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Bike Week and Biketoberfest may be changing

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Here are four new things Daytona leaders are considering

by Eileen Zaffiro-Kean, The Daytona Beach News-Journal

Daytona Beach city commissioners batted around possible changes to Bike Week and Biketoberfest at a meeting last week, and next month local residents will have a chance to share their ideas on what they think would improve the two biker parties.

If commissioners do decide to tweak any rules, it wouldn’t impact this year’s Bike Week, which runs from March 3-12.

Here are four things city commissioners are contemplating changing for the future:

Approved biker rally locations could change

The city has a map that shows where it’s OK to have Bike Week and Biketoberfest activities such as bands playing on outdoor stages and itinerant vendors selling everything from turkey legs to jewelry.

The map still shows some streets that no longer have Bike Week and Biketoberfest festivities, such as Beach Street between Bay Street and the Main Street bridge, included in the areas eligible for special privileges during the events. And the map shows streets such as International Speedway Boulevard east of the Halifax River, where at least some business owners want the right to have vendors and paid parking lots during the two annual biker parties, outside the approved areas.

Commissioners will decide if they want to redraw the map to officially exclude some areas that once drew big crowds during the biker celebrations, and add new areas that could join the party.

Daytona Beach yards could become paid parking lots

City Commissioner Ken Strickland, whose zone includes the beachside north of Seabreeze Boulevard, has thrown out the idea to let homeowners who live near Main Street and Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard sell parking spots in their yards during Bike Week and Biketoberfest.

Strickland wants to give residents who put up with noise and other unpleasantries that come with the biker parties a chance to make a little money. He also wants to make it less lucrative to let a vacant lot sit empty all year except when it’s being used by people willing to pay for a parking spot during Bike Week and Biketoberfest.

A few city commissioners have expressed concerns about the idea, and some of them said they would like Police Chief Jakari Young to weigh in on it.

Parking lot standards could change

Commissioners have also discussed whether parking should be allowed on unimproved lots during Bike Week and Biketoberfest. They’ve talked about whether the lots should meet city standards for lighting, irrigation, landscaping, level surfaces and drainage.

Deputy City Manager Jim Morris said it can get expensive to meet city codes for permanent parking lots, and land owners would probably look at the amount of money they invested and drop any plans for using the property for new development.

City Commissioner Stacy Cantu maintains that the beachside severely lacks adequate parking, and she would prefer to see the city relax its parking lot standards to create more available spaces.

Vendor buildings could face code crackdown

The commissioners’ examination of biker event policies could also lead to more buildings coming into code compliance, and becoming more attractive to year-round tenants. Currently, businesses that want to operate in a building year-round have to bring it into full compliance, but the structures Bike Week and Biketoberfest vendors rent for only a week or two just have to meet fire codes and other life safety standards.

Some buildings vendors use, for example, don’t have handicap-accessible entrances and restrooms.

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Brief history of Daytona Beach’s Bike Week

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A history of beer, bikes, cole slaw and ‘rowdyism’

by C. A. Bridges from www.news-journalonline.com

Bike Week, now marking its 81st year, may not be your grandfather’s — or even your great-grandfather’s — bike rally. A gathering for motorcycle race fans, a drunken party, a biker brawl or a family vacation destination, Bike Week has been a lot of things over the years.

It’s our Mardi Gras, our Fantasy Fest, our Carnival. It’s a portable, 10-day street party of motorcycles and biker lifestyle.

CLICK HERE to read this article on Bikernet

Laconia Motorcycle Week starts strong

By General Posts

by Michael Mortensen from https://www.concordmonitor.com

With the cloud of COVID largely lifted, motorcyclists returned in droves over the weekend to mark the start of Laconia Motorcycle Week.

Weirs Beach, the traditional epicenter of the event, was bustling by mid-morning Saturday.

“I think it’s going to be a banner week,” predicted Mayor Andrew Hosmer, who did walkabouts in The Weirs with City Manager Scott Myers on Saturday and Sunday.

Public safety officials reported the kick-off to the event, which wraps up this coming weekend, was largely trouble-free.

“There were large crowds, but very few police events,” Police Chief Matt Canfield said during a news conference Monday morning at the Naswa Resort.

