I'm bummed that I won't be able to attend the Beartooth Rally/Iron Horse Rodeo this weekend in Red Lodge. I love motorcycles and Red Lodge and I'm always down for a fun party in our nearby mountain playground just 50 minutes from Billings. I was originally scheduled to emcee the Iron Horse rodeo, but thanks to a self-quarantine after being potentially exposed to COVID-19, I couldn't (in good faith) risk potentially exposing others at the rally to the virus. Boo. That sucks.

We were just in Red Lodge last weekend and enjoyed a great time, socially distanced. Main street was hopping all weekend long, although we only visited a few shops (with masks) and didn't make it to the Snow Creek or any other bars or restaurants while we there. I saw tons of bikes around town. Maybe they were arriving early for the festivities, or maybe they were locals. I didn't really get a close look at any license plates while driving through town.

Credit: Michael Foth ~ Townsquare Media

Regardless, the Rally kicked off today (7/16) with a a couple of smaller events around town. Things really get going Friday into Sunday. According the the official Rally website (which has a live webcam in front of Bone Daddy's), the schedule this weekend includes:

  • The Bone Daddy's Loop Poker Run on Friday, a benefit for Operation Second Chance on Friday, with registration beginning at 8:30 am at Bone Daddy's.
  • The Beartooth Pass Poker Run on Saturday, with sign-ups starting at 8:30 am. This is one of my favorite things about the weekend, with hundreds of bikes making the loop from Red Lodge, over Beartooth Pass, down the Chief Joseph Highway and back into Red Lodge.
  • The Iron Horse Rodeo, held at the Carbon County Fairground on Sunday. Registration is in the morning and the event runs from 1 pm to around 4 pm. If you've never seen a motorcycle rodeo, it's pretty fun to watch and/or participate (if you're brave and don't mind potentially tipping your bike in the rodeo dirt.

No word on what band(s) will be playing at the traditional street parties. If you are planning on attending the event this year, have fun! Normally there are hundreds (thousands?) of bikes and people in town for the event. I'll be curious to see how the turn out is this year. Riding bikes is generally a great way to socially distance.