The Calm Before The Storm.
Daytona Bike Week signals the unofficial start of motorcycle season and normally takes place the first week in March. However, this year the event commenced one week later on March 9-18 (initial date, March 2-11), to accomodate NASCAR's decision to push the date of the 2012 Daytona 500 - back one week. This was a gracious blessing from the Biker Gods as rain descended all over Daytona 500.
This year, the 71st annual event is being dubbed the "World Largest Event," as more than 600,000 motorcycle devotees attended. To me, there is absolutely nothing that equals the rush I get from riding my Harley and the roar that emanates out of the fishtail exhaust. It's a powerful and rich fascination that permeates my biker blood; soothes my soul and affords me a semblance of calm.
An Integral component of attending Daytona Bike Week is to have a fabulous time, and indeed, I did. Partaking in this historic occasion will offer anyone - from a season rider to a novice or just being a spectator - the opportunity to experience and enjoy all facets of motorcycle culture and what I consider the birthplace of self-expression. It's an event that appeals to the global sphere of bikers. I don't make an appearance every year, but when it does happen, it becomes an astonishing escape.
On my first visit, I had my bike shipped to Daytona and I, on an ensuing flight. This year we trailed the bikes and began the exodus from New York and converged with the pilgrimage of motorcyclist to the spring like weather and full throttle-thriving atmosphere of Daytona Beach. The 22hr drive din't faze us at all, since our motivation was at the highest level. And, if you're from New York, where the weather is unsuitable for year-round riding, this opportunity is perfect for the start of another riding season and the chance to marinate in the sun and throttle up. With the first glimpse of the radiant sun and sandy beaches, the itch to ride only became more intense as we neared the booming sound of palpable biker-chatter. Arrival: not an ounce more of impetus needed...just gear up for the madness.
As you ride on Main Street - the most famous street in the world - or along the strip, you will encounter the ever-present congregation of bikes and their unique hardware, with plenty of posture and disposition: Harleys, Custom Choppers, Bobbers, Iron Horse, Crotch Rockets and other top shelf-bikes. Regardless of what's your taste, or if you have the most horsepower, what matters most is if it's got two wheels and an engine and you're cruising Main Street. The multitude of chrome rolling through the streets would make the entire state of Florida, corrosion resistant. The crowds are huge and everyone is absorbed with having a good time, so much so that one would be relegated to first gear and must control the urge to ride with abandon: Talk about burning out the clutch. The action was fast and furious with so little to time to contemplate the missed chances or to capture all the activities through the lenses of my camera. After about twenty minutes of soaking the atmosphere, I fortgot I had one.
It's a flourishing world of parties with full impact entertainment and any other conceivable events flaunting hot biker girls: Block parties, local hangouts, beer girls, bike rallies, custom bike shows, horsepower shootouts, wet T shirt contest, bikini contest, pudding wrestling, and coleslaw wrestling - provides a foretaste of the splendor. Consider it the biggest party you'll ever attend that would provide an abundance of action for even the most biker-aficionado to endlessly consume. Inducing? You bet. By the time it's all over, I will assure you would have reached biker heaven.
This year offered extraordinary visuals: futuristic designs with versatile schemes.
As well as creative but simple and classic designs that appealed to me.
The spirit of a legend, Indian Larry was also in town.
Just like baseball, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains. But, the rain didn't dampened my riding celebration, you see: when you drink enough beer, it has the effect of making one impermeable to rain.
The only visual missing: Marilyn Monroe on a Harley with an extremely hot ensemble. Wouldn't that be an itch with enduring allure?
Sunday morning it was time to head back North, what a downer. I have been to plenty of motorcycle rallies, but none match this iconic event. Everybody was amazing and I had a mind-blowing time.