Bike Week is an officially sanctioned event held every February in Daytona Beach, Florida. Motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the USA and occasionally even foreign countries converge for this 10 day extravaganza. Only another biker event in Sturgis, South Dakota comes close to rivaling this one.
Began in 1937, this years event drew a crowd approaching 600,000. A certain mystique prevails as bikers as diverse as the bikes they ride, spend days and nights riding and partying. Some follow planned events and others ride the loop in order to visit their favorite hang-out. Favorite spots include the Boothill Saloon, the Ironhorse saloon, and the Cabbage Patch, where female bikers wrestle in pits of coleslaw.
This festive atmosphere has gone from the nearly tattoo-less '50's to the beards, berets, and boots of the '60's, to the bottom-less chaps seen today. Only during World War II were these events cancelled, but they rightly resumed and grew in popularity from that day 'til now. Even "Easy Rider" star Peter Fonda made a Bike Week appearance to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Indian motorcycles. I guess it should be added that the most popular bike here is the Harley Davidson, more commonly known as a hog. It doesn't hurt that the largest Harley dealership in the USA is in Daytona Beach.
It should also be noted that not all Daytona Beach residents look forward to Bike Week. To Quote Pamela Hasterok, a journalist for the Daytona Beach News-Journal,"To be a resident during Bike Week is to live with people camping outdoors in empty lots, using trash cans for bathrooms and yard hoses for showers; to be elderly is to be afraid to drive and to be cut off and cursed by impatient bikers when you do. It is to be trapped in your home, subversively wishing for 10 days of solid rain or bitter cold, waiting for it all to be over.