Advertisement poster courtesy by Biketoberfest.org
Written by Nathan Wertheimer
It is that time of year again when the motorcycles start rolling into Volusia County and in the greater Daytona Beach area. “Head out on the highway, looking for adventure, and whatever else you may see.” This part of the song from Steppenwolf band. Now is the time to plan your day filled with many activities all in a few places. This event is being held on October 19-22, 2017. This is a place for adults only. You never know what you’re going to see for the day. It is advise to arrive early before the crowds show up.
Here is a brief history of Daytona’s Biketoberfest. The Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau established this event back 20 years ago. Biketoberfest is typically held the weekend immediately following Columbus Day with most visitors staying throughout the week. The event features a 12-mile ride along a series of scenic state and county highways in Volusia County known as the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail or ‘Loop’. Other popular rides include up and down Main Street and Beach Street, through various state parks such as Tomoka State Park and DeLeon Springs State Park and to the historic Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse, located just south of Daytona Beach in Ponce Inlet.
Before heading to Daytona Biketoberfest, here are some items you should be pack. I recommend packing a camera with fresh batteries, a hat, sunglasses, good walking shoes, comfortable clothing, and a poncho. Take a cooler with cold non-alcoholic drinks and leave it in your vehicle. If you forget anything there are retail stores and vendors in the area that are open for business.
There are a lot of motorcycles on the road traveling from North Orlando on Interstate Four to Daytona. Anyone is a vehicle should watch out for bikers. Bikers famous motto is “look twice for bikers.” Most of the roadways are now clear of debris from the storm. Some other areas are not. Check with the Florida Highway Patrol website for road closures and traffic accidents.
Once arriving into Daytona on International Speedway Blvd go directly straight towards the beach were most of the bikers are gathered. I recommend stopping off on Beach Street at the Biketoberfest Official Rally Information Booth. Where they have maps and brochures. Don’t forget to sign the registry and receive a free official Biketoberfest lapel pin while supplies last. While you’re on the mainland, check out the many different vendors selling bike trailers, custom seat cushions, bike detailing, food and drinks, plus entertainment. At the Maryland Orange Crush Bar where I had a chance to visit on Thursday afternoon, they had live music on stage. This band was not the only band in town, but many more performing rock and country music.
After one leaves the mainland, I recommend heading over to the beach side. If your driving a car, there are a few private parking lots that charge $10-$15 per vehicle to park. I could not find any free parking for cars in the area. However, there is free bike parking on Main Street where all of the action is. If you’re looking for piece of mind for your motorcycle there are paid private parking lots from $5-$15 per bike.
There are many attractions and shops on Main Street to check out. Here are some of the highlights. Check out these saloons such as the Full Moon Saloon, Boot Hill Saloon, Dirty Harry’s, Froggy’s Saloon. Boot Hill Saloon has always been one of the bikers’ famous hangouts. Besides drinking catch some great music in the outside stage underneath a tent.
One will not get bored of Main Street. You can people watch all you want. At some of the saloons, people are sitting along the railing facing the street watching bikes and cars drive down the street. There are some bikes that turn people’s head from custom bikes, trikes, to stock motorcycles.
After a full day at Biketoberfest, take it easy while driving back home and or to your hotel. One will see many bikes and vehicles out on the road. Remember to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. Don’t drink and drive. Law Enforcement is out looking for drunk drivers too. Don’t be that person who’s had too much to drink and hits and kills another person while driving. Drink responsibly!
If you did not have a chance to attend this year’s Daytona Biketoberfest than mark your calendar for next year’s event on October 18-21, 2018. Make your plans now. For more information go to www.biketoberfest.org
Note: Some information came from the Official Biketoberfest website