dot may have been the First Lady of Motorcycling, Pearl made an intimidating counterpart as the “First Lady of Sturgis” thanks to her help in creating South Dakota’s largest event of the year! Pearl was a kind soul and a hard worker; her character is embodied in many amazing women in Sturgis today.
Community Volunteer of the Year recipient of 2019, Richelle is the most recent in a long line of women who have achieved this prestigious award in Sturgis. She continues to be instrumental in organizing community-minded events and fundraisers, including her “Challenge for Charity Gala,” an event she dreamed up and brought to life earlier this year, raising over $15,000 in funds for the community! We are lucky to have this incredible Sturgis woman in our town.

Rhea has demonstrated community leadership, family commitment, volunteerism, and many other qualities that are the hallmark of these incredible women of Sturgis. She is the current Director of Equalization and Planning at the County of Meade, and has served on City Council and a variety of boards and committees for many years. Rhea’s clear dedication to her important job and volunteer activities make our community a better place.Pat is an “Incredible Woman of Sturgis” for her years of work and energy poured into our local Sturgis and Meade County business economy. She was the first Executive Director of the Sturgis Economic Development Corporation, and was a leader in developing our Industrial Park and manufacturing industry. She has passed the baton to Amanda, and now lends her expertise to the Rushmore Region Economic Development Alliance. We are honored to have had Pat’s dedication and volunteerism all these years.

Current Meade County Commissioner and previous publisher of the Meade County Times, Doreen has been working hard for Sturgis her entire life. An article in the Rapid City Journal quoted, “I spent decades in the newspaper business. A basic tenant of our publications was to keep the people throughout the northern Black Hills, up-to-date on what was happening. I have always been a strong proponent of informing people.” Her words remain true today as she continues to serve the community and maintains the Meade County Town Hall page on Facebook. Doreen certainly represents the hardworking spirit and kindness of Sturgis!
Another woman showcasing Sturgis’s grit and determination, “Poker Alice” Tubbs is still an impressive figure in history. “She used her good looks to her advantage, distracting her opponents. Her game of choice was Faro, and eventually she would become a dealer . . .” – courtesy Historical Sturgis. You can tour – and even stay the night! – in Alice’s original home on Junction Avenue next to The Sturgis Motel.One of the kindest, most generous and involved women in Sturgis today, Rosemary Roth is an “Incredible Woman of Sturgis” for her dedication to community over the years. She serves on the Greater Sturgis Foundation, Downtown Sturgis Foundation, and many other charitable boards and committees. Rosemary received the Sturgis Volunteer of the Year award in 1997, and continued on to receive the esteemed Key City Award in 2009. She organizes the Sturgis Festival of Trees annually for First Interstate Bank, an event that collects tens of thousands in charitable donations for good causes every year.

“Dode was instrumental in the founding and the 40-year successful existence of the Sturgis Area Arts Council and is well respected in our community and across the state of South Dakota for her contributions to the arts,” stated Mayor Carstensen in an article for the Rapid City Journal. The article continued on to explain that Dode spearheaded the establishment of an arts council in Sturgis in February of 1979. Through the Council, she helped raise funds for theater seating in the Community Center and other impactful projects for many years. She was also the Herb Blakely Award recipient in 2008 and continues to truly be an incredible Sturgis woman.
Michelle is an incredible Sturgis woman that has dedicated her time and energy to family, community, the arts, and agriculture over the years. She is renowned in the region for her work advocating for the local foods movement and supporting local agricultural producers. She has played a critical role in expanding the local foods economy, and actively facilitates and coordinates learning opportunities for new farmers of all kinds. She is a co-founder of Sturgis Center for the Arts, a cause for which she was a co-recipient of the Sturgis Volunteer of the Year award in 2009.

Megan Mahoney grew up in Piedmont just a few minutes from town and graduated from Sturgis Brown High School. She has a shining personality, but she is most known for her 14-season international career in professional women’s basketball, and a two-season career in the WNBA. She is dubbed “One of Western South Dakota’s greatest female athletes” in an article published by KOTA News in 2019 upon announcement of her retirement. She is a member of the South Dakota Basketball Hall of Fame and truly an incredible woman of Sturgis.
Carol Davis is an incredible woman of Sturgis due to her lifetime commitment to the Sturgis Public Library and wellbeing of our community. Starting in 1959, she inspired generations of learners through her role. “Under her leadership, the library modernized and expanded and was frequently recognized by the State Library Commission for providing outstanding service to the community.” Carol is another in a long list of incredible Sturgis women!”In a world where women do not usually take the lead, one woman’s best ride turned into a beacon of hope for others that come behind her. Wendy Crockett might have not grown up in a motorcycle family but that didn’t stop her from earning a title in one of the world’s most challenging motorcycle competitions” – courtesy Black Hills Fox News. Wendy is a mechanic at Sturgis Motorsports and won 1st place in the 2019 Iron Butt Rally – an 11,000 miles in 11 days journey. Photo courtesy of Adventure Rider.

