Oh No! It's Bike Week, from Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

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Oh No! It's Bike Week
By Thomas Scopel

The rumble started. It wasn't the ocean. It wasn't a thunderstorm. "OH NO IT'S BIKE WEEK!"

The time of the year when thousands of bikers invade our quiet little town of Daytona Beach, Florida, to party, ride everywhere, and basically, force we residents to deviate from our otherwise, calm and peaceful little lives. For the next week, day and night, night and day, it will continue. Gradually increasing, growing larger with each and every passing day.

It all begins on the first day of the first week in the month of March. Signs are posted in places they normally aren't. Tee shirts are to be had everywhere. Scantly clad woman flash their wares, and beer rules.

This is the week when lives are uprooted and taken over by large, " Hey everybody! Look at me," custom made florescent green painted ten foot long choppers, and loud piped "I'm gonna break your eardrums while I'm sitting beside you at the light" Harley Davidson's.

There will be large and small ones, fat and skinny ones, short and tall ones. There will be chains dangling from back pockets, patches, graphics, and demonic tattoos. There will be helmets, used by the third Reich, and enough black leather to fill every "Mary's House of Pain" from here to Timbuktu.

Yes, this is the week, when we, the residents of this peaceful little sereneplace by the sea, are required to look both ways, and then look both ways again. Just to make sure that one of those two wheeled, "hell on wheels," didn't unscrupulously and obnoxiously sneak in between us, and the car alongside.

Yes, when Bike Week is here, an invisible third lane, which separates the normal two, has now magically become into existence. Sidewalks become unsafe, the "no turn on red" doesn't apply, parking for an automobile costs five dollars, and residents stock up as if a category five hurricane was about to hit.

Everywhere you look, as far as the eye can see, you will see packs of motorcycles. They will be clustered and huddled together, just like hornets' in a nest, at every restaurant and motel, at every tavern and store, on every highway and down every street. They will scurry around like fire ants, zipping and darting, in and out of traffic, up and over curbs, and down the dirt paths usually reserved for walkers.

There will be rock bands, for sale signs, and DUI's. There will be trash beside the roads, neon lights, and foreigners that don't speak English. There will be stuffed animals riding on bikes like pets, broken glass, enough facial hair to make ZZ Top look trimmed, and signs proclaiming "out of ice."

These are the things that will penetrate our home, and after the seven days, it will all go away. Our little suburbia town will begin its trek back to normalcy. The rumble will be gone and the metropolis of motorcycles is no longer.

However, it will take another week for our ears to adjust back to the sounds of this quiet little town we call Daytona Beach.


T M Scopel is originally from Bergholz, Ohio. He relocated to Ormond Beach, Florida in 2006. He graduated in 1999 with a AAS in Design Engineering Technology from Jefferson Community College in Steubenville, Ohio, where he was the Writers Club Vice President, the Student Senate President, and was the recipient of the first Alumni Scholarship. He has written numerous articles and has been published in various publications. He is currently working on his first novel, is a Daytona Beach News Journal Ormond Beach Correspondent, a regular contributor to My Topia Cafe, as well as American Chronicle.

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