Hosmer agreed that things have been going smoothly.

“It’s a good atmosphere,” he said during a telephone interview Monday.

The weather – with temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s, coupled with low humidity – helped bring out the crowds.

Motorcyclists began pouring into the area on Saturday. Parking spaces on Lakeside Avenue in Weirs Beach, which during the nine-day event are for motorcycles only, were mostly taken by mid-morning Saturday.

Bikers strolled up and down the street browsing and buying from vendors who were hawking all sorts of biker paraphernalia, as well as from local nonprofits like the Laconia Kiwanis Club, whose members were selling cold bottled water and soda.

Members of the National Guard were stationed at a tent next to Rally Headquarters on the boardwalk offering COVID vaccinations. About three dozen people were vaccinated over the weekend, according to Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association. The clinic will continue for the rest of the week.

“The state is trying to get out to events like this (to set up vaccination clinics), ” Laconia Fire Chief Kirk Beattie explained.

The fire chief told the news conference that his department handled six motorcycle-related accidents over the weekend, including crashes on Roller Coaster Road, and on Weirs Boulevard. Some involved serious injuries, he said, but none of the injuries were life-threatening.

A traffic accident shortly after midnight Saturday at the intersection of Endicott Street North (Route 3) and Watson Road resulted in one person being arrested for DWI, according to the Laconia Police Department activity log.

Police investigated 17 accidents, of which seven resulted in injuries, Canfield said. Four people were arrested for simple assault, including two for assaulting an officer, the chief said. All told, police handled 341 service calls citywide over the weekend, Canfield said.

Beattie said firefighters/EMTs responded to 31 calls Saturday, 2½ times the 13-call average of a typical Saturday. On Sunday, the volume of calls was about that for a normal Sunday during the summer, he said.

Canfield said officers reported few problems in and around The Weirs.

“We were busier downtown,” he said.

In a departure from past years, police presence in The Weirs is being handled largely by Laconia officers. State Police and officers from other agencies are largely handling traffic enforcement in surrounding communities, he explained.

Motorcycle Week features a number of special events, kicking off with the Peter Makris Memorial Run on Saturday which attracted 250 riders, including about 40 members of the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club. The turnout was one of the largest ever for the event, which began 15 years ago, The ride helps raise money for various veterans charities, the Belknap House homeless shelter and the Laconia Fire Department’s water rescue lifesaving fund. Last year’s run was limited to just 100 riders because of COVID.

With rain in the forecast for Monday, the Mae West Memorial Ride to benefit local animal shelters was postponed until Thursday

Tropical Tattoo Willie’s Chopper Time 2021

By General Posts

Tropical Tattoo Old School Bike Show at Daytona Bike Week
by Rogue

A classic Chopper show I try not to miss when in Daytona for Bike Week. Willie puts it together at his Tropical Tattoo, and it looks like lots of other people felt the same way about the Bike Week show.

The place was packed with motorcycles and people.

Click Here to Read this Photo Feature only on Bikernet.

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Preparing for Biketoberfest

By General Posts

by Jarleene Almenas from https://www.ormondbeachobserver.com

Preparing for Biketoberfest: Destination Daytona is confident in its itinerant vending plans

The 150-acre property is one of the largest venues in Volusia County.

Come Biketoberfest, Destination Daytona in Ormond Beach believes it can host itinerant vendors and outdoor events in a way that adheres to COVID-19 safety measures.

In its permit application to the city, Dean Pepe, general counsel for Destination Daytona, stated that motorcycle rally events “are critical to the survival of our businesses here at Destination Daytona, our hundreds of employees and also to our entire community.” Some of the measures Destination Daytona will implement include one-way lanes inside stores, spacing outdoor tables apart to promote social distancing and requiring all vendors to wear masks. Bikers frequenting businesses inside the 150-acre event venue will also be asked to wear masks indoors.

“We’ve developed our own message, which is ‘Protect and respect our city, mask up and distance,'” Pepe said. “That’s going to be our message to everybody that comes here.”

When the City Commission in mid-August decided to hold off until September on making a decision to allow event permits for the motorcycle rally, Pepe said they were disappointed, but that they understood the reasoning.

