Although, these rallies go by the name, Black Bike Week, the organizers and participants of these events say that they are actually open to everybody, no matter their race, creed or colors. The two Black Bike Weeks, one in Daytona and the more famous Myrtle Beach event, do however tend to focus on sports bikes versus Harleys, which are typically the most common bike at some of the other big rallies.
The Black Bike Week held near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is also known as Atlantic Beach Bike fest and Black Bikers Week. Although parts of this rally were once held in the City of Myrtle Beach -- as discussed in the prior information about the Myrtle Beach Bike Week -- city officials have rolled up the welcome mat to bikers and their rallies. To deter bikers from rumbling through its streets, the City of Myrtle Beach has put in place a number of rules and regulations, including noise restrictions and helmet laws, which make it risky business for motorcyclists to enter the city proper. However, the areas surrounding Myrtle Beach – specifically Atlantic Beach, where the event began -- are still welcoming bikers and their rallies.
Myrtle Beach’s Black Bike Week, which is held during Memorial Day Weekend, claims to be not only the largest black biker gathering the world, but also the largest black beach week. An estimated 350,000 bikers attend this five-day rally annually. Because of the size of this event, organizers recommend that bikers make reservations early, as rooms do book up quickly. As mentioned earlier, bikers should avoid setting up shop in the City of Myrtle Beach, if possible, but there are plenty of lodging options in the surrounding area.
Bikers attending this rally will find a number of events to enjoy in the area, including live musical acts and contests. Of course, bikers can just go for a cruise up and down the beach or enjoy the beautiful waters of the ocean, as well.
Although this event has been known as the Myrtle Beach Black Bike Week for many years, it actually has always been held in nearby Atlantic Beach, as Myrtle Beach was once closed to African-Americans. The rally was started 20 years ago by five black motorcyclists who were members of a group known as the Carolina Knights. That first event was small, but now hundreds of thousands of bikers attend this rally.
Another event that is also sometimes referred to as Black Bike Week is held simultaneously in Daytona as the Florida town’s huge Bike Week rally. Daytona’s Black Bike Week takes place in the area around Mary McLeod Bethune Street, across the town from the larger rally. It draws approximately 60,000 bikers.
Like Myrtle Beach’s rally, Daytona’s Black Bike Week also began because of segregation. During the early days of the Daytona Bike Week, bikers of color found that they were not welcome, so they decided to hold their own rally.
Today, though, rallies are no longer segregated, the tradition of Black Bike Weeks continues in both South Carolina and Florida.
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