By Pastor Z
Daytona Bike Week was absolutely amazing this year. Estimates had the numbers at hundreds of thousands of motorcycles. Bikers rolled in from lots of different states and countries. It was truly an amazing week. We saw patches from locations all over the planet – which was of course exciting!
I landed in Orlando on Wednesday night, and headed straight to a friend’s house to meet some new friends from Biker Church Europe. There were people who had traveled from Sweden, Finland, and Poland. It was such a blessing to meet all of them. I had been contacted by Roul Akesson six months previously to see if they could use my life story (as the founder of Bikers for Christ) in their Biker Bible USA version. I of course said “yes”…. They told me that they’d be printing and then shipping 20,000 Biker Bible New Testaments to Daytona Bike Week. We were of course excited, and let them know that we’d help distribute them throughout our time there.
On Thursday morning we saddled up and went to our central meeting location at Lonestar Motorcycles owned by my close friend Fred Gorini. Fred has an incredible background and history. He returned home from the Army after a few tours in Vietnam, and he settled back in Brooklyn. Fred ended up going into a welding and fabrication business with Paul Teutul. They called their new business “P & F Ironworks.” They worked together for years building bridges and skyscrapers in New York. Paul at that time had a stock Triumph motorcycle, and Fred had a Harley-Davidson custom chopper, with a springer front end that
he made out of Ford radius rods. Anyway, Fred taught Paul all about building choppers. Fred actually became a pastor, and Paul went on to fame with the American Choppers TV show. Fred is actually Paul Jr’s godfather. It’s all documented in Paul Sr’s own words: “A Tale of the Teutuls” by Paul Sr.
Anyway, back to the Daytona story. From Lonestar, a pack of us rode out to the legendary Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Bike Show. This is an amazing ride-in bike show that featured literally hundreds of Harley flatheads, knuckleheads, panheads, shovelheads, Evo’s, twin cams, and brand new Milwaukee Eights. The show also features antique Indians, Royal Enfields, BMW’s and Moto Guzzi’s. Even Triumphs, BSA’s, and some cool Japanese iron. And of course the legendary choppers and bobbers – with every style that you can imagine…. All the way from total rat bikes (with rust and crazy doo-dads hanging all over) – to full blown super models – glistening with layers of chrome and custom paint. It was truly a feast for the eyes for those of us who enjoy looking at all types of motorcycles.
My personal favorites are the “old school” choppers that people build in their garages. You see such amazing one-off creativity by the owners who come up with amazing ideas and creations. Some of the parts on these types of creations could be called “trash technology” – as they make parts out of things that many would normally throw away. There is one unique builder that I know…. “Tony the Trashman” who makes unique parts out of: old refrigerator racks, parts taken off trophies, appliances, antique door knobs, brackets, etc. So I am always fascinated by some of the things that people put on custom builds.
We rode together all over downtown, Beach Street, Daytona, Ormond Beach, and the surrounding areas…. And we tried to hit every event that we could. On Friday night we hit the Hard Rock Hotel for the “MissIntent” concert. Our friend Missy always puts on an incredible concert with her amazing vocal range. She sounds like a cross between: Joan Jett, Janis Joplin, and Nancy from Heart – and she absolutely “kills it” in so many different styles of music: rock, blues, soul, etc. It was great to hang out with Missy and her band before and after the show. The band hails from Florida, and they are one of the best bands that are starting to make a national impact.
We spent almost an entire day on Main Street where literally thousands gather hitting the shops, bars, vendors, etc. Hundreds of bikes of all types ride the Main Street cruise – as the spectators scream with glee at the cool bikes that are rolling up and down the boulevard…. And again our friends from Europe were on a ‘mission from God’ as they were passing out literally thousands of Biker Bibles to everyone, and anyone who would take one…
We also hit the Rat’s Hole Chopper Show – and also saw some amazing bike builds… We visited: Destination Daytona (one of the world’s largest Harley shops), the Broken Spoke Saloon (& watched an incredible Southern Rock cover band playing there)… Quite a few of the local biker-friendly bars had their own bike shows. My friend Bobby built a beautiful bobber-type custom “Sons of God M/C” themed motorcycle. He took home a first place trophy for his beautiful chopper. I was really proud of his hard work on this beautiful bike. It was a show favorite.
There are various activities that take place over about a 50 miles radius. We of course stopped for lunch and dinner at some amazing restaurants, and ate once or twice at the vendor locations…. And we all really enjoyed some great fellowship hanging out with our members, and their families and friends.
During the week – I had a rolling backpack mounted on the back of the Dyna Wide Glide that I was blessed to ride on…. And all of my friends filled up their saddlebags and tour packs with the Biker Bibles. And we of course offered them to anyone who wanted to take one – all free of course. At the end of the rally we received a total count of over 19,500 New Testament Biker Bibles given out during the entire Daytona Bike Week rally. It was an amazing historical accomplishment that we were really honored to be a part of.
Daytona Bike Week always has something for everyone who enjoy the motorcycle lifestyle…. Ten days full of activities and attractions that are sure to bless and impress all who attend this awesome rally.
Until next time, Pastor Z – Your Rolling Reporter & Sharp Shooter.