BIKER NEWS: Bikers converge on Biketoberfest hot spots under wind and clouds | Outlaws Bikers News

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BIKER NEWS: Bikers converge on Biketoberfest hot spots under wind and clouds

BN- DAYTONA BEACH — In the morning, the Loop in Ormond Beach was packed. Along U.S. 1, bikers were backed up a mile heading into Des...



BN- DAYTONA BEACH — In the morning, the Loop in Ormond Beach was packed. Along U.S. 1, bikers were backed up a mile heading into Destination Daytona. Motorcycles lined State Road A1A in front of Snack Jack up in Flagler Beach. By noon, bike parking along Main Street was getting pretty tight.

Sandwiched between two major anniversary rallies — Sturgis' 75th in July and the upcoming 75th year of Daytona Beach's Bike Week — this year's Biketoberfest had some business owners in town a bit worried whether the rally would be less than stellar.

But perfect riding weather can calm a lot of fears, and Larry Steele was pleasantly surprised.

"It's definitely picked up from last year," said the owner of Steele's Daytona Wholesale Motorcycles, who runs a shop on Ridgewood Avenue with his wife and two daughters. 

And while the hotel occupancy numbers won't be known until Monday, Bob Davis, president and CEO of the Hotel & Lodging Association of Volusia County, echoed Steele's notions about the weekend.
"The weather is fantastic," Davis said. "The truth of the matter is, we're doing extremely well."

Steele, who provides motorcycles to dealerships, and three years ago decided to open up business to the general public, said he had been talking to other business owners and managers in the area sharing that concern, but the consensus is that the good weather has been good for the bikers and even better for business.

For the past three years, Steele has been setting up shop at the end of a long line of parked bikes on Beach Street and Main, where visitors Saturday could be seen licking ice cream and gathering up more bike accessories.

"Business is up this year about 20-25 percent," he said, adding that the location has helped. 

That location leads across the bridge to the festival's heartbeat — Main Street, Daytona Beach — where by noon, all but the most diehard patch-wearers had shed their leather in the mid-80s sunshine.

Silvia Delgado, 51, of Boynton Beach was one.

Delgado and others from the Women in the Wind's SunShine Sisters Chapter of South Florida were checking out the chrome along Daytona's busiest biker road.

"I've never been here before. I wasn't really crazy about coming. We don't drink in our chapter," said Delgado, but she said she's enjoying herself so far.

"We're going to hang out, walk around, spend some money — just have fun," Delgado said, adding that the group decided to stay outside town in Edgewater, looking to salvage some spending cash.

The patched-up women from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties said they were waiting on the corner to gather a few stragglers from Ocala and then maybe enjoy the warm, sunny weather riding Ormond's famous Loop, the oak-canopied route along Old Dixie Highway and Highbridge Road.

The warmer weather had Daytona Beach Fire Department firefighter Joey Rafferty and his partner downtown, keeping an eagle eye out for victims of heat stroke.

"Right now, it's the heat," Rafferty said. "We've got people partying the night before, overdoing it and then the heat gets to them the next day."

But the sun and heat beating down on Main didn't seem to be bothering West Palm Peach resident Shannon Chalman. Chalman had made himself a shady little nest across from The Bank & Blues Club. 

Tying one end of a hammock to a palm tree and the other to the triple tree on his black Honda V-Star 650, Chalman was bundled in the middle and said the rig he'd made was safe.

"I tested it with a telephone pole before I came down," just in case, said the biker, lowering the volume on the portable radio next to him as he swung.

Across the roaring road, at the Full Moon Saloon, the smell of beer and cigars wafted down the street and mixed with smoked ribs, chicken and pork. A drummer started tuning up a bass drum to get ready for the first act on the outside stage that would inevitably become nearly unreachable Saturday night.

Sound engineer Gary Parr tested the microphone on stage: "Are you ready to rock?"

Another first-time visitor to Biketoberfest, Parr was noshing on the barbecue that famously lines Full Moon's eastern wall for rally days. He said he's been thrilled with the event, the people and he's hoping he gets to return come spring for the 75th anniversary of Bike Week.

"This is the place to be," Parr said between bites. "Absolutely."

Source: http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20151017/NEWS/151019522?Title=FUN-FOR-ALL-AGES

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Outlaws Bikers News : BIKER NEWS: Bikers converge on Biketoberfest hot spots under wind and clouds
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