Talking Proud Archives --- Culture

Daytona Bike Week, 2005

Wall

March 9, 2005, updated April 6.

Update:


Paul Teutul Sr., in red shirt, and Paul Teutul Jr., foreground, pose at Bike Week festivities in Daytona, Fla.,in this February 2004 photo provided by Discovery Channel. The father son duo from the Discovery Channel's "American Chopper" will auction off two custom made motorcycles with proceeds going to the families of troops who have been seriously wounded or killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Photo credit: Discovery Channel, AP


This photo supplied by the Discovery Channel shows an artist's rendering of one of two custom made motorcycles that Paul Teutul Sr. and his son, Paul Jr., the father son duo from the Discovery Channel's "American Chopper," will auction off on May 6 at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. Their Orange Country Choppers shop has been documented on the TV show. Proceeds will go to the families of troops who have been seriously wounded or killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Photo credit: Discovery Channel, AP, Orange County Choppers

_____________________________________

Original story:


The annual Daytona Bike Week has begun, starting on March 8, 2005, running through March 13. It has been a tradition since January 24, 1937, the inaugural running of the Daytona 200.

The first race took place on a 3.2 mile beach and road course, located south of Daytona Beach.


Ed "Iron Man" Kretz holding his victory trophy after winning the first Daytona 200, 1937. Photo presented by the Motorcycle Hall of Fame

Ed "Iron Man" Kretz of Monterey Park, California was its first winner, riding an American made Indian motorcycle and averaging 73.34 mph. Kretz also won the inaugural City of Daytona Beach trophy.

He is now in the Motorcycling Hall of Fame, which is located in the Columbus, Ohio suburb of Pickerington. It was this race that he most remembered and cherished, because it would go on to become the single most important motorcycle race in America, and Kretz's win at the very first race earned him a significant place in the history of the sport. During World War II, Kretz served as a motorcycle troop instructor, teaching new recruits how to ride and maintain Indian war mounts.

The races continued from 1937 to 1941. In the early years the Daytona 200 was also called the “Handlebar Derby” by local racing scribes.

In 1942, the
Daytona 200 was discontinued because of World War II. Its sanctioning body , the American Motorcycling Association (AMA) solemnly noted it was “in the interests of national defense” that the event was canceled. With the war, came a general rationing of fuel, tires and key engine components. Even though the racing event was “officially” called off, people still showed up for an “unofficial” party called Bike Week.


Daytona 200 "Wall of Champions" Memorial, Phase I, presented by Daytona 200 Memorial Fund

On February 24, 1947, the famous motorcycle race resumed. Newspaper stories of the period recount that the city fathers asked townsfolk to open their homes to the visiting motorcyclists because all hotel rooms and camping areas were filled to capacity. The 1947 Daytona 200 featured a record 176 riders.

In 1948, a new beach - road course was used because of developments along the beach. Organizers were forced to move the event further south, towards Ponce Inlet. The new circuit measured 4.1 miles. The last Daytona 200 to be held on the beach - road course took place in 1960. In 1961, the famous race was moved to the Daytona International Speedway.

Bike Week has always had a flavor of its own. Some time after the war, the event began to take on a rugged edge. While the motorcycle races on the beach were organized, events surrounding the race were not. As time passed, locals became afraid of the visitors and law enforcement officers and city officials were less than enthusiastic about what some termed an “invasion”. Relations between the Bikers and law enforcement officials continued to worsen. When things appeared to be at their worst (after the 1986 event), a special task force was organized by the city in cooperation with the local chamber of commerce to improve relations and change the magnitude and scope of the event.

Today Bike Week has transformed into a 10-day festival that expands throughout Volusia County. There are hundreds of events for motorcycle enthusiasts to enjoy.  Bike Week now welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors annually and is enjoyed by locals and motorcycle enthusiasts world wide.


Beautiful Yella. A woman sits on the fender of a chopper cruising Main Street during Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida March 10, 2005. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


Awe, c'mon. A girl is told by a parent not to touch a chopper motorcycle on Main Street during Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida, March 10, 2005. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


Silver bullet. A jet bike cruises Main Street during Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida March 10, 2005. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


"Boss Hoss". Earl Ruston of Toronto, Canada parks his Boss Hoss motorcycle at the Cabbage Patch bar at a Bike Week event in Samsula, Florida March 8, 2005. The Boss Hoss is equipped with a 350 cubic inch, 365 horsepower V-8 car engine. Daytona Beach, Florida and the surrounding area host the annual Bike Week ten-day event attracting motorcyclists of all varieties with over 500,000 expected this year. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


Ours is a wonderful world! Jeney Regelean attracts attention as she lies on a custom chopper by Finish Line cycles at the Cabbage Patch bar during a Bike Week event in Samsula, Florida March 8, 2005. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


"The Godfather". Don "The Godfather" Seabolt of the Michigan Mafia Hog Pullers pulls a traction sled with a custom motorcycle during a bike pulling event at the Cabbage Patch bar. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


Saddled up. A variety of motorcycle riders cruising Main Street wait for traffic to clear during Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida March 10, 2005. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


Gimmie some that "Ed Beam," sweetheart. A woman pours shots of whiskey into patrons' mouths in a bar on Main Street during Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida March 8, 2005. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


Forget him, let's see the contest! A biker waits for a wet t-shirt contest to start in a bar on Main Street during Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida March 8, 2005. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


An adventure, at any age. A woman wearing a Bike Week tee-shirt walks down Main Street during Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida March 8, 2005. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


A "coolness" cruise. A custom chopper cruises past another bike on Main Street in Daytona Beach, Florida during Bike Week March 7, 2005. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


Speed Dial, of the Memphis Gentlemen motorcycle club, polishes his 2005 Harley Deluxe in the Black Bike Week area of Daytona Beach, Florida March 10, 2005. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


Lowrider. A biker shifts his low rider motorcycle into gear as he cruises Main Street in Daytona Beach, Florida before an admiring crowd during Bike Week March 7, 2005. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


"Fur-Mobile". A couple riding a motorcycle covered in fake fur arrive on Main Street in downtown Daytona Beach, Florida during Bike Week March 7, 2005. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters


No pretty women, no "choppers." Elizabeth Scarlett poses with a model chopper motorcycle while sitting at a bar on main street during Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida March 7, 2005. Photo credit: Rick Wilking, Reuters