The cliche is appropriate when visiting Daytona. I do not think I would come here and look for art galleries and museums. Unless of course it was a museum of motorcycles or race cars. A city that has built itself around 70s bunker style hotels on the beach. A boardwalk with a go-cart track and a ferris wheel. Driving your car on the south beach is permitted. Biker bars and motorcycle shops. I can only imagine the chaos during ‘Biketoberfest’ or ‘Biker Week’ in March would bring. Biker Week Web Page It is a fun place to visit. Art deco signs and buildings. Large and clean.
I dropped the Tiger of with the extremely accommodating Daytona Triumph service shop. It was time for a full tune up and service and I was put at ease with a very good shop manager. At 9 o’clock in the morning the tourist part of town is still sleeping. This gave me an opportunity to wander across the bridge to the beach front and catch the off season tourist view.
The ability to drive on the beach caught me off guard. Speed limit and children playing signs? A large pier with a tram is being rebuilt. Several hotels are also in the same stage of repair. I walked the entire beach and came across the Daytona 200 Motorcycle Monument. The history of the Daytona 200 Motorcycle race is described and gave me more insight in the area. The race dates back to 1937 and first took place on the beach! Now this all makes sense. Driving on the beach, hell we used to race bikes on the beach!
I wandered into one of the motorcycle shops back across the waterway. The long haired, tattooed owner was quick to say that he was “living the dream”. He then followed that with “if that means owning a fucking bike shop and selling bikes” and chuckled. He was funny in a bumbling Sammy Hagar way. He quickly identified me as Canadian because of my thick accent? I could barely understand his drawl. Sometimes, mid sentence I would catch a word. I figured out after a while that he was talking about the great Canadian export band Rush. Rush and Paul Shaffer put Canada on the map as far as he was concerned. I found out later from him, that both the band and David Letterman’s co-host spend time here.
Tiger got a clean bill of health and I think it is time for me to find another destination….