Bike Month on the Strand

 

 

I’m not from around here, and that’s okay, because no one else is, either.  We merry residents of the Grand Strand are just a ragtag band of retirees, Eastern European teenagers flown in to work in the resorts, mobile home dwellers, and regular folks who wanted to live in a beautiful coastal town but ended up in Myrtle Beach and called it a day.  The one thing that brings us together, though, is our strong opinions regarding our signature tourist event: the Biker Rally (Harleys, y’all), and its kissin’ cousin, Bikefest (crotch rockets, son), collectively known as Bike Week.  Bike Week lasts the entire month of May, and most of us just put up and shut up until June rolls around.  Then we remove our earplugs, sharpen our knives, and start the letter writing campaign.  So here I am with my $0.02 on Bike Week.  Please have a Natural Light and join me for the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

The good:   The Bike Rally is truly a spectacle to behold.  There are lotsa big bikes, [mostly middle-aged] men and women in leather, and old folks lined up in lawn chairs on Kings Highway to check out the view.  This can be fun.

 

I mean, yeah, I am all for cheap entertainment.  That’s one way to stretch your Social Security check.  And the bikers themselves are a pretty welcoming group.  The senior citizens from one of the local retirement homes even took a little field trip to hang with them:

 

 

See?  That’s good family fun, right?  I have to admit that I, too, really liked checking out the bikes and the riders as I made my way around town in my, uh, minivan.  I also have to admit that I work from home, and I never really have to go anywhere at a specific time, so I don’t have anything on those who have to fight the bike traffic on their way to and from work. 

The Bad:

I can, however, sympathize with the mom whose little girls held up “We Can’t Sleep” signs during the latest biker/resident County Council meeting showdown.  You just cannot imagine the noise.  It started Friday afternoon on the first day of the Biker Rally, and at around 10:00 p.m. that night I realized that the noise of rumbling images hadn’t stopped for one second.  That was nothing, however, compared to the burnouts we were treated to all night every night from the biker bar just through the woods from our neighborhood.  It’s called Suck Bang Blow.  It is a good place to get your ass kicked and, apparently, to watch people burn the shit out of their tires 37 times a night.  Tires are expensive!  Tsk tsk.

Herein lies my biggest complaint about Bike Week.  In a state that ranks in the bottom half when it comes to just about every measure of student and school achievement, it just doesn’t make sense to force kids to wear earplugs and lose sleep for a whole month – especially when it’s the month during which we’re performing our annual flunk-the-NCLB-tests feat.  It’s something no one has brought up in the Biker v. Citizen deathmatch, and I think it bears discussing.

I also feel skeevy about the fact that there are multiple deaths every year during Bike Week.  We’re no Sturgis, so I haven’t heard about any biker gang shootouts, but we do have fatal traffice accidents, and that seems pretty hard to justify.  You have to be so careful when you’re on the road with a shit ton of bikers, a lot of whom have been drinking all day.  I’ve been known to sit through a green light until I can get the turn arrow, just to be safe.  I don’t want to kill someone.  Okay I do, but he is not a biker as far as I know.

The Ugly:

Another thing I don’t like about Bike Week is the women-as-hood-ornaments misogyny that reigns.  I only saw a few women driving their own bikes during the Biker Rally; Bikefest, which is predominantly an African American event, seemed to have more female drivers, but it still wasn’t even close to a 50/50 split.  Of course I saw zero men on the backs of women’s bikes, but I did see a lot of wet t-shirt contests and – the worst of the worst – bikini bike washes:

 

Ewwww.  Yeah, I’m no prude, but if the women are gonna throw down the hooker gauntlet, I’m going to need the men to step it up, too.  Except for you, picture-taking dude with the pussy growing on your face.  You can leave it all on, kthxnbai.  And, people – trust – if I looked like these girls in a bikini, I wouldn’t be washing nobody’s bike; Daniel Craig would be washing my minivan and loving every minute of it.

ADD Alert: We’re switching back to the Good.

And now for my favorite part of Bike Week: Bikefest, which takes place in the largely African American town of Atlantic Beach.  The women and the men show some skin, a lot of the women drive their own bikes, kick ass cars are welcome, and the dancing is so much better:

 

Most importantly, though, it takes place miles and miles and damn miles away from my town.  The second half of May: no earplugs required.  Thank you, Atlantic Beach.  I say we consolidate the entire event into one weekend in your town next year.

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2 Responses to “Bike Month on the Strand”

  1. Skinny Bone Jones Says:

    Lord have mercy on my heathen soul, I just don’t think my capacity for blinding, murderous rage can take it. For a whole day, much less a month. They’d throw me in jail. You’re a damn good woman. You always make me say that. Always.

  2. lalaland13 Says:

    We had some bike rally here the other weekend-just one weekend. Some guy also died on his bike. And I passed the Harley dealership and saw em all revving up. Supposedly more people are dying on their motorcycles now that gas prices are so high, but I talked to a state trooper for work and he said it’s hard to tell just what, if any, relationship there is between those two things, since people were buying more bikes the last few years anyway.

    Also, about the angriest I’ve ever gotten on a road, at least recently, was on the interstate one day. I was passing a banana-yellow pickup, and a fucktard on some sort of motorbike or scooter or somesuch fuckin’ squeezes in the median and passes both of us in one fell swoop. He was in the median. Mother. I’m all for responsible biking, but that just made me want to run his ass over.

    Also, Skinnny, we have a big air show every May, and since I’m in a flight path, I always know what weekend the air show is because the planes are over mi casa all the time.

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