Motorcyclists are welcome to join 10 Navy sailors from the USS SOUTH DAKOTA (SSN 79), including Commanding Officer Craig Litty and Chief of the Boat Adam Goulas, on the "USS SOUTH DAKOTA Ride Across South Dakota" July 14-15.
The sailors will be riding the Commemorative USS SOUTH DAKOTA (SSN 790) 2018 Harley-Davidson Street Glide. This one-of-a-kind bike was donated by Harley-Davidson Motor Company to celebrate South Dakota’s namesake vessel. J&L Harley-Davidson of Sioux Falls is the sponsoring dealership and along with Black Hills Harley-Davidson will ensure the bike is maintained over the next 30 years.
Artist Mickey Harris of Menno created and painted the bike, which honors the history of Battleship SOUTH DAKOTA and commemorates Submarine SOUTH DAKOTA. The sailors will take turns riding the USSSD Harley Street Glide and other Harley motorcycles provided by J&L and Black Hills Harley-Davidson.
The ride will officially begin at 8 a.m. on Sunday, July 14, at the Battleship USS SOUTH DAKOTA (BB 57) Memorial in Sioux Falls. Coffee and donuts will be available. President of the BB 57 Memorial. Captain Diane Diekman, USN (Ret), will welcome the sailors and share some of the history of Battleship SOUTH DAKOTA, one of the greatest warships in the Navy’s history.
The riders will depart the BB 57 Memorial at 9 a.m. for the Corn Palace in Mitchell. The murals on this year’s Corn Palace are a "Salute to Military" and include corn murals of Battleship SOUTH DAKOTA and Submarine SOUTH DAKOTA. The riders will tour the Corn Palace and have lunch in Mitchell.
The ride departs Mitchell at 1:30 p.m. for Pierre, where riders will stay overnight. The ride will make a stop for fuel in Chamberlain. Participants should make their own arrangements for hotels or camping with many options in the Pierre/Ft. Pierre area.
On Monday, July 15, the ride will resume at 9 a.m. at the State Capitol in Pierre. Motorcyclists will head to Badlands National Park off of Interstate 90. The ride will arrive in Wall at noon for lunch. At 2 p.m., the ride will depart Wall for Black Hills Harley-Davidson in Rapid City and expect to arrive at the dealership about 3 p.m.
Riders will depart Black Hills Harley-Davidson at 4 p.m. for Sturgis. At 5 p.m. the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Motorcycle Hall of Fame will welcome the riders and induct the Commemorative USS SOUTH DAKOTA (SSN 790) 2018 Harley-Davidson Street Glide into the museum. The bike will be on permanent display and also maintained in running condition. Any sailor assigned to SSN 790 is welcome to check the bike out of the museum and ride it anywhere in the state of South Dakota. Plankowners of SSN 790 have lifetime rights to ride the motorcycle.