Myrtle Beach Bike Week

Starting weekend after this is bike week in Myrtle Beach. This will be the third main Harley rally since we’ve lived here. There are actually three per year, the main Harley Rally followed by the Black Bike Week the week after, and then another smaller rally in the fall. For all the spring ones, though, previously I have always worked in my house and never needed to drive down Highway 501 regularly during them.

This time around, I have to commute as well as work in the vicinity of some of the biker hot spots. I’m not sure how it will go, but I predict a lot of roaring and chrome in my immediate future. The Harley people have never bothered me before, partly because they skew older. It takes a lot of purchasing power and/or credit to buy those expensive rigs, so kids tend not to have them. The black bike week is more stressful driving, partly because they are so much younger on average and more willing to drive crazily. My personal experience is that I have seen much more shenanigans from the 20 year olds on their Japanese bikes, riding between the lanes and crap like that. The middle aged gray beards on the Harleys don’t pop a lot of wheelies. I think their Harley’s are mostly too heavy for that.

Across both bike weeks, I’ll do what I can to look alive and keep my eyes open. I rode a motorcycle as my only vehicle in college, so I have a lot of sympathy for our two wheeled bretheren. The last thing in the world I want is to be involved in some kind of accident with one of them.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

28 thoughts on “Myrtle Beach Bike Week”

  1. AA says:

    You have my sympathy! Usually all the bikers get there over the weekends so those will be the worst days. Not sure which end of the beach you’re headed to, but remember hwy 90 and all those new ones are your friends 🙂 It’s all about timing so I hope your commute is early morning.

    Best of luck!

  2. Marc says:

    I live in Myrtle Beach, and have for several years. Yes we do get pretty congested with hundreds of thousands of bikers down here from May 11th through the 19th. One thing I disagree with you on is how you say the bikers have to have alot of purchasing power and or credit to buy those big rigs. First of all, anyone with a stable income and any kind of credit at all can buy a top of the line Harley. Most top of the line Harleys run in the $18,000 to $21,000 range. Now this isnt cheap but to me it isnt all that much. Remember these bikers do customize their Harleys, so just grossly lets say they spend between 3 and 4 thousand customizing their bikes. Most of these bikers don’t spend over $25,000 dollars total on their bikes. Now yes this is a good bit of money, but my god it’s not like they are coming down here with vehicles as expensive as Cadillac’s, or Mercedes SLK’s. In my opinion, concerning the behavior of the White Bikers and the Black Bikers, both groups have quite a few faults. You are right the black bikers do drive more crazy than the white bikers, and they do tend to look for trouble. I however have noticed that some of the white bikers during Harley Week, will ride in a car’s blind spot on purpose in order to cause trouble. I guess by now you and everyone else reading my reply can tell that I am not a biker fan at all. I even think that if Myrtle Beach had a decent Mayor, Bike week would become extinct. I am not a fan of seeing Lower Middle to Middle Middle class bikers come down here and act trashy, with their slutty girl friends in t-shirts and panties, on the backs of the bikes. All I can say is thank god I live in a gated community with security. If anyone wants to argue my opinion, by all means please reply to this, or e-mail me.


  3. dave says:

    AA, thanks. I think it will be fine. I’m not going all the way to the beach, just nearby.

    Marc, I think $25K is a hell of a lot of money for a recreational elective vehicle. I’ve never paid close to that much for a primary vehicle. I don’t have any problem with the bikers in any other way than I don’t want to collide with them. I think your weird classist attitude is pretty dickish. I think locking yourself up in a gated community away from everyone else is a win-win. You get to avoid your inferiors from the underclasses and we get to avoid you.

  4. Rich says:

    This is a little note in response to the thing that calls himself Marc. Most “normal” guys spell Mark with a “K” but apparently Marc is not a normal “Guy”. Anyway, I wouldnt mind meeting you at all while I was there for bike week so I could show you what most bikers are like now a days. Most (approximatly 80%) are regular hard working guys just looking for a little fun without being harrassed by guys (and I use that term loosly when I refer to Mar”c”) like yourself. As for their “slutty girlfriends in t-shirts and panties”, it sounds like Mar”c” would rather see the guys in t-shirts & panties. As for the decent mayor comment, most fools like yourself Mar”c” don’t realize how much revenue us bikers bring to your fair city. Well, Mar”c”, maybe one day when you wake up and start to enjoy life outside your stuffy little cage that you drive, you will understand what bike week is all about, be it white or black.

