Myrtle Beach Bike Week. Disappointment And Anger.

mbbikeweekThe state of the economy and the series of Myrtle Beach ordinances passed last Fall  to discourage bikers to come to the May event had a disastrous effect on the rally attendance. Bikers who attended and dared to venture inside the city, alike local residents, were also angered by the multiple road blocks organized by police, something never done during previous events. Facing such hostility, many bikers stated that they will not come back next year. Many merchants claim that their business was down from 30% to 90% and are organizing a movement for the removal of Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes and of the Beach City Council members.

As an example Don Emery, owner of The Dog House Bars, is planning this week an open forum for business owners and employees upset over the decline in business due to the Mayor’s actions. North Myrtle Beach mayor Marilyn Hatley said while her city didn’t have as many bikers this year during this Harley-Davidson Spring 2009 motorcycle rally they still had a very good week.  Hatley stated “that bikers are welcome as well as any other group, as long as they abide by our laws and this week they did abide by our laws.“ The Carolina Harley-Davidson Dealers Association who moved its motorcycle event west to the city of New Bern, North Carolina declared the new location a success with about 5,000 attendees, more than they expected.

21 Responses to “Myrtle Beach Bike Week. Disappointment And Anger.”

  1. 1 scott May 19th, 2009 at 7:58 am

    I fail to see what the issue is with this. The fact is that these rallies bring large amounts of revenue into the community. Many businesses not directly related to the event also benefit. So if Myrtle Beach doesn’t want bikers there for a week then don’t go! It is a self regulating proposition.

  2. 2 Woody May 19th, 2009 at 9:34 am

    “many bikers stated that they will not come back next year.”
    Why the hell did they go THIS year??!! Why spend a dime where you’re not wanted? If 5000 attendees was considered a success in New Bern, they must’ve planned for a failure.

  3. 3 Carlton May 19th, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Heres the deal, there are deep pockets forcing the new ordinances. There is a tobacco family here that has been rumored to have said to “get rid of motorcycles in myrtle beach”. This family does not want to be identified but theres only one big tobacco family here… the Holidays. Mayor Rhodes was a supporter of bike rallys in the past and had close ties to abate who supported him into office. I don’t know why the holidays are so against the rallys…….maybe a biker knocked up thier little girl. They are millionares and don’t care about the regular people that have to work for a living. Its this self centered that is making everyone else suffer and stores to close like B&M CYCLES. Where I come from magority rules, not some rich prick with a pocket full of cash. I say we should throw Mayor Rhodes out on his two faced ass! I thought it was “we the people” WTF!!

  4. 4 Jeff Nicklus May 19th, 2009 at 12:20 pm


    The “Holiday Family” didn’t vote these assholes into office …. “we the people” did! If the bulk of “we the people” don’t like what is happening in Myrtle Beach then “we the people” can vote their asses out or impeach them.

    Over & Out,


  5. 5 MM Billetworks May 19th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    My understanding is the city of Myrtle Beach voted to stop bike week, but Horry County wanted bike week. A group of us went for several days and avoided the city limits by traveling on 31. There was not that much bike event activity inside the city limits before anyways.

    We only spent a few dollars one evening at Revolution’s. The rest of the time we spent our money outside the city limits. Did hear some stories about bikers being pulled for improper turn signal useage, loud pipes, and speeding. All of these stories were from them traveling in the city limits.
    Outside the Myrtle Beach limits, we did not see hardly any police activity.

    Did read about 1800 citations issued by Saturday morning inside Myrtle Beach, assume it was also for local’s in cars. Many local residents were opposed to all the road blocks inside the city as it made their lives miserable as well.

    Harley Dealership vendor lot’s looked 3/4 empty. There appears to be a ground swell of local voters who want to remove their current mayor.