Recently recognized by the South Dakota Humanities Council for her outstanding commitment to advocacy of the humanities in the state, this incredible Sturgis woman has been advocating for literature, education, art, and culture through her position at the Sturgis Public Library for over three decades. She is another phenomenal example of the hard-working spirit of women in Sturgis. Information courtesy of News Center 1. This “Incredible Woman of Sturgis” was nominated with the remarks, “Norma Allen is the co-founder of Dakota Arms with her late-husband Don. They brought the gun industry to Sturgis and built premier grade firearms and were leaders in the custom firearms manufacturing for years.” The nomination went on to explain that many Sturgis-based businesses in the gun industry got their start alongside – and often thanks to – the hard work of Norma Allen. Not only did her business pave the way for many more, but Dakota Arms received the Employer of the Year award in 2003, providing valuable jobs for residents of our community. Norma’s dedication continues a long history of western pioneering, support for firearms, and strong work ethic in manufacturing in our area. Information & photo courtesy of this original article. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. Motorcycle Cruiser may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site.

Those who ride 2UP will find their community visiting with Support 2UP (S2UP), who will be on site throughout the day. S2UP focuses on encouraging and empowering both men and women riders by sharing personal experience, tips, advice, and resources relating to passengers and 2UP riding. They will also be presenting the award for the Best 2UP Bike in the Women, Wind & Wheels Bike Show.
This all-female traveling art and motorcycle show powered by Harley-Davidson showcases female artists from within the moto community. The show, curated by Savannah Rose, will feature 20+ artists of varying mediums focused on women and their motorcycles and bikes built, owned, and ridden by ladies.Sturgis, S.D. (July 9, 2021): Known organically for years as the Home For Women in Sturgis, the Sturgis Buffalo Chip is officially declaring the Tuesday of rally week Women’s Day at the Chip. Tuesday, Aug. 10 will be a day for women riders, passengers and the friends who support them to gather and celebrate at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. Women’s Day at the Chip features women-led components for all women in motorcycling: pilot, passenger, industry rep, aspiring riders and others. The activities will emphasize inclusivity, so all are welcome to take part in the many events and activities planned at the free-access Buffalo Chip CrossRoads that day. See the full lineup of Women’s Day at the Chip events at BuffaloChip.com/WomensDay.

Honorary special guests Karen Davidson of Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Jill Parham, co-founder of J&P Cycles, will join a stacked lineup of previously announced special guests taking part in the 13th Annual Biker Belles Celebration. Participants will experience the freedom of the open road next to heroes, mentors and friends old and new. The guided Morning Ride will route from the Lodge at Deadwood through the beautiful Black Hills to festivities that celebrate women in riding and support organizations benefitting women’s causes.
Inclusive and educational events are just a part of what the Sturgis Buffalo Chip has in store for its 40 Anniversary in 2021. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience countless events, including performances from the world’s top entertainers, legendary rides, powerful freedom celebrations, top-tier bike shows, white-knuckle racing events and so much more. All events are held outdoors in an open environment for the safest experience possible. Entertainment is free with camping. A full list of Sturgis Buffalo Chip women’s day events is available at BuffaloChip.com/WomensDay. The Buffalo Chip is home to the Sturgis Rally Information Center and is the official sponsor of the free Sturgis.com Official Sturgis Rally Registration Program.“Women’s Day started as a small flagship event called Biker Belles,” said Toni Woodruff, Biker Belles Director. “It’s now grown into a full day celebrating riders who break the stereotype that motorcycles are just for men. Our legacy event set the base to cover all aspects of the moto lifestyle from the female perspective, and it made way for the inclusion of other women’s events. Women’s Day holds special importance for us at the Chip.”This all-women’s ride-in bike show will bring together a unique collection of women-owned machines. Throughout the show, Theresa Contreras of The Real Deal Revolution will be welding the trophies to be awarded at the end of the show. Trophies will be awarded for Best Paint, Best Chopper, Best Bagger, Best Classic, Best Cruiser, the FIRST-EVER Best 2-Up Touring Bike (showcasing couples riding), and the Jessi Combs Foundation Award for Best in Show. The Real Deal will also have active artists doing paint, pinstriping, leatherwork, and more throughout the show. All attending will be welcome to try their hand at these trades.

This exciting event invites women into the heart of motorcycle culture as part of the Ride Wild Tribe in an immersive five-day, five-night bonding journey at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip with fellow #WomenWhoRide.Women’s Day will also feature an afternoon filled with informative sessions with industry experts, one-day women-driven product vendors, free all-day giveaways and networking opportunities with moto celebs and influencers.

