In Chapter 37 of Big Brother 12 contestant Rachel Reilly’s extensive resume is her stint as 2008 Miss Sturgis, which means she was the spokesmodel for the famous Sturgis Rall, an annual gathering of over a half million motorcycle riders and enthusiasts that takes place in the usually small town of Sturgis, South Dakota. From the official announcement:
Sturgis, S.D. – April 21, 2008 – After thousands of votes and an in-person interview with a diverse panel of judges, Rachel Rilley of Henderson, NV, has been selected as Miss Sturgis 2008. Rachel’s bubbly personality, combined with a knockout figure and brains to match (she has a degree in chemistry), make her the quintessential Miss Sturgis. Rachel is heading off to Boston in May for her “Sturgis Rally News” cover photo shoot with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. During Sturgis Bike Week, Miss Sturgis signs posters, conducts radio interviews and is frequently interviewed herself. During the year, as Miss Sturgis, Rachel will be appearing at bike and trade shows across the country.
Also, Rachel got to appear on the cover of Sturgis Rally News along with Aerosmith lead singer and reported newest judge on American Idol, Steven Tyler!
(Sorry about the image quality but it was the best I could find. If anyone out there has a copy of the 2008 Collectors’ Edition Sturgis Rally News and wants to send me a scan of the cover – and the interior if it includes Rachel – I’ll be happy to add the images to the post!)
Here is Rachel’s “acceptance speech” from the now-deleted MissSturgis.com:
“I am so excited to receive this honor. I can’t wait to come up this summer and ride throughout the hills…maybe some lucky guy can take me on a tour hehe;) I am going to be coming up early for the rally to experience all the beauty that South Dakota has to offer and to hang out with all my fellow riders. I’m eager to meet people from around the country and experience their culture and stories and hear about their travels and adventures to Thunder Road.
I am looking forward to having the opportunity to do radio interviews with some of the largest custom bike names in the industry. Being a motorcycle enthusiast is more than just a sport or a hobby its a life-style! I encourage all my fans, and friends to please come see me at Thunder Road and tell me all about your adventures. I can’t WAIT TO SEE YOU ALL AT THUNDER ROAD-oh and feel free to ask me if I wanna ride because the answer is yes!”
xxooox Rachel Reilly
It seems Rachel’s election caused a bit of controversy among serious bikers because Rachel wasn’t really a big motorcycling fan after all and had never even been to the Sturgis Rally. No one was more vocal about her feelings of betrayal than the Chrome Cowgirl, Sasha Mullins. Sasha is rather famous in the cycling world for her writings about being a biker chick and for being damn fine. Her books include The Chrome Cowgirl Guide to the Motorcycle Life! and Bikerlady: Living & Riding Free!, and she also posts on her blog downtheroadapeace.blogspot.com.
It was on her blog that Sasha really unleashed on Rachel because as it turns out Sasha was one of the finalists in the 2008 Miss Sturgis contest, and as you can imagine, she was quite frustrated to find out the honor went to pageant vet Rachel from Nevada:
The real girl motorcycle rider who loves the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, lives and breathes and works motorcycles…who got the most comments and love from our beautiful motorcycle culture, did not qualify in the eyes of the committee for the role of Miss Sturgis.
Miss Rachel Reilly, a spokes model from Las Vegas with several contests under her belt, is your new Miss Sturgis 2008. She was selected by the official Sturgis Bike Week Committee representing Glencoe Nation, Lehman Trikes, 93.1 radio and X-Rock radio. She doesn’t ride, has never been to Sturgis before, nor is she familiar with the motorcycle culture. But she’s the right “package” according to the judges.
As if turns out, the contest was and is for spokesmodels, after all, and I am not one – my motive was from the angle of ambassadorship, (peace, love, rally and ride), which was incongruent with the committee. Here’s what I was told: “People who emphasized how much they wanted to bring attention to the bike shows and do promotions to bring people out to Sturgis ranked higher than those who didn’t show that same enthusiasm. Like you said a long time ago, you may be trying to make the position into something it’s not.” Yeah, well, I guess my ambition to make this title about real riders and the real rally experience in its entirety, the legacy and heritage, remembering Miss Pearl, and promote ALL the cool aspects about the greatest rally in the world didn’t match their qualifications. Oh, and the fact that I’m a motorcycle journalist who writes about all things motorcycles and events and was wrapping up an article for a national publication which raved about the Sturgis Bike Week events, didn’t count as promoting Sturgis and bringing people out to the bike shows.
Rachel has plenty enough jiggly parts to properly fill a bikini, but hands down without a doubt my vote goes for Sasha! (She had me at “peace, love, rally and ride.”) And Sasha wasn’t the only one upset. You can read a long list of devout biking enthusiasts offering their support for Sasha at her blog entry HERE, which catalogs the comments left on her entry page at the now-defunct MissSturgis.com.
She later posted another blog entry that made reference to the injustice and continued her gospel tirade, converting the once-impartial into fervent believers in the religion of bikerladydom!
There is NOTHING more sexier than a real female motorcycle rider blasting along the road or the race track on her own motorcycle, truly living and breathing the lifestyle as an extension of her femininity. Rock that! Steady as she rolls! You can’t manufacture HER truth, HER reality in a POSER who doesn’t CARE except for HOW the IMAGE will promote her personal endeavors that have nothing to do with enjoying the ride and being a member of the ‘hood!
It seems Rachel stirs up a bit of animosity wherever she goes, whether its to a bike rally in South Dakota or the Big Brother 12 house! But it may be Sasha who got the last laugh as the 2008 Miss Sturgis contest appears to be the last one and 2008 was the last year MissSturgis.com was updated before vanishing forever. Could it be that a Sasha-led alliance booted the Miss Sturgis contest from the Sturgis Bike Rally house?!? Well played Sasha, well played!