Well, we rolled on thru the later 80s and started to see the recovery of Harley Davidson. The new Evo motor along with the government intervention in 1983 saved Harley Davidson from closing the doors. I find it kind of interesting how few people remember that Reagan saved Harley.Really funny how the Feds kept the motor company alive in 83 and have spent the following 35 years trying to fuck with a lot of us for being bikers while we ride those things.
I digress, as the 80s were closing the world was changing for me as well, the trips were faster, shorter and more “interesting” you could say. The world keeps changing and boy in hindsight did I make some changes. In the 70s and 80s it was riding and freedom, fun shit, and parties. By 90 it was in hyperdrive.
In 90 I went to my first East Coast Bike week in Myrtle Beach SC. It was insane, I was in town about fifteen minutes at a bar on the Ocean Blvd when a hottie thought I should give her a ride, 14 hours later the PoPo was shining a light in my eyes on the beach passed out, my pants were on, and one boot I was under a bench my bike in a parking lot with the other boot on the seat. The hottie was passed out on top of the bench, kind of, with nothing on but one flip-flop. No jail, no searches just a lecture.
The following night a buddy of mine and I thought we should get a couple of girls to dance naked on the seats of our bikes on Ocean Blvd at about 10 pm. PoPo didn’t think that was a good idea either. It was a great thing they practiced catch and release back then, all my bail money was gone by morning anyway.
The following morning I thought it was a good idea to leave town. My buddy stayed for another night. Apparently it was one night to long for him, I didn’t hear from him again for a couple of months and he was paying a big price yet then.
I had so much fun in Myrtle I went back there 12 more times over the next 4 years, but by then the National Guard was there for Bike Week (no shit) and the weekends were becoming a little too costly. 1k miles in each direction, leave on Friday AM ride back on Sunday work on Monday. By 91 the “fun” shit started to become a way of life. Work all week, run all weekend, white crosses for dinner with a whiskey and Marlboro chaser.
In 93, the fall run in Daytona became Biketoberfest.
God what a party, way fewer people than bike week had and just as much shit to do. Some of you I am sure have been to the big events in the last 15 years and to be honest it’s hard to compare how much they have changed. In 93 there were like 25000 total bikes at Biketoberfest and it was a one weekend deal.
I remember when the Iron Horse moved out to Ormond in like 85 or 86, back then it was like being way out in the country going to Ormond Beach. We drag raced out there and had a fucking riot. In 93 there was like a single set of high school bleachers in the back of the Iron Horse, a stage, and about 20 porta potties off to one side with a big fire pit out about 40 feet from the stage off to the other side.
David Allen Coe played his ass off and we were all so fucked. DAC could actually sing back then and he put on a great show in the perfect venue it was the best of times. Cops in Daytona back then just wanted one thing, us to leave. As long as you stayed upright and reasonable, didn’t deal on the streets and stayed off the radar we were good. No tickets for loud exhaust, no fucking with women who showed their tits. Christ they would tell you to calm down or cover up.
I quit going to Daytona in 2010, it was so fucked up by then it was hard to stomach, $185.00 dollar tickets for bitches showing tits and Harley had “Ride Quietly” signs up everywhere. A joke.
Those were the good times in the 90s.
The bad shit was there as well. The bikers had split apart, the clubs were turning into control freaks and everything was getting fucked up because of the drug shit and guys trying to earn. It was kind of weird we had yuppies coming in like fucking mad, events were doubling in size every year. Costs were skyrocketing for everything and there was a huge market for good time assistance products, but then guys would get pissed at the yuppies and bitch about their new leathers and new bikes that they trailered to every event.
Remember the “$10,000 dollars and 10,000 miles don’t make you a biker” shirts? Clubs became hard to figure. The yuppies gave a shit ton of cover because there were so many bikes at every event. Most of the yuppies had money to burn, the economy was good and they were easy targets for the cops.
It was getting harder and harder to dirty roll but the rewards were still there. All we had to do was stay low and put up a bank. That didn’t happen for the most part. We started blowing each other up and torching clubhouses. Anyone that has been around a minute remembers how much that shit cost. As the decade rolled on there were full-blown wars and we had Feds crawling up our asses.
Christ, it’s hard to explain the guy’s falling off of balconies.
As hard as we worked fucking up the world we lived in, the yuppies and weekend warriors were actually our saviors. If it wasn’t for them the Feds could have focused all their energy on every one of us instead of just the headline makers.
Anyway, the world kept turning just as the wheels on the bikes we rode. Through the first half of the 90s, I ran another 125k on my bikes. Bought a new one every fall, sold one every spring for more than I paid for it (kept 2 for winter one in Florida) 18 months earlier couldn’t bitch about that. We saw Molly Hatchet play on the beach in Daytona when they were still big and the fucking Cabbage Patch was a different world after dark. The local parties were killer in most parts of the country, shit like Little Sturgis and the Bean Blossom were kicking it hard and were close enough to run to in the morning and back the next day. Chillicothe Ohio even had the Easyrider event in like 97. Those Easyriders parties were cool but for real parties in those days, most guy’s did Cherokee or the Smokey Mountain Burnout.
I guess the good old days were still good.
At least for the most part that’s how I remember them.
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