    Rich (spelled the way it should be spelled)

  5. Joe says:

    I agree with Dave. Marc, I hope your gated community throws away their key so you’ll be locked up for bike week. I don’t live in Myrtle Beach, hell I don’t live in SC. I’m from New Jersey, but I’ll be there with my new 2007 H-D dresser which cost nearly $22,000.00. But thats besides the point. Like I said I don’t live in Myrtle Beach, but think about all the money those bikers spend during bike week. Marc you can’t say it doesn’t help the city’s economy. Thats why the price of everything goes up. The Mayor would be nuts to stop bike week. Just think, 300,000 bikers and if each were to spend $100.00 that week, thats 30 million dollards that’s poured into Myrtle Beach in just a week.
    Marc, do the people of Myrtle Beach and “Us Bikers” a favor, stay locked up in your gated community and … Don’t run for Office of Mayor

  6. Marc says:

    You are entitled to your opinion, as am I to mine Sir. I am not locking myself up in a gated community. I happen to enjoy living a good live within a gated community. The reason it’s gated is to prevent crime. Furhermore, your criticising my atttitude does not help matters. Please note I am not going to insult you in this message, even though you insulted me in your previous message, by saying that I have a dickish attitude. Perhaps I do have a bigoted, dickish attitude towards bikers. You want to know what would change my attitude towards bikers? If they would stop breaking the law with their obnoxious loud pipes, and if they would stop driving wrecklessly weaving in and out of traffic. If bikers would stop riding in blind spots on purpose, and if they would have some consideration for people other than themselves, I would actually respect them. Are you a biker Dave? If you are, then why not try to help solve some of these problems Sir? To conclude, I would like to thank you for your criticism, and for your insulting remark. Have a nice day Sir…..

  7. Marc says:

    Dave, after some consideration, I am going to do you a favor. I know you could go on and on about how I am some moron living in a gated community, who has a wierd attitude and does not like anyone else except those within his own class. Well thats not entirely true. I am a reasonable individual, who can like and respect everyone from all walks of life, if they can do the same in return. I said in my previous message that from what I have seen, there are quite a few bikers who consider only themselves, and not others. If you cannot accept this, then that is fine Sir. The favor that I am going to do for you is simply delete this website address from my favorites. It seems that all I am doing here is wasting my time, as well as yours. You can reply to my comments but you will not hear anything more from me. I wish you and all of your friends reading this blog, the best. I hope that you and everyone else gets through both bike weeks with no problem at all.


  8. I find the claim that the bikers “ride in a car’s blind spot on purpose in order to cause trouble” a bit hard to swallow. Now I can imagine that with such a large gathering of bikers there will be a variety of skill and sense levels. But purposefully making yourself invisible to a driver that can kill you? I find that hard to believe. I’m not saying it never happens, but the vast majority of bikers (like 99.999%) don’t have death wishes, so ignorance is a much more likely culprit.

    I have to say, also, that going straight into the “dickish” thing might have been a bit extreme on Dave’s part. I completely agree with the “weird”. Why go to a Bike Week (or Mardi Gras or Spring Break) if you can’t act slutty (males and females)? That’s a feature, not a bug. I’m not travelling any distance like that to not show my ass (perhaps more figuratively these days). It’s what these things are for. It would seem absolutely crazy to travel like that to just do nothing. Can you imagine?

    **Guy gets off bike (after 2 days ride) in downtown Myrtle Beach. There is another chap, having travelled an equal distance, getting off his***

    1st Biker: Wow, that was a long ride. (turning to 2nd Biker), Hey dude, nice bike.

    2nd Biker: Yeah I just traveled 1000 miles. Thanks, you have a nice bike , too.

    1st Biker: Thanks, man. Well, good night. I’m going up to the room to read and go to sleep.

    2nd Biker: Yeah, me too. Good night.

    MMMM. Makes me want to get a Harley now.

  9. dave says:

    Rich, while my sympathies lie with you I really don’t like the ad hominem attacks and gay jokes. The guy already showed his hand so there is no reason to reach past that. I like to keep it civil here.

    Marc, when your problem is that the “Lower Middle classes” (your words) don’t act to your standards, I find that dickish. I don’t consider that an insult but an observation. I suspected after your first comment you were a troll, with your third I know for sure you are a troll and a Bringer of Big Drama. I think going away is a fine idea. Not only is it a good idea, it is one I’ll enforce if necessary.

    Joe, I agree that bikers bring in a giant wad of dough to the area and as a year round resident I like it. If it means I have access to more stores and restaurants and bars that make it through the off-season because of a really flush biker week, yeehaw! Bring them on.

    James, it didn’t seem extreme to me. I seldom see people so explicitly state their problem is with the lower classes without using code words. I suppose I could be penalizing him for being honest. Regardless, he won’t be back.

