The weather has finally become nice enough to sit outside on my porch to relax, read, and otherwise enjoy spring before the hot, humid summer comes upon us. But first we must get through Myrtle Beach Bike week.
Actually, we have two bike weeks every spring and fall here along the Grand Strand. First we have an invasion of Harley Davidson enthusiasts and then Black Bike Week, whose riders prefer what I think are called “sport bikes” … the Suzuki, Yamaha type bikes. We tend to get more of the Harleys down here at the tail end of the Grand Strand because many of them like to hang out here in Murrells Inlet. We have a couple of biker bars here … the Beaver Bar and Suck, Bang, Blow. Black Bike Week riders tend to congregate more in Myrtle Beach, and North Myrtle Beach.
The first time I encountered Bike Week was when I was thinking of moving from California to South Carolina or Georgia. My daughter was with me as we came through North Myrtle Beach. I remember thinking that people in the south were really into riding motorcycles because they were parked everywhere. Then we came into Myrtle Beach, where we planned to spend the night. Holy Cow! Driving down Ocean Blvd. among all the Harleys and noise made us decide to keep on going south. We were in the midst of a motorcycle parade, (not real one) many of them vroom, vrooming! And the sidewalks were lined with people (young and old) in the appropriate garb, watching. I remember giving thumbs up to some of the more interesting spectators … the guys with their red, white, and blue bandannas on their heads with their leather vests and big bellies hanging out of those vests. It wasn’t until we got to Georgetown that things quieted down enough that we felt we could get a nights sleep.
Since moving here, I have developed a fondness for them. They aren’t all Hell’s Angels. They are a mixture of many types and professions of people. I have discovered that there seems to be a dress code … leather, leather, leather. Chains, red, white and blue bandannas, and more chains. We can’t forget — tattoos! And the women are never too old to be biker chicks!
Unfortunately, since South Carolina is a no-helmet state, we usually have a fatality or two. Mix the bikes with cars, and the riders with alcohol and bad things happen. But all in all, they seem to be having good times. Their bikes are colorful and some of the custom ones are downright fascinating to see.
Bikers bring a lot to the economy here and for that we need to appreciate them … and put up with their noise. The restaurants are more crowded but really none of this compares to the invasion of tourists over the summer. The only thing tourists over the summer do not bring is the rumble. When you live in a tourist area, you have to take the bad with the good. That’s what I have to keep telling myself when my concentration on my book keeps getting interrupted by the rumble! Actually, I really kind of envy the fun they are having!