  6. 6 Rodent May 19th, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Lets face the facts. Myrtle Beach doesn’t want black bike week. They want white only. They can’t do that so they threw everybody out. Why fight them?et them take their suck ass town and eat it. Now the local shop owners who want bike business let them close their tacky tourist shops and become bike show vendors if they love bikers that much. Just remember it’s teir town and if they don’t want you there. DON’T GO THERE!!! and also Tell all your none-biker citizen friends not to go there.. Hit the where it hurts, in the pocketbook. The USA is a big god damn country and screw myrtloe and her beach.

  7. 7 Omar May 19th, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    If you are a biker, don’t ever go there or spend any of your money there anytime, not just for bike week. but anytime.

  8. 8 Sturgis Rider May 19th, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Why waste any more time and energy fighting for something not worth fighting for in regards to the City of Myrtle Beach? I attended bike week several times and found the time of year, the surroundings and the local, regional and national consumer draw to rival that of any major bike event in the US.

    With that being said, why can’t a consordium of the top retail vendors, aftermarket manufacturers, events, entertainment and media seek out an alternative location within the proximity of the City of Myrtle Beach?

    When it comes to a major motorcycling event its the private sector vested in the event and the ability to regulate the public sector’s support and-or compliance. Rule number one not in place in Myrtle Beach obviously.

    In an industry built on individuality and independence, we might want to think about coming together and evolving a bit to protect our vested interests industry – consumers and yes events.

  9. 9 Dave May 20th, 2009 at 6:27 am

    Rodent has it right. Black Bike Week was held the week after the Myrtle Beach rally and they tore up the city every year. The city couldn’t allow one and not the other, or the ACLU would have been up in arms. So, they did what they had to do. Don’t be surprised in a few years when they bring the Myrtle Beach rally back after the Black Bike week finds a new permanent location.

  10. 10 Woody May 20th, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    If they don’t have the balls/resources to take care of the BBW problem then ask the governor to send in the Guard 😉

  11. 11 Rich May 20th, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    As a resident, I found the roadblocks offensive. Why make me feel like I live in a facist state because the local government can’t find a non-orwellian answer to a special events problem? And who was the idiot that thought of putting it on 501? I live in arrowhead and had one hell of a time getting to my clients! My finance was late getting to work even after planning ahead!

    I also thought it was funny they called them “safety checkpoints” yet saturday called it off on account of rain. If the checkpoints were really for safety, wouldn’t you want to check in the rain when statistically it’s less safe? I’m sure the name was for legal (anti-discrimination) reasons.

    But the crux of the problem I have is the local government used government resources to deny local business owners the ability to generate revenue; The same business owners they collect tax from and compel to have business licenses. Not everyone is dependant on the bikers, but for some bike specific shops / bars I bet this week is their lifeline. The purpose of government is not to harm its people but protect and I say that includes peoples’ financial means too.

    I wholeheartedly agree that black bike week has got to go. You’ve never seen as large a group of lawless, overtly gang looking group of people until you’ve seen them. I’ve seen people dump their trash right on the road, have 24hr hotel parties complete with dj’s, guns, drugs, pimps and hookin. The first year I lived here I didn’t leave my home office on account of all my $$$ equipment (I lived on one of the aves). And all my business friends would talk of theft or dining and dashing, etc. Sled had a field day (never seen so many agents in my life)

    I say give the mayor / city council the boot. Reprimand whoever came up with the roadblocks and heavy-handed policing and find a way to get rid of our yearly black biker infestation. And if the ACLU wants to step in on behalf of their disenfranchised black bretheren, then send them a bill to cover the cleanup / damages.

  12. 12 Big Dummy Dave May 25th, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Come on guys. You are all fighting this the wrong way! the way to beat Myrtle Beach at their little go away game is to do what they don’t want you to do and that is come there by the thousands and follow all the rules. That is right!
    one half million bikers need to embark on Myrtle Beach and be prepared to follow all the rules and event go through their safety check points, and then turn around and go back through them.

  13. 13 Mike Greenwald May 25th, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Sorry, Big Dummy Dave,

    There are enough sheep riding all over the world.