“There was an understanding there that these people were trying to make a good decision,” Pepe said. “The thought of not having it with our normal setup would’ve been disappointing, but we would’ve had to roll with it and come up with an alternate plan.”

They also knew that if the commission reached a decision on Sept. 9, they had time to gather vendors and make preparations for Biketoberfest, even if they had to scramble a bit, Pepe said.

“We were very, very excited and pleased to hear that the city staff and representatives helped this decision,” said Shelly Rossmeyer Pepe, general manager at Bruce Rossmeyer’s Harley-Davidson in Destination Daytona.

‘We want to do right by the community’

Itinerant vendor revenue is one of the largest components for the year at Destination Daytona, said Pepe, which is why it’s important to hold these events twice a year for Bike Week and Biketoberfest, respectively.

While Pepe acknowledged that COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, he also expressed that “livelihoods are important too.” In addition to their own staff, another 30 people or so will be hired to help with the event. In previous years, that number has been higher, but due to the pandemic, Destination Daytona is not expecting the typical large crowds.

What they are anticipating is an increase of vendors, as the city of Daytona Beach has opted against issuing permits. Destination Daytona is also not planning any large concerts to keep crowds manageable, Pepe said.

Rossmeyer Pepe said they’ve traditionally been a daytime venue anyways, as most vendors wrap up in the early evening. Daytime traffic may go up a bit because of the lack of outdoor events in Daytona Beach, but she expects their nighttime traffic will not. She said it’s important for them to “do right” by both the community and the visitors.

“We’re going to do everything to try to maintain a very positive reputation, so they’ll come back,” she said. “We feel good and confident that our customers and our visitors are going to respect the situation we’re all in.”

If the situation was like it was in March, Pepe said perhaps Destination Daytona may not have had enough information to be able to hold events safely, as he is confident they are able to do now.

As a business, they need to be open, he said.

“You have to at some point,” Pepe said. “We can’t not operate our businesses forever hoping that this goes away completely.”

NH officials remind Laconia Motorcycle Week attendees of COVID-19 safety rules

By General Posts

by Jean Mackin from https://www.wmur.com

In 2020 style, Laconia Motorcycle Week is taking a major detour this year — scaled down with no vendor tents or big scheduled events .

The state will post signs and even do flyovers featuring the rules of the road in New Hampshire.

“We want to remind folks that might be coming from out state to review our travel provisions, our quarantine protocols, and recommendations that we have within the state,” Gov. Chris Sununu said Friday. “Remind them that we do encourage folks to wear masks whenever they cannot social distance. If they are going to be at any large scheduled gathering, there actually is a mask requirement for those over 100.”

State health officials say they’re working with businesses to try to cut down on potential spread.

“In a large event like that, especially if it’s outdoor … and there’s hundreds of people, regardless of whether you’re wearing a mask or not there’s that risk of transmission is there,” said Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette.

If someone tests positive, contact tracing could be difficult.

“It would be hard to do full contact tracing if they attended a large events at Bike Week, so I would say that a public notification is likely unless it was a very isolated incident,” Shibinette said.

And if a someone tests positive after leaving the state, New Hampshire officials would be notified.

Bike Week 2020

By General Posts

A Case of “Corona”, Tits, Ass, and Speed Not Necessarily In That Order OHh, yeah, and motorsickles … lotsa motorsickles
Photos and text by DMAC

79th Daytona Beach Bike Week got It’s humble beginning way back in 1937 and started as the Daytona 200 – a motorcycle race that was actually a 3.2 mile course including beach and roadway. Picture that – high banking on sand – in view of the Atlantic Ocean – musta been a sight – especially with all that iron – newer to them then. Now, all vintage iron to us.

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Sons of Speed Wild Vintage Races – Bike Week 2020

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20th Century Board Track Racing
By Rogue with Photos By MISLED

Sons of Speed vintage bike races created by Billy Lane of Choppers Inc, were inspired by motorcycle racing in the early 20th- century board-track racing. At the time they were the largest spectator sport in the country.

READ THE FULL EVENT COVERAGE ON BIKERNET – CLICK HERE

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