3/9/13 – Daytona Bike Week in and of itself is basically just a ginormous biker party spread throughout Daytona and surrounding cities. There are loads of shenanigans, great bands, gazillions of cools bikes, some pretty decent riding, loads of entertainment, and plenty of stuff for sale. What really makes Daytona Bike Week a great experience is who you hang out with and how you choose to have fun. I was very fortunate to have a bunch of friends in Daytona, so many in fact that I couldn’t seem to get around finding all of them. SO MANY BIKERS, SO LITTLE TIME.
I purchased this picture but it will be sent home to Illinois. (c) Shot Through the Art 2013
Many of the bars have a claim to fame for one reason or another; be it Iron Horse for trying to duplicate the famous bar in Sturgis, the Beaver Bar for $2 domestic bottles (best deal in Daytona), the Smiley’s Tap for us because it’s owned by a Illinoisan, Cabbage Patch for the coleslaw wrestling, and so many more. I got to see Great White at No Name Saloon and David Allan Coe a couple of times at Iron Horse, saw a wet t-shirt contest at Durty Harry’s, as well as a few little bands the names of which I cannot recall.
We also did a great ride through The Loop which we started at Flagler Beach. The palms, cypress, and pines drenched in Spanish moss created a beautiful tunnel and cool air for kissing the sunburned skin. It wasn’t a very long ride, but the breath taking view from behind the bars, was just spectacular. Often times you can find a bit of piece hidden amongst a bunch of trees and asphalt.
I think one of the great highlights of bike week was riding with my ULRB buddies. We road south towards Sebastian and walked around the Canavaral National Seashore welcome center and nature preserve. It was awesome to meet one member that I had not yet and to bring in a relatively new member to meet some of the other guys. At the nature preserve a volunteer told us to head to Biochem Rd. if we really wanted to see some alligators. It was about 10 miles long, all gravel, and full of pot holes. It took a few miles, but we finally came across a few gators. When we stopped to take pictures and returned to the bikes… guess what?? My bike was dead. We weren’t stopped very long but I did leave my phone plugged in. As blessings would have it, my boys were with me and they gave me a push start. We stopped once more and it happened again. Once we left the alligator hunt, we intended to head to Sebastian for a good meal, however – my bike was spitting and sputtering every so often and one of the boys could see my lights were dimming in and out. At the bottom of a bridge she gave out while driving.
I was not feeling good about this. A new battery would be no huge deal but they were contemplating a stator issue and that would cost me a pretty penny. One of the boys gave me a ride to Sears and we got the necessaries to jump the bike in case this happened again on the way back to Daytona. When we returned to the bike, a local named Keith had apparently stopped and was helping to charge the bike. He gave us his number and said if we needed a reasonable mechanic we had a guy.
At that point most of us split up and went to our other scheduled meets and activities. I and one buddy headed back to the RV. I made it there without a stall, spitting/sputtering, or power loss. I was stressing for sure and decided to stay in that night. I had no idea was laid-in-wait.
As does happen to me more often than I can truly understand, God smiled on me the next morning. A few of our RV neighbors came over and within a few minutes, it was quickly determined that the problem was insanely simple. We think perhaps the Gremlin bell hanging below may have unplugged the cable from the alternator to the battery when I possibly hit a pothole. I didn’t hit many but that’s the only thing that made sense. So… VIOLA… plugged back in and ready to roll.
And of course, I cannot forget the one awesome / amazing meal that I had to splurge on. All you can eat crab legs and $0.50 oysters. Riptide’s really knows their seafood. Not a single thing was bad. It’s so easy to over cook seafood by a mere minute, but this stuff was amazing and I ate until I thought I would explode; to the point where only 2 of the 8 of us remained at the table because we kept eating. AND – DING DING DING – SCORE SCORE SCORE – I found wee tiny little pearl in one of my oysters. I am going to put it in a tiny vial and make a necklace out of it. Souvenir – check!!
Top off all this fun with a magnificent airboat ride. A friend of a friend formerly from Illinois is now a homesteader in Ormond Beach. If you saw this big ole hairy biker on the road, you would never in a million years imagine the fortune he has been brilliant enough to amass. He prefers to fly under the radar so I shall not name him and I didn’t take many pictures, but his estate was amazing and immaculately groomed. He took us for an air boat ride with a beer break on his island. The island contained old paraphernalia from all sorts of races he’s done, signs from Illinois, and random goofy shit that created the ultimate party island. We sat for an hours or more chatting and listening to his stories. I was tickled at the places and people we had in common.
I could go on and on about the bars we hit, the craziness we saw, the great food consumed, the laughs and jokes shared but you really have to experience it for yourself (or wait for further details if I ever write a book). I can say that’s one check mark on my Bike It List and I certainly look forward to going back.
The bike above has over 1M miles on it. Billy has been around the world and back (several times). Gotta love the straps holding the primary on…
Well duh, I had to take a picture of this seat. Way too cool!!
Amy and Rodney – new friends from a friend. Great folks to have fun with. Hoping to see them again in IL.
Support bikes for all the branches of service. God Bless our Troops!!
My favorite bar tender at the Iron Horse Saloon.
It’s all fun and games when you pull a port-a-john behind a motorcycle…
Flagler Beach, an amazingly beautiful piece of heaven just outside Daytona. Had a great shoulder and back massage while sipping a cold beer. $20 gone, but well worth it.
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