There are actually three bike weeks held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – one in the spring, one in the fall, and Black Bike Week. The spring Myrtle Beach Bike Week, which is held during the second week in May, is the biggest of the three and draws the largest crowds. This rally has been held continuously since 1940 and has, in the past, drawn as many as 300,000 to 400,000 bikers to enjoy days and nights of cruising and carousing by the beach.
It’s not surprising that the Myrtle Beach Bike Week is so popular. It is typically blessed with very pleasant weather and there are lots of attractions in the area, including – of course -- gorgeous beaches. The Myrtle Beach Bike Week grew so popular, in fact, that it eventually became a three-week-long rally.
Unfortunately, in 2009, the City of Myrtle Beach decided to pull the welcome mat out from under the bikers and all three rallies. The mayor and council passed 15 biker-unfriendly laws, including a new helmet law, restrictions on loud mufflers and other forms of noise pollution. The city was hoping that the bikers would decide to take their motorcycles and find another place for their rallies.
However, the bikers were undeterred. Organizers of the rally and members of the biking community soon realized that these new laws only applied to the city proper and not to the surrounding areas. Luckily for bikers, there were still plenty of places where events for the Myrtle Beach Bike Week could be held, including large sections of the famous Grand Strand that were not in the City of Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet.
So even after this rude boot from the city, Myrtle Beach Bike Week has continued to rumble on. In 2011, for instance, an estimated 225, 000 bikers showed up for seven action-packed days that featured lots of partying, top vendors, builders, racing, motorcycle shows ,poker runs and various rides.
Bikers attending this rally will find plenty of lodging options available outside of the City of Myrtle Beach, but they should book early to guarantee a room for themselves.
It is important for bikers, however, to avoid the City of Myrtle Beach, and its unfriendly attitude towards bikers whenever possible, unless they are sure they can comply with all of this municipality's stringent regulations. Bikers should check with organizers and the official website so that they can become familiar with the boundaries of the city. It is also important for motorcyclists to check the rally’s website for schedules and event information, as the festivities have moved to multiple locations around the Myrtle Beach area.
In addition, because the situation in the Myrtle Beach area has been so fluid since 2009, it is also wise for bikers to consult the rally’s official website each year to make sure that no major changes have been made to locations or events.