How To Have A Blast At Bike Week

Tip #145 from the pages of The Total Motorcycling Manual

fun at bike week, total motorcycling manual

Motorcyclists got it right a long time ago. While most the Northern Hemisphere is freezing, bikers have been heading to Daytona Beach, Florida, every March for racing, riding, and partying since 1937.

RIDE THERE It's all about bikes. Lots of people drive or fly in, but the best way to take part is to ride there. If you can't, at least rent a bike while you're in town.

GET TO THE RACES Bike Week got its start because of racing, and the Daytona International Speedway still hosts an epic event every year.

SEE THE FLAT TRACK The Daytona flat-track race is an underappreciated event, and as such is a real gem. It's always held at night, so spend an evening in the stands and watch these talented riders do their thing.

CHECK OUT THE NEW BIKES All of the major manufacturers show off their new bikes outside the Speedway; some also offer demo rides. Bring a license and a helmet. Sign up early—the lines will be long but it'll be worth it.

CHECK OUT THE CUSTOM BIKES Park on a street corner and watch the world go by, or check out the many custom-bike contests sponsored all around town.

BRING HOME A SOUVENIR Prove you were there. You can't walk more than a block on Main Street without finding another T-shirt shop. Or get a tattoo.

CHECK OUT MAIN STREET It's a little ways from the track, but a world of difference. It's loud and crowded, traffic is a nightmare, you'll have to wait in line for your food—and you'll love every minute of it. Spend at least one entire afternoon and evening here.

EAT GATOR TAIL Hey, Daytona is in the south, and the south is all about food. Alligator tail, hush puppies, crawdads—it's all part of the experience.

WATCH COLESLAW WRESTLING Coleslaw will never taste the same after you witness this tradition.

FOLLOW THE ACTION Every year there's one place that draws all the cool sportbikes and customs. Impromptu street races have been known to occur. Location may change year to year—think flash-mob.

SEE THE BIKE DEMOLITION DERBY Surreal. Gotta see it at least once.

BRING BAIL MONEY If it doesn't happen to you, it's going to happen to a friend.