By Bryan H. Carroll

When you create a film like Why We Ride, it is a commitment to telling a story that unfolds before you. It’s like going on a journey without knowing the destination. What we knew for sure, was that the topic, motorcycling, was something we were very passionate about. Projects like these, in which you put your heart and soul, have a long term effect on your life.

There were two locations we filmed at on Why We Ride that had an immediate emotional effect on us. One was Bonneville, and the other, was Sturgis. We knew even back then that we would be back sometime in the future to explore the stories in those places. Sturgis was the one place we could not stop talking about. It always came up in conversations. It was our first filming location for Why We Ride.


Photo shows our production team while filming Why We Ride at Bonneville

When I was a kid, my step-father would bring me back shirts and stories from Sturgis. So I knew even then I would be going there one day. When I did finally make it to Sturgis, I was overwhelmed. There is a spirit there that enters you and grabs onto your heart. The beauty of the Black Hills is God given and you can feel it in the air. You can put your hand on a boulder there and you feel this energy, and then you can understand why the Native American’s hold this place sacred.

At Sturgis, I saw a community of some of the most patriotic people. I felt so proud to be an American and realized at that moment that Sturgis is not just a place, it is who we are. When you say I am an American, it’s not about your address or even where you were born. It’s in your DNA. It’s your spirit. It’s why for the last 200 years people from all over the world have come to this country. It was always in them, they just needed a place to all gather and to be around like-minded people. This is the same story as Sturgis.


(Left to Right) Bryan H. Carroll, Mark Carstensen (Mayor, City of Sturgis), Brenda Vasknetz (Rally Director, City of Sturgis), & James Walker

Now more than any time in history, we need to tell THIS story to the next generation. “I Am Sturgis” is bold. It’s to the point about who we are. It’s bold, like my parents and ancestors, who made that long journey to come to this country. It’s bold like General Sturgis and the pioneers who went west. It’s bold like the hundreds of thousands of motorcyclist who make the Journey each year to gather with friends from around the world. It’s bold like America.


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