Words and Photos by: Scott and Carla Odell
What to make of Daytona Beach? Many of the hotels are still closed or being repaired, and the beach itself is a lot smaller than it used to be, but for the most part the city survived the wrath of four hurricanes this past summer. More importantly, none of the above stopped hundreds of thousands of bikers from making the journey to Biketoberfest for one last hurrah before putting their rides into hibernation for the winter. The sportbikes were out in force and the weather was bikini-perfect, even if the traffic in Daytona Beach was backed up like the restroom lines at the local Bacteria Burger on Salmonella Saturday.
"Nightmare on Main Street" pretty much summed up the traffic situation on DB's cruising hot spot, but what else did we expect in this Mecca of motorcycles? How about putting the "Bike" back in Biketoberfest and keeping cars off Main Street for the duration, just like the bigger Bike Week held each March? Biketoberfest is a celebration of the two-wheel lifestyle, after all, not General Motors products! Then if they could just do something about all those damn Harley-Davidsons...Fortunately, the atmosphere wasn't nearly as maddening over at the Municipal Stadium, unofficially sportbike central during this year's rally. It may not have been the prettiest setting or the best facilities, but promoter Glenn Castle made sure stunters had a safe place to play, and fans could freely come and go all day to check out action from Patrick Stephens Freestyle, Geared Up and other big names from the U.S. stunt community.
After dark, the infamous Hess gas station at the other end of International Speedway Boulevard remained the place for sportbikers to meet, hang out and show off their rides. Sure, the red-and-blues started flashing and chased everyone off once the crowd swelled to around 400 bikes, but that's part of the fun. Even as the sportbike tribe feels more and more welcome with each rally in Daytona Beach, we wouldn't want anyone to start thinking we're too safe or sane, now would we?