Daytona Bike Week
Daytona Beach Bike Week has been a tradition since January, 24th 1937 and since the inaugural running of the Daytona 200. The very first race took place on a 3.2 stretch of beach and a road course, located South of Daytona Beach. Ed Kertz was the very first winner of the Daytona Beach motorcycle race, he averaged about 73.34 mph.
The race was discontinued because of World War II but even though the event was “officially” called off, people and motorcycle enthusiast still showed up in Daytona Beach for an “unofficial” party called “Bike Week”. In 1947 the famous motorcycle race resumed and was promoted by Bill France. During that year the race featured a record 176 riders, local townsfolk were asked to open their homes to visiting motorcyclists because all the hotels and camping areas were filled to capacity.
Sometime after 1948, the rally began to take on a rugged edge, while the motorcycle races on the beach were organized the events surrounding the race were not. After the 1986 event the relations between the town and the task force became organized and the magnitude of the event grew larger.
Today, Daytona Bike Week has been transformed into a 10-day festival that expands throughout Volusia County. There are hundreds of events that motorcyclists can enjoy and Daytona Bike Week now welcomes hundreds of thousands visitors annually.
Ed Kertz the first winner of the Daytona Beach Motorcycle Race in 1937