Thoughts on Daytona BikeWeek 2017.

image: stephen berner

image: stephen berner

Daytona Beach – BikeWeek – a tradition worth supporting or one worth abandoning?

I was reminded by a flurry of Daytona/BikeWeek stuff percolating online that the storied event is coming up quick. Cyril Huze mentions it (http://cyrilhuzeblog.com/2017/03/08/2017-bike-week-custom-baggers-indian-demos-displays-giveways/) and I’ve seen a few other blurts out in the public record.

I know that @expozzz and the EastCoastin Crew will be there  – along with the The Hijinx man himself https://motorcycles458.wordpress.com/ and his sidekick @OGpattyo (https://www.instagram.com/ogpattyo/)  I have a feeling all these guys will be working it hard – they are not your average sightseeing enthusiasts.

But really  – none of my  personal crew is going. We’ve been there, we’ve done that and really have no interest in it.  I’d posit that a combination of age, the desire to ride and not party, the time and expense and intensity of it just don’t appeal to my crew anymore. Looking back just a few years ago – this was an event that these guys wouldn’t dare miss. Now, not so much. we don’t buy black t-shirts, our bikes are done.

Could it be the lessening winters in the Northeast that have pooped on Daytona’s parade? Nah couldn’t be, there is no such thing as global warming  – right? Could it be we are tired of the shopping and commercial aspect of the event? Nah, not so much – everything is commercialized these days.

One click younger than my group – I see a lot of guys going  to much smaller events that are local and geographically feasible – and don’t require a fly/trailer/drive. Daytona doesn’t really fit into that box. Seems guys want to keep it smaller, a little more on the DL these days add I understand that myself. With the weather being less of an issue, we can all wait a few weeks to spin wheels…

Back when – the Limpnickie Lot was a good spot for me to meet some people i’d never see otherwise. It’s how I met Larry Pierce, Dale Yamada, Black Sunshine Brian,  Pat Paterson and a few others. I was lucky enough to shoot some of their bikes, but i wish i’d spent more time talking with them….

I looked forward to going to Bikeweek when i was working – shooting features and meeting and greeting. I dug Daytona for the opportunities to meet builders and shoot bikes. I don’t like crowds,  so unless I was working a shoot or an event, you’d find me out on a bike – and even then, the riding in FL sucks compared to home.

So whats with Daytona – is it a fish, is it a fowl is it passe’ or is it a gem that needs to be pulled out of the crusty setting its been stuck in, buffed up and remounted.

What ya think?

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