I’ve been to many “Bike Weeks” in Daytona over the past 15 or 20-years and I have to say….it never ceases to amaze me. This year, the 72nd annual is no different and still, I’m often left standing there with a dropped jaw saying…….”Holy Crap….did you see that?” Understand up front, I’m not a biker. I’ve ridden on one a few times, I’ve actually driven one a couple of times in my youth, but I’m not a biker and my presence here during Daytona Bike Week is necessitated by virtue of my home, which is about 40-miles up the beach from Daytona. Oh I’ve been to Daytona many times, including several times during Bike Week, but believe me when I tell ya, you don’t have to be in Daytona to appreciate the spectacle of Bike Week. You just have to be within a one hundred mile radius because these nasty lookin’ people are like locusts. They’re everywhere….in front of you, behind you, beside you, surrounding you…..and trust me, I’m not suggesting they are nasty people…..I’m just saying they’re nasty looking. If they’re not naturally nasty looking, they come up with some of the most god-awful ways to project the nasty lookin’ image and honestly, it’s oft-times more than a bit intimidating. Oh I know, I’ve heard the old argument……”hey, a lot of these folks are doctors, lawyers, accountants, businessmen and women”, whatever. That may or may not be true….but I’ll tell ya what…….of the half million bikers who invaded Daytona and environs this weekend includes any more than a hundred doctors, lawyers and whatever…..I’ll kiss your Harley Davidson on Main Street, Daytona at high noon.
In addition to coming up with the nastiest and usually grubbiest look possible, the next goal is a “hog” with a set of pipes that’ll shatter the best decibel meter two towns away. Motorcycles aren’t made to sound that way…..that loud. This is all custom stuff added to the machine to let the world know when they’re coming, when they’re going and hopefully in the process……scare the crap out of some visiting octogenarian from Indiana……or any one of us in the general population just driving to the grocery store.
It is scary out there on the roadways during Bike Week….yes even driving around in my big ole SUV. Oh I’m not scared for myself, I’m scared for them because if anything happens….if anything goes wrong with one side or the other not paying attention, the only person getting hurt is the nasty lookin’ guy riding on two wheels, pushing the boundaries of good judgment and tangling with a four-wheel huge SUV. Every year during Bike Week, they lose a dozen or more to “someone not paying attention.”
The Chamber of Commerce down here loves ‘em. They claim the bikers contribute about $300 million to the economy…..in one week. Oh and add to this chaos…..college kids on Spring Break…….Holy Crap!!!!!