A Bike Week Scene
There's Always a Crowd
Main Street in Daytona Beach, Florida is the center of the biker universe in mid March every year. Check it out!
Beach and Biker Fun in Florida
For ten days every March, Daytona Beach comes alive with the rumble of Harley’s. Main Street in Daytona is the center of the biker universe. Daytona becomes the mecca for bikes, beer, bikinis, tattoos and leather, especially leather.
The Center of the Biker Universe
Main Street in Daytona Beach, Florida
Listen for the rumble of the Harley's.
Main Street, Daytona Beach, FL, USA
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Many people have this image of bikers as being a wild group of rough and unkempt men. While there are some of those around during the March festivities, the group is more bark than bite. For every real live dangerous motorcycle gang guy in the crowd, there are twenty five or more suburban Moms and Dads riding their bikes and wearing leathers. They may even be calling their respective brokerage houses or law offices to find out how business is going while they are away. They are being faux bad having a great time in the sun and fun of Florida.
Credit: wikipedia commons public domain - DeusXFlorida from BaltimoreI’ve even seen bikers eating salmon and sipping wine at a restaurant in a neighboring beach town during Bike Week. These guys were very behaved and sedate. They just wore leathers and had earrings. Similarly, some folks tow their bikes in trailers attached to luxury SUV’s. No dangerous crowd here. The only danger seems to be to themselves. There are always a few biker deaths every year as guys go driving around without their helmets. The freedom not to wear a helmet is a mixed blessing.
Bike Week Origins
Bike Week started as a gathering of bikers for the Daytona 200 motorcycle race starting in 1937. The event was suspended during the WWII years and began again afterward. The annual festival really started to gain momentum when Bill France Sr., the mastermind behind NASCAR, began promoting the event. In the early 70’s, Bill France Jr. became the head of NASCAR and brought stock car racing and Bike Week to a whole new level. The France’s were marketing geniuses. NASCAR became one of the preeminent sports in America and Bike Week consistently draws over a half million bikers to Daytona Beach each year.
What to Do at Bike Week
Of course, cruising through Daytona Beach and seeing all the other bikers is a given. EveryoneCredit: wikipedia commons public domain - DeusXFlorida from Baltimore wants to be a part of the event instead of merely a spectator. Get on your bike and show what you’ve got.
There are many other things to keep you occupied while you’re in Daytona.
The initial reason for the annual gathering remains part of the festivities. The Daytona International Speedway puts on an annual race of top motorcycle teams in which speeds approach 200 miles per hour.
Daytona Supercross by Honda
In addition to racing street bikes on the banked track, the Daytona International Speedway also hosts a dirt bike event. Bike racing is even more fun on dirt. Supercross provides a different view of racing with jumps and dirt spewing.
Bike Week Marketplace
Credit: wikipedia commons public domain - GamwebThe Daytona International Speedway grounds also play host to a gathering of merchants selling anything and everything bike related. If you can think of it, they sell it. The Marketplace has it all.
Budweiser Clydesdale Parade
Everyone enjoys a parade. Join the crowd to watch the Budweiser Clydesdales strut their stuff on Main Street. They put on three parades during Bike Week.
Known as The World’s Most Famous Beach, the sand at Daytona Beach is wide and packed hard. Most beaches have narrow ribbons of sand and what sand you do find is often hard to walk on, much less drive a car or motorcycle. Further, even if the sand is perfect for driving, it isn’t allowed. Daytona is different. Driving on the beach is allow and encouraged. After all, the Daytona 500 started out as a race on the beach.
Driving on the beach gives a whole new venue for people watching. In addition, if you’re actually going to lay out in the sun or jump in the water, you’ve got all your beach stuff with you. You don’t have to worry over forgetting to lug something out on the beach when everything is in your backseat or trunk.
The packed sand is likewise great for walking, running and bicycling. It’s easier on the knees than pavement if you’re walking or running, but not as soft as normal beach sand to make walking or running difficult.
For guys like me, we’ll never be real tough guys. Maybe only in our dreams. I haven’t been in a real fight since middle school and I came out the worst in that one. For us, Bike Week is a venue to give off the illusion of being a bad ass. Everyone looks tougher and harder edged in leather. Doctors, lawyers and accountants can look the part, even if they’re otherwise bookworms or geeks. No one is a nerd or a geek at Bike Week if they go with the flow.
Those creating the illusion of bad ass-ery are faux bad. That’s all I can really pull off. I’ll neverCredit: wikipedia commons public domain - Alain.Darles be the real thing or part of an actual biker gang, not that I would want to be. It’s fun to live out a different existence for a few days. You can mix with a few of the guys who are the real deal and be part of the crowd. Bikers are an accepting bunch, all it takes is a motorcycle and some leather and you’re part of the group, whether you live the lifestyle on a day to day basis or not.
Come on down to Daytona to join the fun. You’ll enjoy the sun and the people watching. You’ll love the beach and the bikes. You aren’t just attending an event. You’ll be part of the event. Heck, someone may even enjoy seeing you while they’re doing the people watching. You might be fun to watch if you try it out. The crowd is waiting for you! Central Florida is a great place to be this time of year,
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