Last year I put together some ideas to help the novice "Bike Week Attendee" get around the monstrous Daytona event with a little less stress and also maybe help save some engines from overheating. With several years (probably 30) of Daytona's under my belt, I have made all of the mistakes a Bike Week visitor can make and most of them twice. I have rehashed last years article and am sending it out again with some minor changes in response to the rave reviews from last year. I hope my overheated H-D engine and my hours of unnecessary sitting in traffic can help you avoid some of the pitfalls.
Bike week can be a wonderful experience. It can also cause hours of stress and sometimes puts a heavy strain on relationships between friends and/or significant others if not well planned. Being somewhat of a loner, I have made the annual pilgrimage to Daytona many times on my own or with my wife or one of my four daughters, without the benefit of an experienced tour guide. I've stayed in the wrong hotels, parked in the wrong alleys, and sat in traffic jams for hours. I have learned which streets to steer clear of, and which way to go to keep your bike cool and moving. I feel that after years of practice, I am as well equipped to motor around the chaos of 500,000 mildly impaired motorcycle enthusiasts as anyone else. With a little planning, you can avoid traffic jams, overheated bikes, and immature, pushy police officers with short pants that want to prove something. I've experienced all of the good and bad of bike week including stolen bikes, extended conversations with law enforcement, great meals, terrific entertainment, and world class people watching. I believe the biggest challenge in Daytona is how to avoid spending most of your time in traffic when you should be enjoying the festivities. Because of this fact of life, I'll spend a fair amount of words on the traffic issue. With my basic list of some do's and mostly don'ts, you can avoid those overcrowded, exhaust-fumed, leg-burning, extended stays in the center lane on International Speedway Drive.
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