Daytona Beach, Florida
With so much blazing chrome you have to wear shades, straddling a throaty soft-tail Harley Davidson is how it is supposed to be done. We came within a knarley biker’s whisker of swinging it as well. But then, would I lend me a Harley?
A Ford Sierra was our chosen mode of transport as we rolled into Daytona Beach, Florida for the combined Bike Week and Spring Break festivities. Leather clad, hairy bikers. Bikini clad (just), waxed spring breakers. Explosive combination, should be fun.
It had already been underway for some three days so we knew we would be up against it locating accommodation. We swung away from the beach and headed a few roads back. Rooms available, the hand painted sign proudly announced, with parking out back. Something out of the Addams Family was my first thought as the house came into view. My friend Adrian and I had been entrusted to find a hotel not only for ourselves but for Joe, Adrian’s all-American biker pal, we were to meet up later that day. Being British we were too far into the transaction now to do a U-turn. Walking up the stairs towards the master bedroom, the walls were adorned with arty black and white pictures of naked men. The owner, who was obviously bowling from the pavilion end, informed us:
“This is usually our bedroom.”
A huge four poster bed dominated, covered with black satin sheets. About a foot from the pillows a glass fish tank held what appeared to be a coiled python. Various condom packs were scattered across a side board. “We’ll take it!” Not that we had much choice.
“You done what? I’m staying where?”
“The owner’s are gay, the sheets are black satin, there’s a snake in the bedroom!”
Not Joe’s exact words, but it went something along those lines. He thunders into town, pumping out testosterone on his Harley…and we got him holed up in Homosexual Ville. Safe to say he wasn’t happy.
“That’s the last time I trust a couple of Limeys to find my hotel.”
As far as I could see, bikers split into two distinct groups: those with Harleys and those without. The Jap bikers, Kawasaki’s, Honda’s, Yamaha’s. They huddled in a corner, one of them breaking loose every now and then to do a burn-out or gaze lovingly at a someone else’s chrome break lever. Harley types hung out off the strip, a far grittier place, a bar called the Cabbage Patch.
Tattooed, flabby chicks bared their breasts whilst a crane hoisted a sacrificial “Jap” bike to a suitable height. With a thimble full of petrol, just to get it to fire, and the throttle tied fully open, we waited for it to cough and splutter in it’s death throes. Timing was crucial, as it sucked in it’s last bit of juice, the crane released it. Fifty, sixty feet maybe, the forks folded, the wheels buckled, bits of chrome flew off. With OOOOOOOOOHHHH’s and AAAAAAHHHHH’s emanating from the crowd the bike was hoisted yet again, and again…until it caught fire and was ready for the scrap heap. ‘Course, depending on who you were talking to, that’s how it started out anyway.