    To everyone, please don’t feed the trolls. If this post becomes too much of a bullshit magnet next stop is to close comments. Life is too short, and y’all got hogs to be riding.

  10. Jeff says:

    Marc you are not a very bright fellow. Maybe you have a wish of your own talking about bikers the way you do. As for the loud pipes it is so STUFFY people like you driving in your high dollar JAP car can hear us over your talk show on your radio. Most of you have your heads up your A**, and think we are in your blind spot when you are not paying attention. Use the mirrors on your car for what they are made for, by that I mean put your makeup on at home before you leave. If you have seen a biker swerving in traffic it was probably to avoid you being inattentive and almost hitting them. I will pitch in on the cost to weld the gate shut on your community to help keep you safe. Another option would be for you to live with it or move.

  11. Tia says:

    Hi Dave, nice blog 🙂

    My gun club happens to be directly across from the old SBB, right in the heart of the original Bike Week territory in Murrells Inlet.

    Since guns and hundreds of drunk bikers don’t mix, they close up for these two weeks and sell their parking. They have a big nice porch that most of the club members have become addicted to, and we tend to find ourselves going and sitting on the porch during Bike Week, too, even though the range is closed.

    So tonight I spent about six hours on that porch watching the madness. There were several cop cars parked across the street, seeing the same things I was. No one was arrested, and hardly anyone received warnings.

    Things I saw LOTS of:

    People walking in the street with open containers
    People walking to their vehicles with open containers in hand, then getting in/on their vehicles and driving away
    Burnouts on the road
    Public urination
    Bikes parked in driveways, and fire-lanes, and protruding into the road

    Again, no one was arrested, and there were very few reprimands. Since 4pm this afternoon there have been four deaths. I found out that number about three hours ago, as I watched an ambulance and firetruck blaze by on their way to another accident.

    I don’t think that Bike Week is a bad thing, I’ve been to every single one since I was a little girl. I used to ride when I was younger.

    But I do believe that our law enforcement has a duty to adequately police these events, for the protection of the attendees and area residents. From what I saw tonight, the police are not doing their job.

    Chuck’s shift ends at eleven, and he’s got to drive home through all that crap.

  12. AA says:

    The thing with Bike Week is that it has changed and evolved throughout the years. Sometimes, there are more deaths and arrests – sometimes less. It comes down to there being those who want to leave a good name for the group they represent vs. those who don’t care any don’t mind leaving a bad impression.

    Having lived near the beach since ’75, I can tell you that this discussion has gone on as long as I can remember. Eventually, the businesses that determine it isn’t worth it to stay open close for a couple weeks. The police always get a bad rap .. anyone remember the hooplah over them stopping the tail end of the Hell’s Angels (I believe it was) for running a red light since they hadn’t applied for the appropriate permit? Quite a few people were arguing that the cops should have looked the other way since the group was headed out of town. I’m not saying they should ignore the behaviour noted by Tia, just that they’re always criticized no matter what.

    Not much of a point there, but I have to add one extra thought .. prior to around 1990, there were no gated communities in MB, and they weren’t necessary. Somehow I don’t think they all popped up b/c of Bike Week .. I have a feeling it had more to do with a bunch of d@mn y@nkees moving in! 😉

    (for those who can’t read tone – that last bit is meant tongue in cheek 🙂

  13. dave says:

    Jeff, you’re on the edge of too aggressive. I suppose I set the tone on this post, but I’d appreciate y’all dialing it down a little. I have seen bikers swerving and cutting me off this week, so it’s not like it never happens. Still, Marc really set me off with his “lower classes” business.

    Tia, thanks for the comment and the link. It’s good to hear from people who have been here much longer than I. A lot of the guys I work with spent their whole lives here. I think shutting down the gun club might be a wise decision. I also agree with AA’s reply that the cops are kind of in a no-win position. If they come down too light, they seem ineffective and like they are letting it fall apart. If they come down too hard, they are the bad guys trying to keep the bikers down. I’m just glad I’m not in their job.

    AA, you used the dreaded “Y” word! To be honest, I was thinking about using it too in my original reply to Marc. I’ve only been inside one gated community here and I met a guy who not only lived in it, one of these things off of 707 that is one GC amongst miles of them, but he also had guns and heavy duty alarms to “keep himself safe.” Dear god, does he think this is Baghdad? I don’t even lock my car doors half the time. To me, that says more about him than the area. Oh, and he’s from Jersey. I’m just saying.