    I would never recommend herding them into the pasture called Myrtle Beach for anyone’s gain.

    This is the same place that elected a previous mayor that wanted to censor t-shirts and bump motorcyclists with a cage if he thought they were out of line.

    I would think that the half million of compliant wannabes that you want to gather there would be led to slaughter by an ill-advised move like this.

  14. 14 Thomas May 26th, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Rodent is correct.
    My family has owned property at Myrtle Beach for many decades. It has always been known that the Memorial Day “black” bike week is the culprit. Business owners claim that theft triples and sales are cut by 70%. The hotels lower prices on a national holiday to encourage business? Not hardly, they have to because no one wants to go the beach during black bike week. Many of the locals “go on vacation” that week, they simply close up shop to avoid the whole thing.
    So you white bikers need not feel so bad, it really isn’t you.

  15. 15 Rican Rider May 26th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Its Bitter Sweet…..
    Harley Rally IMO loud pipes, drunk driving, Prostitutes, whores, drugs, more drinking, typically hang around the City of Myrtle Beach, rowdiness….a mixture of Upper class and Lower classed people from all over the country from Dr’s and Lawyers to the Unemployed, Bike Gangs, Cocain, Crack for the Crack whores, Campers, Vagabonds, hustlers, criminals, white collar thugs. Bike Thieves, Car thieves…. Out of town Tow trucks swiping bikes and hauling ass to a fence, only to return for more. Landscaping trailers filled with stolen bikes.

    The black bike week , Bikes, whores, Big wheeled Obnoxious looking cars, drugs, prostitutes, Crack cocain, Three times or more as many bikes, spectators, Big assed women coming there hoping to ride on the back of a bike…..a mixture of Upper class and Lower classed people from all over the country from Dr’s and Lawyers to the Unemployed, Gangs. Fat Assed Hoochies and strippers on the back of Crotch rockets Pole dancing…Thug looking Kats, Hood dwellers, hustlers, criminals. Same Bike Thieves and Car thieves from the previous bikeweek…. typically from surrounding cities…Con (cough) Way (cough) .

    …Yeah the scale is tipped because of the “Car Show” and Spectator’ism in favor of BBW…..
    The Behavior at both Rallys are appalling But its much worse at BBW. I agree… But you will Never…NEVER be able to get rid of one without getting rid of the other…so both rally’s must suffer.
    The thing is, bad behavior is bad behavior…it just so happens that the more people in a geographical local, the more BAD behavior you will have….and it typically shines on BBW. Most people don’t agree with the lifestyle they come from, naturally you don’t want them bringing their lifestyle to your town…. Thats whats up.

  16. 16 Sandra Davis May 27th, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Perhaps the “conduct” of “all” people who go to black bike week is the reason for the new rules.
    I am a white woman in early 60s and on way back from beach second street past 8th street, I saw several black girls actually pull down the back of their bathing suit and started girating while a car load of black men watched. After her filthly dance, one of the guys in the car motioned her over and he felt her butt and then the girls all giggled. If any people, white or black, or blue or brown or green, are proud of such actiivity in broad daylight (about 6 PM) (or in the dark), then we as a nation are going to hell as fast as we can. I know many bikers who are Christian and this type of behavior gives a black eye to the whole concept of biker week. The girls and guys who we watched were not riding a bike but I feel these events get so depraved they draw the depraved. As it always goes…the bad apples make it bad for everyone.

