On a personal side, there were two major differences at this year's Bike Week. The first I just mentioned –the fact that I rode to the event rather than flying here from 1200 miles away. Second is the point that for once, I was able to check out the scene as a spectator rather than working the event as a vendor for RoadLoK. I know that my feet appreciated the difference.
My first stop was in Ormond Beach, to pick up Eric and Jim. Good guys those two. Eric is my son so of course he's a good chap, and Jim...well, Jim is friends with Eric so that makes him a good person too. Besides, Jim knows Harleys well and he loves to ride. That makes him more than okay in the Chief's book.
So there the three of us are, cruising around Daytona Beach – I'm aboard old reliable, my 07 Street Glide – while Eric is piloting a slightly older Fat Boy. Jim – I'm still not really sure what he was riding except that I do know it was a Harley and it didn't have a front fender. I never professed to be an expert on model recognition. To me, if it looks and sounds like a Harley, chances are it's a Harley.
Our first stop was at the Daytona Speedway. Heavy traffic, bike after bike after.."wave to the nice officer!".
Looking back now, it's really ironic that I had Eric snap a quick photo of me standing by a new brightly painted Street Glide glistening in the Florida sun, at the Harley tent. I'll explain this comment later, so remember it.
We spent some time walking around the different vendor's tents and as I had stated that I would do, I checked out some of the newest motorcycle accessories to hit today's market. RoadLoKs on bikes? I saw them too, which supported my thoughts that there aresome smart and security minded bikers among us.The crowd seemed about normal to me, as far as size goes, although I heard later that attendance was down. I just know that there was an abundance of bikers and besides, they say that size doesn't matter anyway.
Leaving the racetrack, we headed out for a short ride to meet up with three of the boy's friends. Lady friends. Lady biker friends. Local lady biker friends with their own motorbikes. After a quick informal introduction, the six of us enjoyed a nice lunch and some small talk afterwhich we decided to take a ride around the loop. The loop is fun, and if you've never ridden the loop, you may want to add that to your bucket list. Where exactly it is, I can't say because I'm not that familiar with the area, but take my word, it's called the loop and it's in Florida.
Once the bikes were neatly parked, the day ended with some typical fireside chat complete with beer. That's a common scene among bikers during bike events. The chilled night air was reason enough for me to stay in Ormond Beach and cruise back home the next day. Father Time has done that to me.
A couple of days after my tour at Bike Week, I decided to pay a visit to an old friend of mine. Larry has been in the Harley business for many years. He's a great guy and fun to be friends with. He also enjoys his chosen profession and it shows. New Smyrna Beach Harley-Davidson is fortunate to have him leading the pack there. He's a good enough friend that I decided to let him have my two prized possessions – my 07 Street Glide, you know...old reliable, and my 09 Cross Bones. In exchange, he gave me a brand new Street Glide. Thanks Larry!
About that ironic photo shoot next to the Street Glide. That iron horse was posing nicely in front of the Harley tent and something about it caught my eye. In a somewhat excited state, I asked Eric to take a photo of me by the bike because well, I liked it. I'm not sure if it was the color that drew me in or the fact that it was sporting a 103 cubic inch powerhouse but the fact was, I wanted my photo by it. When we left there, I didn't give that bike a second thought. At bike events, you see such a variety of vivid colors and fancy bikes that it's easy to forget them once you move on. It wasn't until I was riding my new Harley home, that I realized I had purchased the same model and color bike that I captured in a photo that day. Funny.
Thank you Bike Week for showing me a good time, and Larry, thanks for keeping me on the road in style!
For all of you Florida riders looking for a great deal on a new ride, stop in and see Larry at New Smyrna Harley-Davidson and tell him the Chief sent ya!
On the Road with the Chief
My New Honda
Security AND Safety
Daytona Bike Week - 2011
Bike Week Florida Style