  14. melissa says:

    My husband goes to bike week every year and who ever it was talkng about bikers don’t spend… Yeah Um he went down there with a truck a bike and a down payment on a new house. LOL

    We are moving to the area next July. I just find it funny that someone still sterotypes bikers(and my husband is the long *gasp* hair hippy missing a tooth kind of biker and I teach highschool)I look forward to moving! 🙂

    Oh yeah the area we are moving to is a new gated community in forestbrook(IS that right?) Over by the state park and the flea market


  15. dean dellinger says:

    I just got home last night from a 4 day
    bussiness trip in Myrtle Beach.I did’nt know it was biker week until I was almost there with hundreds of cycles headed in the same direction.I was looking up information this morning and ran across this blog.This is my account and what I saw during 4 days.The bikers were mostly 40 to 60 years of age,white baby boomer types.They are very
    respectable people,I drove a small 4 from 10th ave north to rest.row 3 times a day with no problem whatsoever.Yea the bikes make alot of noise,but what the heck it’s Myrtle Beach! Guess what? A movie was being made this week in Myrtle
    which was my reason for being there and the noise
    not a problem.I went to an after filming party on
    Thursday night it was in a gated community and left the party a little after midnight 12:35a.m.
    on 17 bypass from 82nd to 29th it was quite as a mouse not one motorcycle.Those people were early to bed and early to rise.I also had a little chit chat at the party about biker week with an owner of Suncom wireless and a Board member of Cresent Bank and those guys love biker week. I did see a
    guy on a Harley in a T-shirt I thought was cool.

    Peace brothers, Lynwood

  16. Chris says:

    I would have to respectfully disagree with Marc’s response to “Harley” bike week. As stated in many of the responses, most of the bikers these days make well over 100K/year, and if not, work very hard to earn a good salary. Your idea of “lower class” seems to be very non-factual. Myrtle Beach has very little industry, outside of tourism and retirees, thus making your area cling to events such as “Bike Week(s)”. It is understandable that some “bad apples” can spoil the bunch when you see a biker cut someone off, stay in one’s blindspot, etc., but I bet you have changed lanes without signaling, rolled through a stop sign, drove aggressively and even drove without your seatbelt. Should we (bikers) grade you on the same curve that we are being graded. In conclusion, I hope the current mayor of Myrtle Beach relaxes some of the current restrictions during bike week (eg. one way traffic of Ocean Blvd), because without Bike Week(s), Graduation(s)and vacationers, your gated community will no longer exist.

  17. ANGIE says:

    hey i spent a week at bike week for the first time this year. i had a better time this week than any week ive ever spent at the beach. marc u are wrong about the slutty girlfriends im no slut ty very much. seriously i probably got more in my riding clothes than u have in ur whole wardrobe. not everyone is wild and crazy who owns bikes. most biker men have more respect for a woman than those without bikes. i’d like to thank the town for hosting such an event for it was wonderful for a little hillbilly girl to get away from the quite of the mountains for awhile and be free of your troubles. by the way my boyfriends has around 30,000 in his harley, so no they are not cheap…hell its worth more than my jeep…lol till next year thanks again for a wonderful trip.

  18. angel says:

    you people must quiet the loud bikes down, loud pipes lose rights. if you don’t you will eventually lose your bikers rights. my uncle is a landlord in myrtle beach and his rental property on the beach was trashed by bikers he rented to. i live in upstate new york and the bikers are very inconsiderate. i live in a residential area and they go roaring through all day. i am just as entitled to enjoy the nice weather as you people are. a motorcycle doesn’t have to be loud in order to move.

  19. netta says:

    I wanted to know about the clubs and nighlife at myrtle beach during black bike week!!

  20. Jody Connolly says:

    I feel as a biker I need to say something here. Yes there are stupid people out there that cause trouble but you cant just blame “all bikers”. There are all kinds of bikes that have loud pipes. I have a straight pipe on my bike but I know when to get onto my bike and when not to. I am also only 26 years old so not all young people are trouble makers. Ys the people riding in blind spots can cause problems but they may not be experienced riders. They may also not be thinking what happens if that car must swerve into thier lane to avoid something. All I am saying is please dont judge all of us based on the “bad apples” young, old, white, or black there are a lot of people out there that respect the road and the others that are on it with them.

  21. dennis says:

    Bike Week Update….WE NEED YOUR HELP

    Here is the schedule for the next city council meeting:

    If you will be negatively affected by the attempts by the City and County to eliminate the Bike Weeks, we need you to attend a meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25th at Revolutions in Celebrity Square at Broadway at the Beach.

    The next County Council Meeting is July 1 at 6 p.m. at the Courthouse in Conway.

    The next City Council date is Tuesday, July 8. The workshop begins at 9:00 a.m. here at City Hall. The regular meeting begins at 2:00 p.m. at the Collins Law Enforcement Center.

