Fifty thousand Harleys, McCain? Can you not count, or are you visiting us from the year 1992? Actually, I haven't heard the numbers, so for all I know the attendance is down that far. But the roar of 500--or even 100, or 50, or 10--is just as annoying as the roar of 50,000.
People get involved in motorcycle rallies for the same reason that (different) people get involved in renaissance festivals. It's performative; it's a desire to live a fantasy life for however long (and then it's a chance for various merchants to capitalize on that desire). People make fun of people who get involved in renaissance festivals, and understandably so, but at least renaissance festivals usually take place in secluded areas and don't sprawl all over half the damn state and make everyone cater to their whims. Although in fairness to the bikers, at least Harleys don't poop, like horses do.
At any rate, it's peaceful here in Sioux Falls this week, although yesterday I saw a big group of bikes and I said, "Are you guys lost? Were you looking for the interstate?"