Influencers in attendance for Women’s Day at the Chip includes Alisa Clickenger, Nancy Climer, Karlee Cobb, Theresa Contreras, Kathleen Covington, Karen Davidson, Deb Drinan, Lena Fairless, Gevin Fax, Shana Guy, Betsy Huelskamp, Denise Hughes, Craig Johnson, Shawna Jurrens, Laura Klock, Sara Liberte, Jon Montgomery, Brandi Moya, Jill Parham, Jody Perewitz, Penny Osiecki, Kelly Quinn, Ellie Rains, Vicki Roberts-Sanfelipo, Rob Schluter, Savannah Rose, Cris Sommer-Simmons, Diva Amy Skaling, Marilyn Stemp, Stephanie Thompson, Jacqui Van Ham, Robert White, Dana Wilke, Toni Woodruff, Gina Woods and Kelly Yazdi.
The Sturgis Buffalo Chip is the award-winning leader in music and motorcycle lifestyle experiences. Hailed as The Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling and The Best Party Anywhere, it has been the epicenter of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally since its establishment in 1981. Every August, the Buffalo Chip brings together the world’s largest gathering of music and motorcycle fans, with visitors from all 50 states and over 20 countries. It remains one of the world’s most televised and longest-running independent music festivals. The Chip advances the Sturgis Rally by being home to the Sturgis Rally Information Center and the official sponsor of the Sturgis.com Official Sturgis Rally Registration Program. More details are available at BuffaloChip.com

Now at 20 percent, women riders are the fastest growing segment of motorcycling and considered by many to be the hope of the industry. This event will show the riding world what 20 percent looks like in a way that can’t be ignored. The drone will go up, the gathering will be recorded, then everyone will disperse to do what they love: ride bikes.

The Sturgis Buffalo Chip is hosting Women’s Day at the Chip, a day-long celebration of women in motorcycling on Tuesday, Aug. 10 during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
This years Sturgis rally was all about the women. While attendance numbers were down Sturgis Rally Director Pepper Massey said unofficial estimates were around 350,000 (versus the 500,000 its been the last few years) the presence of women riding their own motorcycles was more powerful than ever. Everywhere you looked there was a woman riding a big twin bike (as opposed to say a Sportster). The most popular models I saw being ridden by women were the Softail Deluxe it boasts the lowest seat height in Harleys lineup – 24.5 inches, and the Fat Boy, another Softail model with a very low seat height relative to its size 25.4 inches. This proves to me that “you build it, they will come.”Hotdogs, covered in mustard, hang from fishing lines, mushroom print eager contestants as they attempt to consume them as fast as possible. Maybe it’s for a contest, maybe it’s for pride, but mostly it’s for fun at Camp Zero.

Executing a burnout on your bike while getting a money shot full of beer to the face by a dude wearing a t-shirt that says “Whiskey, Weed, Wheelies” may be the best day of your life, but at Camp Zero it’s just a Tuesday.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is the largest motorcycle rally in the world. It is held annually in The Black Hills and in Sturgis, South Dakota for 10 days during the first week of August. It was started by local Indian dealer Pappy Hoel in 1938. Since its beginning, private area businesses throwing events such as races, concerts, and rides have made, and continue to make, the Sturgis Rally what it is today. 2023 will mark the 83rd annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.Think you can take better pictures? Or have a wilder experience? Sturgis isn’t a place for keyboard warriors – so don’t waste your time reading or writing comments. Better yet, head over to the Sturgis Rally Registration program and make memories so wild we have to write a story about you next year. Daylight savings time, plunging temperatures, and winterized bikes are some of the saddest words in our lexicon. You don’t need a calendar to see the nine months that separate you from the Black Hills. You can feel it. The longing is palpable. It’s easy to get bitter and cold at the amount of time until you’re able to carve canyons and revel in the sights and sound of freedom. We want to increase blood flow to your lower extremities more than a pair of heated motorcycle pants and distract you with some of the wildest photos from Sturgis.Five years ago I was 23 and attending Sturgis for my first time. Every year I attend, I’ve seen the demographic change. I’ve seen more women riding down main street or through the beautiful twisty roads in the hills. There used to be a time not so long ago that a woman on a motorcycle was almost like seeing a rare mythical creature. But not anymore. Women are rolling into Sturgis by the masses, and I can’t help but smile ear to ear when I see packs of ladies ripping through town on two wheels!

“Having always wanted to make the trip to Sturgis, it initially felt unsafe and I was unsure as a woman going alone and riding all the way from Canada,” says Allison Ussyk, now on her second year of riding to Sturgis by herself. “Wild Gypsy Tour gave me a place to feel safe and to experience Sturgis, to get my feet on the ground there. Biker Belles creates a greater community of women supporting women, and in the end, has allowed me to meet life long friends. Now, going to Sturgis is exciting for the adventure it will be, the people, and the community of women who are there.”