    If you are impacted in the least as a business, an employee, whatever it might be. We can’t afford to have government selectively decide what tourists are good and which ones are bad.

    And, even if you aren’t impacted, the following statement appeared on-line at yesterday afternoon and should be very concerning. It is not in today’s print section of The Sun News.

    Mr. Martino wants to decide which tourists come to town! And, I thought the 3 mills was to get rid of bikers, not to replace lost revenue. I would be worried that your taxes are going to go even higher!

    Councilmembers said they hope to see a concerted effort among everyone who’s affected — hoteliers, merchants and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce — because they will all play their parts in replacing bike-rally visitors with other types of tourists.

    “We’re going to have to displace them with the tourists we want,” Councilman Chuck Martino said at Tuesday’s workshop discussion. “Then when the bikers want to come, the hotel rooms are already full.

    “But if we don’t replace them, I don’t think three mills is going to make up for the lost revenue.”

  22. Marc Chrome says:

    As a long time resident of Daytona Beach and having attended several Myrtle Beach rallies, I’m actually suprised at the city of Myrtle Beach’s apparent unwillingnes to work with the bikers and vendors to promote tourism and events in the area.

    Being from Daytona, I can honestly say that our Spring Break events cause more trouble, more arrests and moretrashing of hotel romms than any bike events.

    Dave, You’re correct about the Harley crowd being older, wiser and having more spending money to stimulate the economy of the local towns during these events. It’s the same with the NASCAR fans. Great people.

    Sure there are riff-raff at any large sized event but usually it’s townies looking for the hot spot to get wasted and pick up out-of-town chicks who are looking to party.

    As far as noise and that argument goes. I live on the beachside on a street that connects Daytona to Ormond Beach (where the best clubs are) and sure it’s noisy for a few weeks but I’ve found that it’s not healthy to let the small things like loud pipes and other noise get you stressed.

    Plus, the bikers I run into at local restaurants and watering holes are a nice as can be and the local waiters and waitresses all say they tip great.

    Myrtle Beach is a great town, hopefully they won’t deny the faithful who have returned year after year the privelege of returning to a familiar place.

    Great blog, btw !!!


  23. Joe says:

    “If we pass a law you don’t like, move somewhere else!”

    John Rhodes – Mayor of Myrtle Beach referring to Bikers.

    This is a perfect example of a politician that has been freeloading at the public trough much too long. You need to fire him and interivew other applicants for the job.

    I don’t care how much you try to avoid it by saying bikers are welcome, what you are too SISSY to say direct is, “We don’t want YOUR KIND among us.” Read some of the blogs above this one and you will see it stated in no uncertain terms.

    This bespeaks much of the people of Myrtle Beach and the kind of employees like the Mayor that they hire to run their town. The hired help is usually a true reflection of the Electorate.

    For a state that is so poor it has nothing to offer but Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand, you sure are picky! The only state poorer than you is Mississippi.

    Myrtle Beach doesn’t deserve Biker week or anything else. I bet you need a lot of tissue to keep on blowing your snobbish noses.

    I knew there was a reason that for the last fifty years we’ve always affectionately referred to Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand as the “Redneck Riveria” John Rhodes just proved why with that single remark.

    It’s the Bikers who are classy and well mannered. Not the other way around.

  24. HarleyWillis says:

    As I see it right now, the bikers are lost in space. Unless someone takes a lead, and says, “OK the new rallying place is here or here”, we’re just going to stay lost in space and before we know it, it’ll be June and a great American tradition will have been killed off. C’mon somebody man up.

  25. Mischelle says:

    Let me introduce myself. Iam a 52 year old wife,mother and grandmother and yes a biker. I have been riding for many years and have met alot of people in my lifetime and I wouldn’t trade my “biker” friends for anything. You Marc are wrong in your comments from May of 07. People on bikes don’t try to ride in your blind spot nor do most go out of their way to look for trouble. As in ANY situation in life you have your total a**holes . Most people stereo type “bikers” but do you have any idea how much said “bikers” do to help out in their communities as in benefit runs and toy runs for childrens hospitals? When was the last time you dipped into your pocket to help some one? You want all the “nasty” people to go away and leave all you transplanted people alone… wait until the revenue dries up and your gated community property taxes go up and you will be begging for those millions of dollars to come back but sad to say they will have moved on . I have a time share I bought in your lovely area guess what its up for sale. Panama Beach Florida is looking better than ever. What a shame on your town.

  26. dave says:

    Mischelle gets the last word. I posted this two years ago, and I’m ready to stop hosting this debate. Feel free to argue away but it ain’t happening in my house. Comments on this post are now closed.

Comments are closed.