Gloria Struck, 89, is a legendary female motorcycle rider and a pioneer for women riders everywhere, and now Struck is joining Why We Ride Films, the production team that brought the critically acclaimed film, Why We Ride, for a Kickstarter campaign to help fund its new film “I Am Sturgis.”
Ms. Struck first sat astride a motorcycle in 1941, at a time when very few women did so, and she’s been riding ever since. She travels annually to motorcycle rallies around the country and gatherings hosted by the groundbreaking, all-female motorcycle club she joined in 1946, the Motor Maids. This year, as she’s done many times in the past, she plans on riding the 1,700 miles from her home in Clifton, NJ, to South Dakota for the 75th Anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. She’s been making the trek to motorcycle rallies all over the country for over six decades.
“We do not trailer bikes. We ride to Sturgis every year,” Ms. Struck says. “My goal is to keep riding to Sturgis until I’m 100. The Black Hills, the custom bikes, the people from all over the world and, of course, the riding is like nowhere else on earth. It is not what you think, and it should not be missed.”
The impetus for “I Am Sturgis” stems partly from this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally being the 75th Anniversary of that motorcycling institution. In recent years, the Sturgis rally has drawn half a million participants, but attendance estimates for this year’s anniversary rally exceed one million riders. There may never be a better time to capture the passion, dedication and camaraderie of the motorcycling community, and there certainly is no better place than the iconic Sturgis gathering.
When making Why We Ride, Sturgis was the first filming location, and it had an immediate emotional effect on the filmmakers. “There is a spirit there that enters you and grabs your heart,” says Bryan H. Carroll, producer/director. “You put your hand on a boulder and you feel this energy; you can feel it in the air. It’s easy to understand why American Indians hold this place sacred.”
Why We Ride Films launched their crowd funding efforts with the goal of raising $350,000 of the production budget for “I Am Sturgis” through their Kickstarter campaign. With the help of Gloria Struck and others, they are on their way, but still hope for greater participation from motorcycle enthusiasts and the general public alike.
There are many contribution levels, starting with “The Wave,” a $5 donation that gets you a digital version of the movie poster. A $15 “First Ride” donation earns an early digital download of the film. Increasing donations up to $75 are rewarded with patches, pins, stickers, T-shirts and limited edition Blu-Ray/DVD film combo packs. Large-dollar (ranging from $125 to $10,000) donators receive Sturgis 75th Anniversary Club Rewards, movie premiere passes, and they can even get production credits (up to “associate producer” and “co-executive producer”), access to the Producer’s Private Pre-Party and private theatrical screenings in their hometowns.
A campaign trailer for “I Am Sturgis” is viewable at www.IAmSturgis.com. Those wishing to contribute to the campaign can also do so from that link.