  17. 17 TJ May 28th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    I can’t speak for anyone else but feel I am fairly typical … I have been vacationing at Myrtle since I was a kid . Now that I am an adult its only natural to return . we normally visit 3-4 times a year spending an average of 2-3 k per visit every thing considered . when you multiply this , more or less , by total attendance you would think it would buy a bit of patience from folks – but I guess not . Me and the group I normally go with have a very bad taste in our mouths from this experience and have basically vowed to never go back . I read an article that stated the leaders wanted to reclaim these weeks for the families to come down but what they fail to realize is that we the bikers are the same people that also came down with our families at other times of the year . WE ARE THE FAMILIES DUMBO !!! Myrtle beach is turning into condo heaven anyway. Many of the cozy, friendly mom and pop motels are gone – the Pavilion is gone – the terrible street surface conditions make them an obstacle course — that place is changing alright and time will tell what it changes into . I have been attending bike weeks since the ’70s and am saddened that it has to end but they didn’t ask me for my opinion . So we will go elsewhere and enjoy ourselves but I feel sorry for my friends at the local businesses that have to suffer . I don’t feel at all sorry for the residents that will undoubtedly pay higher taxes because of the lost city tax revenue, for they have the power to change things and obviously don’t care to …… GoodBye Myrtle Beach – we will miss you ……….. PEACE BROTHERS !!!!

  18. 18 Susan White May 30th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Yes,the business will go elsewhere and where there is some love.

  19. 19 Anita Woods Jun 8th, 2009 at 1:45 am

    My husband and I are late 40s business owners. We have attended the last 5 or 6 HD rallies at MB, but never again. And never again for any other vacation, either. I have NEVER seen a tourist town turn away tourists!
    In my humble opinion, this is a symptom of a larger struggle between old MB who wants to remain a tourist town, and new MB (i.e., retired northerners) who want to turn what had always been the working man’s beach spot into another exclusive, snotty, over-priced, gated golf and retirement community like Hilton Head. Instead of freedom-loving, hard-working, generous American bikers, they want 85-yr-olds tootling around on golf carts looking for the blue plate specials and tipping the waitstaff 50 cents on a good day. (One lady who said she made $6000 last year in tips during HD week only scraped out $30 this year.) Way to go, snot-heads! Turn away $200 million in lost revenue just so Gramps can sleep soundly at night. All this could’ve been avoided if the City police had been turned loose to DO THEIR JOBS and enforce existing laws during the rallies, political correctness be d****d!
    As an honest, tax-paying, law-abiding, God-fearing American biker, I say let them rot in their own mess. Take your money and your smiling face on your two wheels to other places that realize we aren’t big bad outlaws like in Hollywood movies. *steps down off soapbox*

  20. 20 BigDave Jul 16th, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Maybe if black people that go to black bike week could act like normal people this would have never happened. I have friends that are black and I wont invite them to any type of outings becuase of the way they prepare to go. First off they start by taking ZERO money with them. or as lilte as they can get away with. They complain about everythi8ng and how the world owes it to them. Then starting hitting you up to buy them drinks. So I can fully understand why the hotels and stores dont want black bike week and change there policies. You get 8 black kids that want to share a single hotel room. They want to stand around all night outside doing nothing but causing issues and traffic problems. Hell in RI and Boston they close down roads becuase black people like to cruise past a club and blare the stereo. They stop and talk to friends and the road becomes a parking lot. Lets face it. The Average person on white bike week plans on spending 2k on average. Black Bike week I am sure its only 500. They run out on checks and should be expected to pay up front. If my white friends ever ran out on a check when I was there. I would pay check and stop being friends with them. Thats just rude. Yet I have heard my black friends talking about how they done it and laughed about it. Another reason I dont invite them anywhere.

  21. 21 Roadking Jan 22nd, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I have been reading the emails posted. It really is amazing that some of you are blaming the issues in MB during May a downfall because of BBW. I attend both rallies and believe it or NOT both rallies have there issues. BUT I am not like some of you blaming a certain group. BOTH rallies have their misfits, BUT the rest of us should NOT be thrown in the bunch because of a few others acting up. AND FOR THE RECORD, there are MANY White riders who attend BBW and yes have a very good time, just as MANY Black riders attend the Harley rally, AND YES have a good time. So let’s stop pointing fingers and blaming other because a few knuckle heads can’t get there act together. As always, RIDE FREE, for this is still America.

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