Planning for Biketoberfest
I was supposed to head over to Daytona for Biketoberfest on Friday night with a friend, but he had to cancel. As much as I would've preferred to spend time with my friend, I was actually a bit relieved. I ended up coming home from a business trip at about 2:00 am on Friday and was still moving slowly that day.
As a result, I caught some great weather by going on Saturday afternoon. It seemed like a perfect day for a ride going the back way on 415. After turning off 46 onto 415, I had the luck of the draw to wind up behind a semi hauling a load slowly down the road. At first, I figured it wasn't so bad. I had no particular time to be there and a lazy ride up a back road could be a nice way to unwind.
Then it started getting to me. It was't the semi that was the problem; he actually got his ass in gear and kept up with the speed limit. It was the dipshits between us that didn't seem to know how to drive. They were looking at everything but the road, slowing down to look at grass, cows, and who knows what. Thus began my leapfrog approach to navigating 415 and a reminder of my love/hate relationship with biker events.
Biker Event Traffic Sucks
Some of the drivers were in cars and trucks, and some were on motorcycles. It doesn't matter to me. Stupid drivers who can't keep consistent speed, cause others to miss traffic lights because they aren't paying attention or having a conversation, or just suddenly stop hard annoy the fuck out of me. One after the other, I experienced all of these at least once, and some of them multiple times.
Since I was on my own this trip, I decided to make it pretty simple and keep to my traditional stops: Hooters for lunch (for the vitamins), grab some t-shirts at Boot Hill & Iron Horse, and a DQ Oreo Blizzard for dinner (for the vitamins). Given the traffic in town, I spent several hours doing what should only take one or two.
Lunch Options at Biketoberfest
I ended up sitting at a table right under an air conditioning vent at Hooters. It was nice & cool outside, so I'm not sure why they cranked up the A/C so much. Yes, you need to run it because of all the bodies inside, but it was pretty fucking cold there. However, it was actually worth it. While my local Sanford Hooters can't cook decent wings, the Daytona store is consistently pretty good. I enjoyed my calorie overload.
On a sexist note, I have to say the quality of the waitresses at Hooters is declining. Let's face it, guys go there to look at cute young women in tight uniforms. Hooters used to bring its absolute A-list team to Daytona for biker events. I'm not seeing it anymore. Maybe they just can't enlist the same girls in the catalogs to actually slop wings around to tables. My server (Whitney) was pretty nice and she was cute, but I wouldn't say I had the best service I've ever experienced. I generally had to yell out her name when I wanted something.
Use Alternate Routes in Daytona
Leaving Hooters to head toward Main Street was a pain in the ass for most people. Traffic was backed up on International Speedway. That's because most bikers in town only know about four or five roads in Daytona and never look at a map. Rather than slogging for the next hour or so in traffic, I took a left on Bill France over to Mason and was at Beach Street within a few minutes. That's when I remembered to be thankful for idiots. Let them line up in traffic and leave the other streets open for me to use.
Of course, there's not much you can do about Main Street. I considered just going over the Mason Bridge and then sliding over to Main Street, but it's Biketoberfest. You have to ride over the drawbridge. It seemed good at the time, until I got in the line of traffic going over the bridge. Then I realized I was no better than any of the other fucking idiots doing the same thing. Pedestrians walking over the bridge were leaving me in the dust.
Owning a Motorcycle Does Not Qualify You to Ride a Motorcycle
The two bikes in front of me were evidence that anyone can ride a motorcycle, but that doesn't mean they can ride it very well. The guy would start to move and then suddenly stop hard, even though there was room in front of him. As usual, I started cussing to myself wondering what this dumb son of a bitch was doing. After a few times, I finally had to ask him, “Why the fuck are you stopping like that?”
He complained that his hand hurt from holding the clutch. Moron. I suggested to him that he could shift into neutral and just coast a bit rather than slamming on the brakes. That way he'd get some relief for his hand and I wouldn't have a surprise sudden stop. The look on his face was like he just discovered ice cream. Moron.
Not All Nudity is Good Nudity
A lot of the traffic going over the bridge was distracted by a topless woman holding a protest. First, I didn't get a picture of her because I was on my bike in stop & go traffic. Second, I didn't get a picture of her because she was just an old, fat, ugly bitch with a nasty tattoo on her left titty.
[box type=”warning”]The women you see walking around topless at biker events are not the women you want to see walking around topless.[/box]
Once I got across the bridge, I discovered something elusive that I've never been able to find after several years of attending Daytona biker events – an open parking space on the sidewalk. Fuck these assholes who want $5 parking. For the first time in my life, I'm getting free parking!
Nothing is free
The price of parking on the sidewalk was to turn left in front of a seemingly endless stream of traffic and back-in, over the curb, to get on the sidewalk next to the other bikes. I managed my U-turn and got to the side, waited for an opening in the traffic, and then some helpful soul decided to allow traffic from another parking lot to come right at me as I started backing into my open spot. I think it took ten minutes just to park there. I passed the time with more cussing. Still, I finally nailed a free spot.
Down on Main Street
I made my way up to Boot Hill & Main Street Station. Bonnie is still serving beers out front, she still has great thighs, but she was wearing a mask to cover up what is increasingly an aging face. Once inside of Boot Hill, it was the usual cluster-fuck. I tend to like long-sleeve, extra-large shirts. Guess what? So does every other fat fuck at Biketoberfest and they got there while I was still up in D.C. on Thursday. Of the choices I liked, none were available. I still bought one that didn't have any freaking skulls or skeletons on it and headed back to my bike. I saw no purpose in fighting my way through crowded sidewalks on Main Street. I'll save that for Bike Week in the Spring.
Leaving Main Street behind, I rode along the river to SR-40 and then slipped over to U.S. 1. It wasn't too bad until it was suddenly jammed with traffic, but that's expected in this area. I pulled over to a parking lot run by Boy Scouts who were raising funds. If I have to pay $5 for parking, I'd rather give it to some Scouts than anyone else. I used to be a Scout (Eagle, so you know I'm good), so I can appreciate the fact that they only get the money they raise and they work for it.
Iron Horse is essentially a big dirt pit filled with old white people standing around drinking beer and listening to shitty music. I do mean shitty, too. There was some heavy-metal thrash band playing that most of these fuckers would detest if they weren't already on their 23rd beer. Of course, there is a reason why I like hanging out with these people. The first is that I genuinely love the sound of motorcycles. Not just Harley's, mind you, but all motorcycles. I've ridden damn near every kind of bike and enjoyed them all. The other reason is because there are a lot of folks that look like this guy:
With folks this fat around, I look pretty damn good.
We Came for the T-Shirts
Once again, I went on the hunt for t-shirts. Once again, the first one I found was sold-out in the size I wanted. Some guy behind me said it's because women like to wear them as sleepwear. I said I thought it was just because most bikers were fat. The conversation seemed to come to a natural conclusion after my revelation. I ended up asking a woman working there for some help, and she proceeded to show me all the “really nice” shirts with flames, skulls, and all the usual crap that I don't want to see on my clothing. I thanked her for her time and tossed those shirts back into the bin for someone else to fold because I was juggling too many shirts that she'd handed me before she left. Fortunately, I found a few that I liked and left.
Since U.S. 1 is one of the few roads that bikers know, I decided to avoid it and took off over to Nova. It had the advantage of eliminating traffic and passing a Dairy Queen for my beloved Oreo Blizzard. Between all the calories from that and the previous meal at Hooters, I was skipping anything that resembled a healthy and nutritious dinner. I headed home in the sunset on I-95 and I-4, concluding my day at Biketoberfest. That ought to last me until the Spring.