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The Sunday Read: ‘I Fell in Love With Motorcycles. But Could I Ever Love Sturgis?’

Like many other Americans, Jamie Lauren Keiles, the author of this week’s Sunday Read, bought their first motorcycle during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I thought I was just purchasing a mode of transportation — a way to get around without riding the train,” they wrote. “But after some time on the street with other riders, I started to suspect I’d signed up for a lot more.”

Jamie was aware of biker culture, but had decided that these tropes — choppers, leather jackets — “were all but contentless by now, mere tchotchkes on the wall in the T.G.I. Fridays of American individualism.”

However, Jamie was shocked to discover that not only did this strain of biker culture still exist, but that they existed within it. So, curious about what remained vital at its heart, Jamie set out for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

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Additional production for The Sunday Read was contributed by Emma Kehlbeck, Parin Behrooz, Anna Diamond, Sarah Diamond, Jack D’Isidoro, Elena Hecht, Desiree Ibekwe, Tanya Perez, Marion Lozano, Naomi Noury, Krish Seenivasan, Corey Schreppel, Margaret Willison, Kate Winslett and Tiana Young. Special thanks to Mike Benoist, Sam Dolnick, Laura Kim, Julia Simon, Lisa Tobin, Blake Wilson and Ryan Wegner.

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