February 28 2013 by Jason Fogelson
The first major motorcycle event of the year is on the horizon. Bike Week Daytona Beach roars into town from March 8 to 17, 2013.
If you've never been to Bike Week, it's quite an experience. The rally grew up around a motorcycle race, the Daytona 200, which has been held annually (with a short break for World War II) since 1937, and has found a home at Daytona International Raceway since 1961. Daytona 200 Week includes two days of Supercross, three days of AMA Pro Road Racing, and two days of AMA Pro Flat Track Racing -- something for everyone.
Many folks who come to Daytona Beach for Bike Week never even venture over to the racetrack -- there's plenty to do without enjoying the racing. Several manufacturers, including Harley-Davidson, will have their demo fleets out for the event. Harley-Davidson is the official motorcycle of Bike Week, and the majority of riders at the event will be on their Harleys. There are dozens of bike shows, some ride-in events, some big sponsored shows featuring famous custom builders. The variety of bikes on display is dazzling, and the people who ride them are almost as dazzling as their bikes.
Bike Week isn't as wild and crazy as it once was -- but it is not a family-friendly event. Expect to see plenty of alcohol consumption, and plenty of tanned and sunburned flesh on display, peeking out around less-than-modest clothing and bathing suits. It's harmless and fun -- but not for the kiddies.
Music is always a big component of Bike Week, and this year will be no different. Molly Hatchet is playing live at The Hill, which promises to be some headbanging fun. Plenty of local bands and cover bands will be featured up and down Main Street and Beach Street, the two main drags in Daytona. You probably won't even have to go into a venue to hear the music -- things get loud, and the sound spills into the streets.
Daytona Beach is not a center of fine dining, but Bike Week brings out the best in down-home barbecue. The competition is fierce, prices are reasonable and the food is finger-licking good. If you're looking for white table cloths and gourmet creations, you'll have to venture away from Main Street.
Best Western has a dozen hotels in the Daytona Beach area. The BEST WESTERN PLUS Aku Tiki Inn is right in the middle of everything on Atlantic Avenue, while the BEST WESTERN PLUS International Speedway Hotel is within walking distance to Daytona International Speedway -- very convenient for the races.
If you can't make it to Bike Week this year, it's not too late to start planning for 2014, 2015 or even 2016. The dates have been set: March 7-16, 2014; March 6-15, 2015; and March 4-13, 2016. See you there!