Article And Photos By: Melissa Shoemaker
Originally Published In The April 2019 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
If you are one of those who have Daytona Bike Week on your list of rallies to visit but have been putting it off because you “don’t like the crowds,” let me tell you about Biketoberfest! Biketoberfest is a smaller version of Bike Week with just as much to see and do. The 26th Annual Biketoberfest started off on Thursday with an unprecedented heat wave, but that didn’t stop the action. The entire extended weekend actually was a perfect mix of beautiful days and chilly nights — perfect weather for riding.
Main Street, as always, was a happening spot. Riders opted to park their bikes along the strip and walked around to enjoy the many establishments serving cold beverages, live music, good food and just about anything you might want to buy. When there’re not out at the New Smyrna Speedway practicing for race day, this is also where you can find Billy Lane of Choppers Inc and his Sons of Speed Racers and their bikes. Billy sets up shop in the 2 Wheelers storefront and can usually be found there daily. US 1 is lined with several popular places to stop as you head out to Destination Daytona. The Iron Horse Saloon is where you will find David Allen Coe playing daily as well as several other artists. While you are there, make sure to check out the California Hellriders Wall of Death stunt show. Destination Daytona is vendor central. Here you can most likely find any accessary or part you are needing for you and your bike. Beach Street is also a very popular location with the vendors, as well as the Daytona Motor Speedway. At the Speedway, you can test ride just about any make and model of motorcycle you would like to try.
Just outside of town on Tamoca Farms road you can find one of the craziest traditions of the Daytona Rallies, Cole Slaw Wrestling, located at the Cabbage Patch Bar and Campground. And yes it is as smelly as it sounds, but it is always a good time. The girls take it seriously and let me tell you; there are some pretty intense battles. Also, along Tamoca Farms Road, you will find the swap meet where you can usually get some great deals on new and used items and a few other campgrounds that have lots of different things to do.
Daytona is the Chopper Time Old School Chopper Show held on Thursday at Willie’s Tropical Tattoo on US 1. While the Biketoberfest crowd is less intense, the October show is just as amazing and entertaining, and this year’s show was no different. With just over 100 motorcycles and 20 award categories, Willie’s Show was buzzing with excitement. While the bike show is happening in the parking lot out front, you must take a stroll around back to get some barbecue, visit the vendors and enjoy the live music of Big Rick and the Troublemakers. All proceeds from Chopper Time go to www.veteranssupportfund.org. Willie is a huge advocate for Veterans, and this charity is very dear to him. When it’s time for the awards you better be ready with your bike, and you better follow the rules or your gonna hear it from Emcee Roadside Marty. Roadside keeps the crowd in line and laughing throughout the awards with his antics.
Friday is the day of the annual bike show on the Boardwalk. Here you can find a mix of crazy customs and old classics. Obviously, the scenery here is the best because you are on the boardwalk overlooking the beach. This show draws a big crowd and lots of bikes. Billy Lane’s Sons of Speed Race also took place on Friday at the New Smyrna Speedway. The format this year was a little different. The gates opened at Noon for VIP ticket holders only and at 2 pm for the general ticket holders. Racing began at 3, and the heats moved really quickly. There were two classes of the “61’s”, the Pre-1925 Boardtrack Style Race bikes, the regular class, and the “hot” class. In the spring Billy added a vintage 45 class to the mix. Winning the 45 class was Doug Young. Jody Perewitz took the win in the 61 Class, just taking the lead from two-time winner Ken Curtis just inches from the finish line. Her win came after her bike blew a valve on the first warmup lap of the final race. Luckily her crew was able to get it back together in time for the restart. It was a photo finish in the making with Jody coming out on top. In the Hot 61 Class, Todd Cochran took the checkered flag. It was Todd’s first Sons of Speed race, but I can bet you will see him again in March!
Saturday’s FXR & Dyna show at Donny’s donuts brought out some beautiful bikes, and of course, there were some very delicious donuts to be had! (I might have sampled a few.) The show was a short one, but it was just the perfect amount of time for all to arrive, be judged, awards handed out, and raffles pulled, then the group took off on a ride and ended up at another event for the afternoon. Sunday is the day that a lot of people head out, so it is actually an excellent time to go for a ride along “the loop” through Tomoka State Park and up to Flagler Beach, or hit up the souvenir stands on Main Street, and just chill at one of the many bars in the area. Biketoberfest makes a great fall getaway and is the perfect extended weekend event. Hope to see you there next year!