By Kirby Collins
As the name would suggest Biketoberfest is a motorcycle festival generally held in mid-October in Daytona Beach. Motorcycle enthusiast from all over the country and even some from Europe come to see and be seen.
Biketoberfest began as The Daytona Fall Tour,” was first held in October 1992. It all started when Janet Kersey was hired as director of tourism events and promotions she was tasked by the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau to create special events that would attract visitors during off-season periods.
The first assignment they gave to her was to create a special biker event, similar to the ever-popular Bike Week, centered around the American Motorcycle Association’s annual fall races held each October at Daytona International Speedway. The event, was called “The Daytona Fall Tour featured a 125-mile scenic touring ride through Volusia County, bike shows, races at Daytona International Speedway and Bikefest — a series of activities offered mainly by the merchants of Main Street. The motorcycling festival attracted 5,000 new visitors, mostly from Florida to the Daytona Beach area.
The success of the Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Daytona Fall Tour attracted increased interest from local merchants and the surrounding community. In 1993, local companies, especially Daytona Harley-Davidson, sponsored concerts, trade shows, and other activities. Under the CVB’s direction,during that time period, Biketoberferst activities grew to 40 events in a three-day time span, today there are many events to watch and maybe even a few you’d like to participant in.
During the event the best place to start is right on Main Street in Daytona Beach. This popular bikers’ spot has hosted celebrities, international guests and media from across the globe. You just can’t get the full Biketoberfest experience without a stroll down this ultra famous street. Once there you’re likely to see anything and everything including spectacular, high-end custom bikes and the latest, goofiest bikes on the planet, and vendors are everywhere selling the most unique items and food around. Be sure to visit some of the famous Main Street bars, many of which have been around for decades serving generation after generation of bikers. Biking has become an all in the family pastime, many wives ride with their husbands, on their own bikes, and as the kids get older sometimes they even join in the fun. Be sure to pick up many of the many unique styles of Biketoberfest t-shirts always on sale to commemorate your time there whether it’s your first or fiftieth visit, every year the t-shirts are specially made with a different design and become collectors editions the minute the event is over. You just never know what you’ll see on Main Street, but one thing is for sure, it’s always worth the trip and you’ll have many interesting stories for all your friends and family back home.
Some of the most popular annual activities include motorcycle shows and rallies that showcase new, vintage and custom bikes; demonstration rides on the newest machines from top manufacturers, including Harley Davidson. On Main Street and around you’ll also enjoy endless-delicious food choices, live music and plenty of people-watching. With a variety of events and activities planned at venues all across Volusia county. If you’re looking for some adult themed fun check local venues for wet t-shirt and beauty contests, you may also be able to find cabbage wrestling and such.
When you want to take a break from the craziness be sure to visit the Daytona International Speedway, after all it was the motorcycle races that started all the bike rally fun to begin with. Years ago the motorcycle races were held right on the beach, large crowds gathered to watch. It was a very popular annual event and people came from all over to see these adrenaline junkies race over the sand and through the surf at record-breaking speeds. The crowds screamed their enthusiasm as these early racers put on an amazingly spectacular show. Even today these daredevils on extremely fast, high powered bikes take some incredible chances as man goes and against machine over the famous high banks and corkskrew turns of Daytona International Speedway. Racing isn’t all you can expect at the Speedway, each year
Kickstand City goes into high gear with live entertainment, demo rides and plenty of track side activities to entertain you during your visit.
If you’re looking to get completely put of the crowds for some quite solitude take your bike out on the Loop, it’s like no other ride. It’s freedom, sunshine, open road and graceful curves; it’s a riders dream. If you have never taken this ride it’s highly recommend that you do so. This leisurely ride will give you a feel for Florida’s natural beauty, you can check out nearby Ormond Park and see the Fairchild Oak tree – one of Florida’s oldest living Oaks. Be sure to bring a camera, maybe even a picnic lunch, and enjoy. The Loop is close to 22 miles long and a must for riders who enjoy the open road and want to get a look at Florida’s real natural beauty.
So mark your calendars now for the middle of October. Hotels fill up quickly so be sure to get those reservations booked ASAP too. Then gas up the bike, pack your sunscreen and head on down to Florida for a few days of bikes, babes, beer and nonstop fun, fun, fun.
About the Author: The month of October is when bikers from all over celebrate Biketoberfest. If you decide to join the in on the fun things to do in Daytona Beach, be sure to make travel plans early for this popular annual event.
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