I had the opportunity last week to attend Bike Week for the first time. Since 1973 I have been teaching or working in some capacity in education during this time of year. There is no option to take this week off and scoot down to Daytona. Flying there for the weekend on my salary was not an option. Our school spring break schedule never lined up with the early March date of this event. As a bargainer I tried to influence the calendar committee on several occasions and in several different districts but was not able to swing enough votes to support an early spring break. So this year being the first year of my retirement I made up my mind that I would see some of this event.
So I left Monday afternoon a week ago and started driving to Daytona. I was not on the bike as one, it was still below freezing and frostbite would have gotten my face, neck and ears long before I got south enough tp get into weather that was above freezing. Two, I had planned on at least driving for 12 to 14 hours which on the bike I have done before but not so many of them in the dark and deer country. I did drive until just before 4:00 am before hitting a truck stop for some well earned zzz’s. I was just north of Chattanooga when I stopped for the day.
On Tuesday after a breakfast I started again and drove through to St. Augustine which would be my jump off point for the next couple of days. I took the scenic route in on Wednesday and headed toward Daytona. I did not quite make it to Daytona before I saw the crowds outside of the Iron Horse Saloon(IHS). Plenty of bikes to look at and they were coming and going at a steady clip so there would be ample faire for my lens. You will see ample shots from the IHS in the gallery at this web site. I hope you enjoy the photos of bikes and some of the characters I spoke with that afternoon.
The gate keeper at the south side port-a-potty’s was a vey interesting fellow. A not so retired long haul trucker; he has been working for the IHS for about 19 years. His only complaint was that at this stage in life a 12 hour shift at that gate and on his feet was taking a toll on his body. he has in that time seen some awesome bikes and some interesting riders. Of all that has come and gone over the 19+ years he most enjoyed the music which has been less than 100 yards from his assigned post. No hearing aids yet but that is a yet with a definite could be. Between the music and the bike burnout pit also only about 100 yards from where he is standing the assault on his hearing is non-stop.
Eventually;y I needed to sit awhile myself and so I headed to the central attraction of the IHS and that is the outdoor bar. That is where I met the night shifter dressed in black hose and mini-skirt and waist cincher. She is a stay at home mom who was obviously not at home that afternoon. This was her second year behind the Iron Horse Saloon Bar. The boys and girls there were respectful and I imagine much of that was motivated by the two gentlemen relaxing in the back corner of the bar. Thor and Atlas were imposing figures sitting there with arms crossed over their ample chests and arms bigger than most men’s thighs. Size does matter and for that they did have the size necessary to get the point across that behavior while loose it was not going to be uncontrolled at any time. So enjoy the conversation, the view, the beer or other adult drink but be under control of your behaviors at all time. After dinner that evening I spent several hours in Daytona Beach on A1A taking some nigh time pictures of the goings on calling it a day after 12 hours of picture taking. I had an hour ride back north to my hotel bed in St. Augustine