We received a call from our buddy, Scott: the owner of a bagger bike he named Public Enemy No.1, on October 10th about coming down for the Baddest Bagger show during Biketoberfest in Daytona Beach, Florida. Biketoberfest was the weekend of October 19th-21st 2018. The trip down to Daytona Beach from northwest Arkansas would take us three days (1,028 miles) if we took our time and enjoyed the ride. We made a quick stop for lunch at Miss Polly’s Soul City Café on Beale St. in Memphis, Tennessee. The weather was perfect for a few days of riding. We ripped on down further south and found a roach motel to crash.
Getting closer to the Florida line we started to see the destruction that Hurricane Michael left behind along Mexico Beach. With devastation and trees down all around us on both sides of Highway 431, it was hard, but we could still find the beauty in the scenery. The median down the highway had the brightest red and orange poppies that we had ever seen. With every mile that passed we were getting closer to Florida.
Arriving in Daytona Beach, Florida, we kicked off the party at Daytona International Speedway with the Baddest Bagger competition. The Baddest Bagger competition was just created eight years ago with the help of Paul Yaffe and Dave Withrow and now has several shows yearly including Sturgis. For our first time attending a “Baddest Bagger” show, it was a great turnout with about thirty baggers in the competition. After the show, we talked with Paul Yaffe and he mentioned that the shows years before had been bigger but Harley-Davidson pulled out of the show this year. Overall results included:
Baddest Bagger: John Jarvis, 2004 Road King Stock: 1st Jared Coomer, 2004 Road King 2nd Colleen Calnan, 2018 Road Glide 3rd Mark Spector, 2018 Road Glide Modified: 1st Troy Coomer, 2015 Road King 2nd Jeff Simpson, 2017 Street Glide Radical: 1st Ken Starling, 2014 Street Glide 2nd Lee Donaldson, 2012 Road King 3rd HP Concepts, 2012 Street Glide Pro: 1st Russell Jodoin, 20217 Road Glide 2nd Kory Souza, 2013 Road King 3rd Twin City Cycle Works, 2014 Street Glide Urban Bagger Editor’s Choice: Heyward Brockton, 2012 CVO Street Glide American Bagger Editor’s Choice: Harry Enggasser, 2015 Road Glide Best Paint by Mark Brodie: Scott Willet, 2012 Road Glide “Public Enemy No.1”
Later that night, we found ourselves cruising down to Main Street where the nightlife was well underway. The main street turns into a shoulder to shoulder crowd admiring all the bikes parked on the sidewalk along the street. Many legendary and iconic bars are located right downtown including the Boot Hill Saloon, which you cannot help but like their slogan: “You are better off here than across the street.” If you have not visited this bar– across the street is a cemetery.
Making our way back down the street we found a tattoo shop that was bustling with people. If there is one thing we could take and remember from this trip… let it be a poppy! We met this talented young tattoo artist, Rio, who gave us some nice artwork to remember that moment on Highway 431.
The following day, we rode over to Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley-Davidson in Ormond Beach. This place is a massive dealership with 109,000 square feet of showroom including Destination Daytona hotel and restaurants. The parking lot was packed full of vendors and music. This is where I had the opportunity to check RickRak’s merchandise tent and where I found the mount for my GoPro that I had been looking at online.
Just over twenty miles south of Bruce Rossmeyer’s we found ourselves watching the “World Famous” Coleslaw Wrestling at Sopotnick’s Cabbage Patch Tavern which is Daytona’s oldest biker bar. The tavern is located on the corner of Pioneer Trail and Tomoka Farms Road and has a huge campground across the road. This place has history; you know it when you roll in. There is every demographic of motorcycle enthusiasts here. It is rough and rowdy, and we felt right at home. After watching some coleslaw wrestling and inhaling the overpowering smell of vinegar, we decided to roll out and make our way to the Iron Horse Saloon.
The Iron Horse Saloon was packed with spectators watching the concerts and the live Wall of Death shows. We had been told that the famous beef tips here are a must to try!! Of course, they were sold out! Is there a such thing as a drive-in biker bar? The Iron Horse Saloon has it all from live music, vendors, entertainment, motorcycle burnout pits, to giant decks suspended from tree to tree including a sky-high school bus bar.
Heading back to northwest Arkansas, we decided to take the longer scenic route. We made our way north along Highway A1A to the oldest city in the U.S., which is St. Augustine. Highway A1A took us along the Atlantic Ocean showcasing massive and impressive homes, beach fronts, and gave us a much needed clarity. As we were riding, I could hear through the Sena headsets, Stephanie breaking down. This is where she had her first moment on the back of the Road Glide. These are the moments why we ride. The moments that catch you off guard. The moments that keep you looking for the next road trip. From the Atlantic Ocean coast, we headed westward on I-10 towards New Orleans. I wanted to surprise her with a quick stop at New Orleans in the French Quarter to hang out for her birthday. Biketoberfest 2018 was a good experience and definitely a rally for our 2019 season (October 17th-20th). Our trip consisted of nine days with 2,312 miles, one emotional breakdown, two new tattoos, several new lifelong friends, and a new visual every time I smell vinegar.
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