Bike Week
by
Alex Pesacreta
March, 2007

 

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January 2007

February 2007


I have returned from Daytona with tales of t-shirts, custom bikes, warm weather and some interesting observations.

As you know, this was my first trip to the Mother of all Bike Weeks. I had been to Sturgis in 2005 with some fellow Spokes-Women, so I was somewhat prepared. We (Jan and Pat went with me) unloaded the luggage and bikes on Saturday, March 3rd (we trailered, good thing, it was a monsoon when we left-why does it always rain when Spokes-Women leave for a trip?). Sunday we ventured out to Destination Daytona (US Rt. 1 and I95), what I call Disney World for Bikers.

The Destination Daytona was only one of many on (and off) the beaten path to attract biker's and their $. On US Rt.1, there was the Broken Spoke Saloon, Tattoo venders, more bike related vendors, food and t-shirts. There were attractions on Beach Street, on Rt.1 into New Smyrna and at various gas stations and bars in and outside the Daytona area.Destination Daytona is located at Bruce Rossmeyer's Harley Davidson dealership. Some areas are still in the process of construction, but there was plenty to see. Besides the huge dealership (I believe that this is the largest in the world), there is an Arlen Ness store, a trike store, condos, food, a pub and miscellaneous bike stores. There were also the vendors (t-shirts, pins, sunglasses, bike accessories, etc.). Across the street, there were more vendors, a band, more beer and my favorite, the Wall of Death pictured at left. For those of you who have never heard of the Wall of Death, it is an old wooden cylindrical area that several men ride 250cc bikes around at break neck speeds until they are at the top of the "wall" pictured at right. I thought it was amusing that besides paying for the show, they requested a donation to help pay for any medical expenses incurred during their stunts (insurance doesn't cover this line of work-go figure)!

However, Main Streetin Daytona, pictured below, was the "Hot" spot. This main drag was the stage for thousands and thousands of bikes. This was the place to show off the goods! And show off they did! Although Harley Davidson's ruled, there was no shortage of custom bikes. The imagination, craftsmanship and money that went into some of these bikes was mind boggling (Google "Daytona bike week" and check out the sites that post the pics). The noise from the pipes was deafening all the time.

Besides the bikes and the sea of t-shirts, there were plenty of ink on almost everyone. Parking always cost you $5/bike. Beef jerky ruled as well as BBQ and beer. Then of course there were the young girls dancing (clothed, but very little) who poured liquor down the throats of those who paid for the privileged as well as the guys whose jaws were on the ground staring at the women selling beer with only silk flowers pasted on you know where. Makes for a complete "Bike Week" for the testosterone crowd.

The Daytona International Raceway also hosted the myriad of bike manufacturers and vendors (food/more t-shirts, trucks and RV's). There were plenty of bikes to test ride, from Harley, to Victory, to Boss Hoss, Honda and Suzuki. For a moderate fee you could take 2 laps with your bike around the infamous speedway.

We also rode "The Loop" and visited the 800 year old oak tree at the Bulow state park, pictured at right. The weather was cool at the start of the week, but had almost reached the 80 degree mark when we left. Riding was free and easy although Daytona's finest where out ticketing from speeding to absent brake lights (Lynn!) to unauthorized parking. We also were able to see "Wild Hogs". The movie was predictable but cute. Harley Davidson had on display not only the bike John Travolta rode in the movie, but the jacket, pants, boots and gloves!

Harley had a very large presence in Daytona, utilizing all of the convention center to display bikes, gear, apparel and hospitality. I was thinking that it was more of "Harley Week" since the number of Harley's out numbered other brands by at least 1000 to 1.

Overall, it was a great experience. We also were able to meet up with Laura, Danny and Pita at Lynn's house and go out for dinner. I just wish that I had stayed longer to soak up more sunshine before coming home!

 

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