The 19th edition of Biketoberfest got underway yesterday in Daytona Beach, Fla., and while many states are chilling up, those of us lucky enough to live and work in Florida are at a point where a light jacket is reasonable evening wear.

And the onset of what we call fall here in Florida only accents the sounds of motorcycle engines, the shine of chrome and the smells of various meats on sticks.

If you can find your way down here, you will most assuredly not be disappointed. In fact, the only drawback to Biketoberfest is there’s not enough time to squeeze it all in. The event runs through Sunday, but like most such motorcycle events, there’s plenty to do before and after the official dates. In mini-Bike Week fashion, there will be various rides and poker runs for very worthy charities, bike shows, swap meets, live music, test rides from some manufacturers, bike blessings, motorcycle racing, and endless other events.

Rolling into town early is always a good idea because there’s always plenty to do in the Central Florida area. You might catch a few days of the Daytona Blues Festival or get involved in one of the various rides, such as the Bruce Rossemeyer Ride for Children or the “Ruff” Ride to benefit the Humane Society.


Of course, no pilgrimage to this motorcycle Mecca is complete without dropping by the J&P Cycles store located at the Destination Daytona facility (that’s 253 Destination Daytona Lane, Ormond Beach, FL 32174, in case you want to program the address into your GPS).  We’ve already stocked our shelves with as much product as we can and our staff is anxious to see you all come through the doors. In fact, folks were already rifling through our Clearance and Close-out tents yesterday. We plan to have a boatload of vendors here to showcase their motorcycle parts and accessories and, in some cases, perform installations.

On hand will be reps from Kuryakyn, Mustang Motorcycle Seats, Memphis Shades, Vance and Hines, Drag Specialties, Biker’s Choice, Metzeler, and dozens of others. And as long as you’re here, check out the J&P Cycles mobile showroom big rig display at the Daytona International Speedway for the newest and greatest in parts and accessories!

Other notable stop-offs this year are the swap meets — one at the Volusia County Fairgrounds, another at the Daytona Flea Market. There will be bike shows, including the Boardwalk Classic Bike Show, the Rat’s Hole Show at Daytona Lagoon, the Blue Grotto Custom Bike Show, the IMBBA Show at the Broken Spoke and — my personal favorite — the Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Show. There are also some great places to just hang out, like: the Limpnickie Lot at StoneEdge Skatepark, the Iron Horse Saloon, the Broken Spoke Saloon and the Boot Hill Saloon to name just a few.

You can get your bike and yourself blessed at several ceremonies, or swing by the Daytona International Speedway for free test rides and some racing at the World Famous Highbanks of Daytona.