It seems as if winter missed some parts of the country this year, at least not with the fury that it has mustered in the past. Still, the traditional rites of spring will bloom, no matter what the weather.
The first indication that spring is about to burst for motorcyclists is Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida. This year’s event begins on Friday, March 10 and runs through Sunday, March 19, 2017. That’s right – Bike Week lasts ten days.
So, what is Bike Week, anyway? It’s a city-wide party celebrating the beginning of riding season. The party includes motorcycle races at Daytona International Speedway, custom bike shows, demo rides, motorcycle aftermarket parts displays and vendors, food, drink, music and hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists and their bikes. It’s an around-the-clock party for the motorcycling lifestyle, and a gathering of bikers of all shapes, sizes, genders, nationalities and ethnicities. 2017 marks the 76th annual event.
The centerpiece of Bike Week is the Daytona 200 on March 18. It’s a superbike race that runs on the high banks of the newly renovated Daytona International Speedway. The Speedway underwent a $400 million renovation that was completed last year, and features all-new grandstands, luxury boxes and other facilities, making it the premiere motor racing stadium in the United States. Additional racing at the Speedway during the week includes Supercross on March 11 and the Daytona TT on March 16. The Daytona TT is the first running of the new American Flat Track series at the Speedway, and promises amazing fast heats and exciting action.
A word to the wise: Bike Week is an event for adults. Send the kids to Orlando to avoid exposure to any shenanigans because these non-PC events are part of the party. Public nudity is against the law in Daytona Beach, but it’s not unusual to encounter men and women who flirt with the letter of the law rather than following its spirit. The faint of heart or easily offended should make other plans for their recreation.
Harley-Davidson will bring their demo fleet to Bike Week again this year, setting up from March 11 to 18 at Daytona International Speedway. It’s a great opportunity to see and ride the latest bikes in the lineup. There’s also a H.O.G. Rally Point at the Speedway. Harley Owners Group members can visit to pick up an official Bike Week pin and to check out a custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle display.
Best Western has 12 properties within 50 miles of Daytona Beach, including the Best Western International Speedway Hotel right at the race track. Rooms fill up quickly during Bike Week, and many hotels require multiple night stays during the event, so search and reserve quickly if you intend to attend. Don’t forget to book through BWRider.com to take advantage of the best rates and awards points.
It’s never too early to start thinking about spring 2018, either. The 77th Daytona Beach Bike Week is scheduled to take place from March 9 to 18, 2018.