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Basem Wasef

Anti- Alternative Sturgis Rally Turns Deadly

By July 26, 2011

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Anti-Sturgis Rally Turns Deadly

"Too Broke for Sturgis" is an alternative rally dubbed as a simpler, lower key alternative to the increasingly massive South Dakota event. But gunfire has left three dead, one critically injured, and a sour note looming over the ABATE-organized gathering.

A Sheriff's department statement says it appeared the shooting stemmed from an alcohol-fueled argument over food, leaving husband and wife Edgar Atzin, 45, and Trina A. Atzin, 43, dead, as well as Christian Tejada, 38. A 33 year-old female was shot six times, and remains in "critical but stable" condition as of Sunday night.

Reuters says that "In recent years, some veteran riders have complained the Sturgis rally has lost its outlaw edge, attracting too many bankers and lawyers with top-of-the-line $30,000 Harley-Davidsons and not enough old-fashioned hard-core bikers."

But frankly, I'm not sure what's worse: bloated, over-commercialized rallies, or Wild West-style gatherings that turn deadly.

Sources: Arizona Daily Sun, Reuters


Photo © Getty Images

July 27, 2011 at 3:16 am
(1) B. King says:

I am not sure why you label TBFS as an Anti-Sturgis rally. It isn’t. Everyone there would go to Sturgis, but they are too f****** broke!!! Please get a clue before writing an article for publication.

July 27, 2011 at 6:55 am
(2) Joe says:

Of what I have read law enforcement seemed think like it was a domestic between the husband and wife not outlaw related. If so, domestics can happen anywhere, motorcycle, events, taking your kids to a carnival, walking in Walmat (my guess for the best chance for that happening lol) and so on.

July 27, 2011 at 10:02 am
(3) Scottie says:

Never felt a need to go to a bike rally, but then I also try to avoid Times Square – all year. Maybe I’m just a crazy loner, or perhaps I just get my fill of crowds on the subway, but I like riding alone or with my wife on back.

65 and sunny up in the Catskills. What the heck am I doing in the city?

July 27, 2011 at 10:51 am
(4) Bigalturk1 says:

These days you can die anywhere….Rally or not, catching a Baseball in the bleaches, at college…or hit by a drunk driver.

July 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm
(5) Steve in GA says:

It’s always bad when people die needlessly.

But, maybe the reason that the lawyers and doctors and other moneyed riders go to Sturgis is because the rough-and-ready outlaw crowd doesn’t go.

July 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm
(6) Pete says:

Sturgis lost it’s outlaw edge??!!
Oh my God…how ever did that happen? Does that mean a larger % of people attending were law abiding and probably came unarmed? Does no one check to see who signed up? What a travesty!
God forbid an event not turn violent. Clearly things are improving though with a replacement venue. 3 dead this year…one can only hope next year there’ll be 5 or 6 dead. I’m sure the senior management at HD were appalled and will make sure there’s a good supply of ammunition and pre filled clips from now on.
9mm Sir? Here you go…will 100 rounds suffice? And you my good man…45ACP? No problem. 223 you need? We’ll get right on that.
I know what’s wrong…They forgot to invite the guys with the cartoons on the back of their jackets…you know – the guys with the halos and the stuffed animals on their bikes.

July 27, 2011 at 10:21 pm
(7) John says:

You dont need big crowds to get get killed, I live way out in the boonies where the headlines in the new paper might be about a play that is being put on by some organazation.
But several years ago some guy decided to take a shot gun and blow away a husband and wife over some drunken argument.
So it can happen anywhere, big town, little town.
Big crowd, no crowd.
Be carefull, and avoid anyone that acts like they are drunk and looking for an argument!

July 28, 2011 at 12:09 am
(8) motorcycles says:

I think we can all agree that bad stuff can happen everywhere… but would you really want to be around people that draw guns over food?

July 28, 2011 at 2:28 am
(9) Basem Wasef - About.com Motorcycles Guide says:

B. King,

I haven’t attended a TBFS rally, but the tone I’ve gathered from numerous news sources is that they are fed up with what Sturgis has become, image-wise.

Have you participated before? If so, I’d like to hear your take on the rally.


July 28, 2011 at 2:58 pm
(10) dollarmtn says:

Mr “Basem Wasef” probably doesnt have a clue what an American motorcycle rally is all about before labeling this one as an anti Sturgis rally, or outlaw rally.

July 28, 2011 at 3:04 pm
(11) Basem Wasef - About.com Motorcycles Guide says:


With all due respect, I never called TBFS an “outlaw rally”; it is, by definition, anti-Sturgis by virtue of its name.


