STURGIS — Jody Perewitz thinks the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is “awesome,” maybe even “wicked awesome.”

“I love Sturgis. It’s such beautiful riding. It’s such a fun event,” said Perewitz, who served as grand marshal of the annual Mayor’s Ride Saturday at the 81st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Perewitz, from Boston, said she has been coming to the Rally for the past 20 years. Her favorite aspect of the Rally is the people.

“There’s always good people out here. This is where I get to meet up with all my friends that live far away. It’s a good meeting ground,” she said.

Perewitz has become one of the most recognizable women in the motorcycle industry today. She has paved her own way into history by becoming the first woman to ever jockey an American V-Twin powered motorcycle into the record books at well over 200 MPH.  She currently holds 16 land speed records, one of which is a world record.

When she is not on two wheels, she handles the marketing and day-to-day activities at Perewitz Cycle Fabricators, located in Halifax, Mass., where she works side by side with her father, legend Dave Perewitz. The Perewitz name is world renown in the custom motorcycle industry and is known for producing some of the most sought-after customs.

She and her dad will host a paint show Wednesday at the Iron Horse Saloon.

“We have a custom motorcycle show that’s based solely on paint. That’s what we do. My dad and I are both painters,” she said.

Next month she will participate for a second time in the Motorcycle Cannonball riding a 1912 Harley-Davidson single cylinder motorcycle 3,800 miles from Portland, ME to Portland, OR.

“Riding a 109-year-old motorcycle that only has about three or four horsepower will be a challenge,” she said. “I have a really good support team. I just have to make it from A to B every day and hopefully they can get it prepared for the next day.”

In 2018, Perewitz rode a 1926 Harley Davidson JD becoming one of only three women to complete the entire Cannonball.  

She loves motorcycling because it gives her the freedom to ride whereever she wants. She appreciates the scenery of the Black Hills and also the quality road surfaces on which to ride.

“Our roads (in New England) are pretty pot-hole ridden. So they’re not so nice,” she said.

This year’s Mayor’s Ride, which had traditionally been held on Monday, was held on Saturday to give riders a chance to participate in both the Mayor’s Ride and the Legend’s Ride which is on Monday.

“We will do a review after this year’s ride, but I think we will keep it on Saturday,” Mayor Mark Carstensen said.

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