Recently I had the pleasure of experiencing my first motorcycle “Bike Rally.” In case you’ve never attended one of these, I thought I would attempt to describe the highlights of my first rally. For those of you who do not know, several years ago through my brother, Jim, I began to ride a motorcycle. My first bike was an 1100 V-Star Yamaha. My brother sold it to me for a cannot resist price, and I determined if I could learn how to ride it, take as many schools and safety courses as I could, and liked it, then for my 55th birthday I would treat myself to a Harley Davidson. Well, all of that has transpired and in addition it turns out my dear friend, Tim Templeton, was on a similar journey, so we both bought Harleys last year. Since then we have been doing day trips and short weekend tours together.
I have to confess to you, it has been one of the most enjoyable things I have done. The freedom of the road and roar of the bike is magic. And before you email me or shake your finger at me, I know the danger and safety is our biggest issue every time we ride.
Now that we are bikers, Tim and I said we must attend our first bike rally. The largest bike rally is at Daytona Beach and it just occurred last week, and yes Tim and I were in attendance. Estimates were that there were some 500,000 people at the rally and we believed it! We trailered down, no sense in riding I-95 on a bike when you can trailer, also remember safety. Many of my fellow riders road the whole trip, which I surely do complement them for it. But for us safety and ease was more important.
It’s hard to describe the atmosphere of the rally. I would think of a circus with all kinds of acts, wild things, colors, clowns, tents, food, and sounds all rolled on the back of a motorcycle and you got just a little idea of what we experienced. Now my 86 year old dad asked did you see any “bad people or drugs” and my answer was No. Tim and I agreed the average demographics are just someone like me. Mid 50s, white male, married with half having their spouses on the back riding” bitch” (motorcycle talk) while the other half probably skipped the trip and were at home. They probably own their own company or are a key management figure. Making up the rest are single women riders, young folks in the 20’s to 30’s.
I would have to say it is Americana. There is a clear love for our country: flag, troops, family, church, oh yeah, and BEER! Bikers love their beer. But they also appear to be responsible drinkers because I didn’t see anyone on their bikes after they had too many.
You could party all day if one desired downtown at the festivities.
We did that for one day. But, what really made the trip was rides to destinations. A1A is a great and beautiful coastal highway. Florida’s central part of the state has great state parks to ride to and around. Daytona Speedway We also received a “blessing of safety” from Pastor Joseph, a wonderful Greek pastor and his beautiful Greek Church, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church on Saturday morning. That was a special time to remember who we really are, our family, make new friends, and take a moment to reflect. is a cool place to visit. So we got on the highway and had a lot of side trips.
What really made this whole trip
worthwhile for me and enjoyable was my good friend Tim Templeton.
Tim is willing to step out of the box we travel in so much. Tim is a special person who wants to explore something new and be part of something different. He is a friend who helps me to remember to “just relax have a beer and let’s soak this in.” Add all that together and it was a great experience, plus we got back safe and sound.
If you are a fellow biker and want to ride with us next time, over the spring and summer come on! Just get in touch and we will ride. If this is something you are thinking you would like to do….Go for it! It is great!
Remember for me and Tim it is a hobby, not a life style change an SAFTEY is #1.
See you on the Road!