July 28, 2011 at 3:16 pm
(12) EarthenMonkey says:

2011 will be 10 years attending Sturgis for me, and there are plenty of “outlaw” areas that hardcore riders can attend. I understand it is busy and much more populated than years past. The fact of 600,000 to 700,000 people in the Black Hills area makes it a full arena. Whatever you want to see in Sturgis, regardless if you are a hardcore rider or Banker or Lawyer. Bottom line if you like to ride, go to a rally, wherever it is.

Live to Ride, Ride to Live!

July 28, 2011 at 3:20 pm
(13) BikerBob says:

Youre a F****** moron !!!!!!!

July 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm
(14) Brad Currey says:

B. King says :

I am not sure why you label TBFS as an Anti-Sturgis rally. It isn’t. Everyone there would go to Sturgis, but they are too f****** broke!!! Please get a clue before writing an article for publication.


July 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm
(15) clyde says:

So not too long ago a man went crazy in the little town of Wheatland Wyoming, killing his brother, three kids and injuring his wife. That had nothing to do with bikers. Just someone going crazy.
I hate the stereotyping especially from people who have never experienced it. Some of the most caring people I know ride.
Whats wrong with a little fun gathering with people for the purpose of a good time? Sure someone got stupid but someone gets stupid everywhere……

July 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm
(16) Basem Wasef - About.com Motorcycles Guide says:



Bad stuff goes down everywhere; Oslo, Columbine, wherever… but it’s a shame that when it happens around motorcycles, it can alter the way we’re perceived.


July 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm
(17) Jim says:

I have been to sturgis rally 17 times.
if they use sturgis in the name of their rally’s they will get sued!
if you are looking for trouble you can find it at any rally!

July 29, 2011 at 3:50 am
(18) az_road_mama says:

“Too Broke For Sturgis”, the name is self-explanatory! It is NOT an anti-Sturgis rally, as you claimed, it is a rally in northern AZ, for those TOO BROKE TO GO TO STURGIS! DUH!!!

N the unfortunate incident you are referring to, that happened at the TBFS rally was an incident of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! It had NOTHING to do with the people involved being bikers, and NOTHING to do with them being at biker rally! It had to do with an abusive person, losing their temper, and killing/injuring people in a DOMESTIC VIOLENCE fight!

GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT before you write and publish an article, and QUIT FEEDING THE STEREOTYPE that bikers are bad people, and that violence happens at bike rallies! NEITHER of those statements are factual! I’ve been to some rallies, and NO VIOLENCE occured at the ones I attended! By the way, those rallies were ALL in Arizona too!

July 29, 2011 at 6:57 am
(19) Steve in GA says:

Wow, Basem. I’m not sure that I have ever seen so many people get their underwear in a wad over your use of the word, Anti-.

I certainly didn’t see your use of that word as any kind of a criticism of that rally or of bikers in general. But, evidently some people are a lot more touchy than I am.

Anyway, keep up the writing, tell it like you see it, and remember: You will never make everyone happy.

July 29, 2011 at 12:31 pm
(20) Basem Wasef - About.com Motorcycles Guide says:


Seriously, huh?

In any case, I wasn’t able to interview any TBFS members before I posted the story, and their website wasn’t very revealing. But since it seems they’re more “alt” than “anti”, I’m switching the headline.

And yes, I don’t know how reporting the facts gets misconstrued as “feeding stereotypes.”


July 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm
(21) Pete says:

Hi Basem,
Reporting the facts will get you in trouble every time.
A number of years ago, The Toronto Police Service were accused of ‘racial profiling’. It made huge headlines and still raises it’s ugly head now and again.
It all stemmed from a simple, mathematically incontrovertible statistic, that a higher % of an ethnically diverse portion of the population, were responsible for the violent death of a higher % of the same ethnically diverse portion of the population. (How’s that for PC??!!)
How this is, or ever was ‘racial profiling’ is beyond me. It is what it is, whether anyone likes it or not.
You can’t win…sometimes there’s no point in trying.
Keep doing what you’re doing and the people who like it will continue to like it and the ones who are pissed off today, will be just as easy to piss off next week.

July 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm
(22) Basem Wasef - About.com Motorcycles Guide says:


True, it is what it is– onward!


August 19, 2011 at 10:58 am
(23) susan says:

I don’t know where the food issue started. I was at TBFS ralley. A lot of MC’s there, everyone getting along. After the shooting there were so many stories but I believe the facts were misrepresented to make bikers look bad. The crazy man with the gun shot his ex (or girlfriend) for ihaving an affair with the man that was shot, is said that he even left a note at home that he was planning this, so how can you plan a fight over food. This was dometic in nature & unfortunately 3 people are dead, to bad he didn’t kill himself first, then everyone who couldn’t afford Sturgis could have continued having a great time! If you look at Sturgis news an off duty police officer shot an Angel in a bar brawl, the officer was also a member of an MC made up of officers & firefighters, you know those guys with the cartoon characters on their backs! To many people make assumptions about MC’s being all outlaws when most are really about the brotherhood!

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