Antique Motorcycle Show to usher in Bike Rally, Bike Week

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BLASTS FROM THE PAST — This old two-wheeler, along with the others shown, could be among those on display at the Antique Motorcycle Show in the Artisan Alley Garage on Tuesday, March 6.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST — This old two-wheeler could be among those on display at the Antique Motorcycle Show in the Artisan Alley Garage on Tuesday, March 6.

Just days before the leather-and-chrome set rolls into town for the DeLand Bike Rally, antique motorcycles will fill the Artisan Alley Garage for a display of historic two-wheelers.

The Antique Motorcycle Show on Tuesday, March 6, will be the highlight of a three-day road run by the Sunshine Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America. The show is free and open to the public.

Owners of antique motorcycles from all four Florida chapters of the AMCA will check in March 4 and ride to different destinations over subsequent days: Daytona Beach on Monday, Ocala on Tuesday, and Mims and Merritt Island on Wednesday, said John Blood, the club’s president.

Participants will wrap up the event with a banquet at the Wayne G. Sanborn Activity Center Wednesday night, he said.

Blood expects 200 to 220 people will be coming into town, with about 125 antique bikes on display in the Artisan Alley Garage from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

“The motorcycles will be 75 to 100 years old, and on static display for pedestrians and curious people to look at,” he said of the motorcycle show. “There will be a table set up for questions and answers.”

When not on the daily rides or at the show, riders will disperse throughout Downtown DeLand and the surrounding area for food and entertainment. And of course, most will be staying in local hotels, motels or campgrounds, Blood said.

The Sunshine Chapter also puts on a swap meet every year. It has been held in Eustis in recent years, overlapping with the first part of Daytona Beach-based Bike Week. The nonprofit group decided to move it to New Smyrna Beach this year, hoping the more convenient location will generate more funds for the three major charities it supports, Blood said.

The following Wednesday, March 14, the Sunshine Chapter is hosting an antique motorcycle show at the Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach, he added.

Georgia Turner, executive director of the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority, said the Antique Motorcycle Show will be a good addition to the DeLand Bike Rally.

“We’re really excited about it,” Turner said. “It’s an early start to an already-great couple of weeks in Daytona Beach and here in DeLand with our Bike Rally.”

The group will be adding three, four or even five extra nights of lodging before Bike Week even starts.

“That means more people eating in our restaurants and buying in our stores,” Turner said. “And when they ride, they’ll be seeing a really beautiful part of our county.”

The DeLand Bike Rally, sponsored by the MainStreet DeLand Association, will be held Saturday, March 10, the first Saturday of Bike Week. Riders can park on the streets of Downtown DeLand and enjoy live music, vendors and merchant specials in the shops and restaurants.

This year, the 77th annual Bike Week officially gets underway Friday, March 9, and runs through Sunday, March 18, in Daytona Beach and many venues throughout Volusia and Flagler counties.

— Joe Crews, joe@beacononlinenews.com

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