Daytona Bike Week '04
What an adventure. My first bike week was much like I would imagine Mardi Gras to be... but
with motorcycles. Lots of motorcycles. And tattoos. Overall I guess I shouldn't be too
suprised by it all, but I must say it wasn't quite exactly what I expected. First - the
whole event was very voyeuristic: lots of older guys standing around gawking and documenting
a handful of scantily clad women. I'd say that in attendance was probably 80% men and 20%
women. 2% attractive women with non-saggy boobs. I'd also guess that of all the people
present, probably 5% really don't like bikes at all, but are there to enjoy the carefree
atmosphere of bikeweek to revel in their leather fetish or to release their inner
exhibitionist that has to be bottled up by conformity the other 51 weeks of the year. Bike
week is truly a freak show for everyone.
Other than the above points, there are several key observations that become obvious to anyone
- Wear black. It doesn't matter that the average day temperature is 85 degrees with lots
of sun and humidity. Bikers wear black. It's a fact.
- The average biker at bike week has the look of a weathered grizzly bear, but in reality
acts more like a teddy bear. Although bike week has it's share of Billy Badasses, for the
most part these guys will graciously say "excuse me" if they bump into you in the street.
- Bikers come from all walks of life. You will find all types at bike week: fat, skinny,
tall, short, pretty, ugly, clean and dirty. The participants cross all socioeconomic bands.
It's really quite surreal and yet strangely comforting to see lawyers and bankers in their
chaps and jeans sharing a beer with mechanics, plumbers, etc. The common thread is a love
of the road.
- Harleys are definitely the most represented bikes at bike week. That said, for most
participants it really doesn't matter what you ride as long as it has less than 4 wheels...
which brings me to the next point...
- No matter how hardcore of a biker you are (or think you are), there is someone there who
is more hardcore than you and thinks you're really just a big fat pussy. This point was
quite amusing to me. I observed in a very few bikers a resentment that my friend Greg and
I were riding rocket bikes. The same guys likely also looked down on the dedicated
harley owners who trailered their bikes to Daytona. I even saw a shirt on a guy bemoaning
the recent success of Harley Davidson in resurrecting their company and making a great
bike in the V-Rod. I guess some people are just destined to go around angry and hating
everything, but that's not the norm at bike week.
- Old biker women are funny as hell. I've never heard old ladies with gray hair use so
much profanity in all my life. Actually most everyone at bike week that I met had a great
personality as well as a story to tell.
- Chicks on bikes drive guys crazy. I guess this is stating the obvious, but to see it
live and first hand was quite remarkable. A chick who rode her own bike got double points
and added attention from the guys.
- The hottest chicks at bike week worked there. I don't know for sure, but I speculate
that many of the service women (i.e. beer vendors, snacks, etc) are off-duty strippers
working for a daytime buck. All in all, they were very friendly and were well versed in convincing
passers-by to donate a dollar or two to the tip jar in exchange for a picture.
Well, that's about it for the obvious observations... guess it's time for what you really
came to see - the pictures. Just a note before you click - there are a LOT of NWF
(Not Work Friendly) pics in here - so if you're offended by boobs and other parts or
will get into trouble, please don't click here!
jca at lugnutz