And Hell, that's not to mention my search for a decent lift so I can get the crud off without breaking my back......
But there I go again. Focus, Cowboy, focus! Daytona, Dammit!
Sure there's the NASCAR track, and that's got a "coolness" factor all of it's own. Hell, NASCAR headquarters is located in Daytona, there's a Bill France Blvd, and Speedway Blvd is about as wide as I-405 in Los Angeles. And there's that H U G E fucking race track. Riding around it the damn thing, on the surface streets, is about 3 or 4 miles!
But that ain't the cool part of Daytona. Not for me, anyway. See, I decided to spend my entire 2010 Christmas week in Daytona, instead of the usual overnight stop on the way to/from someplace else. I'd never really been there long enough to really get a feel for the place. I also wanted to do some scouting before Bike Week, since I'm finally going this year. I took my Harley with me, and headed out on Christmas morning, getting there the next day after an overnight stop in Savannah.
I was looking forward to riding up and down the coast, enjoying semi-warm breezes, and with no helmet law, enjoying the freedom of having the wind in my hair. The weatherman, however, saw fit to serve up a record-low temperature on my second night there, with lows about 26 degrees F, and Brother, that ain't riding weather. Hell!, it took days before it got up into the 60s, but whoa, I'm getting ahead of myself.
I stayed in a little 60s-era beach motel that was tolerant of me, the Hummer, the Harley, and the bike trailer. Well, actually they were OK with everything but me, but after I turned on the charm, I got a room key overlooking the beach. It was also the room that was as far away from the office as possible, but I tried not to take that as a personal slight. Must have been a coincidence.
Soon though, the blonde headed for the door, which almost prompted me to appeal for a new ruling. I mean really, isn't there something just wrong about throwing a blonde with big tits out of a bar? A BIKER bar? Against some kind of rule? Still, not knowing the crowd yet, I kept out of it, figuring I'd need a place to hang for a week.....Wise decision.....probably. LOL
In fact, Daytona Beach, in general, caters to the biker crowd, with parking in some areas limited to bikes, and very few businesses DIDN'T have a bike or two parked outside. And while this kind of place might not be for everyone, I felt right at home. Everyplace I went, I met cool folks, and didn't run into any problems. Hotels even have special motorcycle parking areas, though I did learn that few allow trailers during events like Bike Week.
1) Most of the in-town stuff centers around Main Street in Daytona Beach. Stay within a few blocks of that and you'll be set for the parades, street stuff, smaller bars, etc. And if you stay outside of Daytona, with a plan of riding to Main Street for the fun, you'll have a long, slow, hot ride to get across the bridges into town. I hear that bikes COOK waiting to get back across from the Speedway Blvd venues.
2) The bigger venues, like Broken Spoke Saloon, Iron Horse Saloon, Hog Pen, and Boot Hill (north), just to name a few, are all on the mainland, up Rt 1 north from Daytona, about 7-8 miles in Ormond Beach. These are outdoor party spots with stages, vendors, bands, and CONTESTS! Almost all were closed while I was there, and I can only imagine how crazy these places get during Bike Week. If you stay in Daytona Beach, near Main St, riding to these larger venues is probably easy, but that putt back across the bridge won't be any fun at all.
So, if you want to focus on the Rt. 1 places, which damn sure isn't a bad idea, there are far more (and probably less expensive) lodging options. And I'll also bet you can park your bike trailer in some of them, unlike the beach hotels.
Me? I've decided to stay downtown for my first Bike Week, about 7 blocks up from Main Street. I'll give it hell there, take one trip up to the bigger venues, and call it an event. When I go again, I'll stay up near Ormond Beach.
I'm sure there's a million other places to stay and things to do...No way I could figure out everything, but that's my take on Daytona Beach, Bike Week stuff.
Oh yeah, for New Year's Eve, they block off Main Street and line it up with vendors, bands, and folks just wander here and there. No bars charge a cover, and drinking is allowed indoors or out. Lots of fun, though not a lot of....well.....not a lot of skin showing, to be blunt. I was heartbroken. There's a fair number of families with kids that do that event, so the crowd pretty much keeps things down to a dull roar. Still, it's worth doing if you happen to be down that way.
I'll be going back to Daytona Beach, and the Boot Hill Saloon, for sure, and maybe for a little longer next time. That tough-ass barmaid and I got to be friends (even though I still think she should let blondes with big tits drink in her place). I think I could easily spend a couple weeks there and never miss home....not even once. To tell you the truth, I can see myself retiring to that area....My kind of place. Lots of fun and it ain't the DC Rat Race by a long shot.
PS - The world's most humongous Harley-specific shopping center is in Ormond Beach. It's called Destination Harley Davidson. I think they have something like 1,500 bikes in inventory, plus you can eat, sleep, rent, shop, and even get a tattoo there. They even have condos, if you can imagine that. (I love my bike, and the life style, but I ain't sure I'd want to live at a Harley dealer.) It's amazing place to stop...Don't miss it. Route 1 and I95, just before Daytona if you're heading south, and just a mile or so north of the big party venues.
January 20th, 2011