Photo by Steve Babbitt, Black Hills State University photography professor
Black Hills State University will be sponsoring two events during this year’s famed Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as a way to raise funds and highlight the beauty of the University campus.

The Jacket Ride, a guided motorcycle ride through the beautiful Northern Black Hills, and the King of the Hills Strongman Competition, will both take place Tuesday, Aug. 6 at the Donald E. Young Sports & Fitness Center.

The Jacket Ride will wind through Spearfish Canyon, tour historic Lead/Deadwood and end back at the BHSU Young Center. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and is $50 with an additional $25 for a rider. The ride begins at 10 a.m. and includes lunch, prizes and a live band. Funds from the ride will go toward student scholarships.

The idea for the BHSU motorcycle ride came from Dr. Rod Custer, BHSU provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. Himself a motorcycle enthusiast, Custer has participated in numerous rides which raised money for various organizations. The Jacket Ride presents a good opportunity to raise money for scholarships as well as increase awareness of the University, Custer said.

“People are coming here from all over the country. This is a good way to attract money for scholarships and increase awareness among the motorcycle community that we have a really great place to go to school for their kids and grandkids,” said Custer, who will also lead the ride.

After the scenic motorcycle ride through the Hills, riders can compete in the first ever King of the Hills Strongman Competition. The five-event competition includes two weight classes of 199 lbs. and less and 200 lbs. and more. Registration begins at 12 noon and the contest will begin at 1:30 p.m. The cost prior to the day of the event is $35 and $50 the day of the competition and includes lunch and the live band.

Bob DiBonto, Young Center fitness director, said many Sturgis Rally visitors annually use the Young Center facilities. The Strongman Competition provides a unique, fun event for visitors and locals to test their strength, he said. The King of the Hills, unlike conventional competitions that use powerlifting and bench presses, will include biker-related contests with all participants competing in their bike attire.

Events include:

“Hauling the Honey” – The participant must pull a motorcycle trailer that includes a woman seated on a bike. The participant will have to pull the trailer 10 yards trying to get the quickest time.

“Burning Rubber” – The participant must lift and place six tires onto the center of a stationary pole, stacking one tire on top of the other until all six are stacked on the pole. This is also a timed event.

“Heavy Metal” – A motorcycle frame will be placed inside a power rack at the shoulder height of the participant while seated. The individual will then shoulder press the frame.

“Curling Brewski’s” – Two beer kegs will be placed at the end of a straight bar. The participant will bicep curl the bar with the kegs attached.

“Hands of Steel” – The participant must lift two motorcycle motors, one in each hand, and hold the motors off the ground for as long as possible.

Funds raised from the competition will go toward upgrades to the fitness and athletic rooms at the Young Center.

Both Custer and DiBonto said they hope to make these annual events.

For more information or to register for either event go to www.BHSU.edu/SturgisRally