One Last Hoorah For The 2017 Season
Article And Photos By: Jason Cirrito
Originally Published In The February 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
What happens when you have one of the biggest biker parties in the world? Well, if you’re Daytona Beach, you hold a huge bash twice a year! This year was the 25th Anniversary of the fall rally in Daytona, which is dubbed Biketoberfest. Because of the success of the March Bike Week and with the momentum pushing forward, Daytona Beach opted for the fall rally too. If you have never been, it’s all the mayhem of March Bike Week, only with warmer weather and more manageable crowds.
The rally officially kicked off on Thurs Oct 19th which was perfect since Thursday is the day of one of the greatest chopper shows on earth…CHOPPERTIME! Choppertime is held at Willie’s Tropical Tattoo shop, and it’s just about the only ‘must do’ event during either rally. OG Patty and I saddled up and headed over to Willie’s around 1 pm; we were late arrivals due to the typical Florida thunderstorms rolling through. As luck would have it, the skies cleared and per usual, the Chopper Gods gave us sunshine for the rest of the day! This show never ceases to amaze me. Some of the sickest home built choppers show up from around the country for a coveted trophy, which typically comes along with your chops getting busted by MC extraordinaire Roadside Marty. The event was in full swing when we rolled in, and bikes flowed out of the parking lot and up and down the side street. Willie has got this event down to a science.
The bands were killer, the beer was cold, and the crowd was upbeat. It’s even better when you figure out that the cash that’s taken in on that day all goes to charity. Thanks, Willie! We made a few laps around and caught up with our friends at Tombstone Hardware and the F#@k Up and Find Out guys who were slinging their gear all day. As the crowd thinned we hit the road for some more beers and laughs out at the Iron Horse Saloon, a Daytona institution and another must see! Friday brought more great weather. We hit the road for a ride through Tomoka State Park; I’ve done this ride a million times, it never disappoints, and it’s always fun. This year it was a bit more interesting thanks to all the rain Florida was getting.
Several the roads in the park were flooded. It didn’t matter though, we were out with friends, the sun was shining, and we were riding!! We hit Destination Daytona which was packed with folks and vendors of all shapes and sizes! As the day drew on, we headed over to the very hospitable Bill Dodge’s shop, Bling’s Cycles for his bi-annual shindig. The party was awesome. It was a fantastic opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet a couple of new ones! We decided to get over to Main St. to check out one of my favorite bands in Daytona, New Jersey’s own, the Razorbacks. The band plays killer rockabilly at the Bank and Blues every night during the bike events. They know how to tear the place up. If you’re looking for a good time, go check ‘em out!
Saturday brought on a hangover and the Lowdown Hoedown at Hold Fast Tattoo in Port Orange. This event is only a year old and draws a great crowd riding some slick bikes. A real grassroots event, the Hoedown is a chopper show with live music, beer, and vendors. What else ya need??? I am looking forward to seeing more from this show in the future…keep a look out! The weather held for most of the day till a late afternoon thunderstorm hit, so we hunkered down at the First Turn Restaurant across from Hold Fast till the weather broke. Sunday Funday, we shipped off to Main St. again to catch some more rockabilly. This time it was Main St. Station to see the Living Deads. This band is a threepiece that is really a two piece. The drummer and bassist pick up guitar players from wherever they happen to be to play with them, but man they are tight!! We watched a set or two while Main St. was still in full force. As the day drew to a close, I headed back to my buddy’s house. While riding up A1A, I was exhausted, hungover, sunburned thinking to myself “I can’t wait to come back in March!!” Hope to see ya there.