Monday, March 5, 2007

An Open Letter to Bikers

Dear Daytona Beach Bike Week 2007 Participants:

I hate you all. Please die immediately.

Um... wow, Palette. Isn't that incredibly harsh?

Not really. Barring a short 5 year stint up in Washington DC, I have lived in Florida since 1987. I wasn't born here -- I grew up in a military family, so as a child I got used to moving to a new continent every 3-5 years -- but I am a fully naturalized Floridian. I graduated from high school here. I went to college here. I am a Florida girl. This is my home, and I love it, hurricane season and all. I'm like a goth Superman, sent to the Sunshine State aboard a speeding U-Haul. Call me Fla-El.

(Did you know Florida natives are an endangered species? It's true. There are more New Yorkers and New Jerseyites than Floridians in Florida. Of course, I think the Italians are about to be supplanted by the Russians, who are busy carving a New Moscow out of Flagler County with the help of the Organizatskaia.)

Daytona is indisputably a tourist town: Bike Week, Spring Break, Black College Reunion, Speed Weeks, Biketoberfest, plus all the summer vacationers who come to see The World's Most Famous Beach. And let's not forget the snowbirds, those @#%^%! Yankees who come down here for 6 months out of the year to escape the punishing winters of their Great White Northern Abodes.


I am completely goddamn serious about this. A common bumper sticker around these parts is, "When I retire, I'm going to go Up North and DRIVE SLOWLY."

Every year, you people come down here. And every year, you act like complete asses, like this is Las Fucking Vegas and we are here to cater to your every whim. And every year, dozens of you die horribly. I always laugh whenever I see the death toll after an event, because it reaffirms my faith in Natural Selection. Because, you see, you people are stupid, and stupid people shouldn't ever breathe my air.

How are you stupid? Let me count the ways:
  1. Florida is not temperate. Florida is sub-tropical. That means it rains a fucking lot here. Rainy roads and motorcycles do not mix.
  2. We are a hunting state. That means we have access to large-caliber weapons like rifles and shotguns in addition to the ubiquitous handgun. Starting shit with us will get your ass shot.
  3. We are an undeveloped state. That, combined with #2 above, means we have access to multi-ton vehicles called Pickup Trucks. Now I'm sure you never took physics, or else you could wrap your puny brains around the concept of "A 2.5 ton truck cannot stop as quickly as a motorcycle." Cut us off and your ass gets run over. Ironically, with our off-road suspensions, we'll easily traverse your wreckage.
  4. We live on a beach. We know what attractive is. Don't think you're sexy just because you drive a Harley. And please put your shirt back on.
  5. We have 80-degree winters. You wear lots of black and drink beer, then pass out due to dehydration.
But really, what pisses me off most is that you think we love you. We don't. Oh, our businesses love you to death, but that's because you spend money like a shopper during Black Friday. But we who live and work here -- the store clerks, to continue the metaphor -- despise your asses, because you make more work for us.

You reduce traffic to a crawl. You divert precious police resources. And when you DO finally die, you do it in as dramatic a way as possible, frequently prompting lawsuits. As if it was the fault of the State of Florida that you decided to drive down I-95 at top speed without a helmet.

The worst of it is that you have spread, cancer-like, to outlying regions. Back in the 90s, I could just avoid going into Daytona and all would be well. Now, you've metastatized into the suburban areas of Ormond, New Smyrna, Holly Hill. I can't even get onto the interstate without sitting at a traffic light for 15 minutes. I think you won't be happy until you've taken over all of Volusia County, and then you'll probably set your sights on Flagler.

Enough, I say. Tomorrow, I'm buying a Humvee, mounting a cowcatcher to the front, and I'm going for a leisurely drive.

Please get in my way.

1 comment:

  1. I have lived in Florida since 1979. I have also been around bikes all of my life. First of all, I RESPECT the bike. I also RESPECT the truck that I drive. Either way, it is all about RESPECTING the people around you that share the road. It sounds like to me you have alot of issues and need to spend a few hours with a psych! If it bothers you so greatly, and knowing that bike week and all the other events that do go on in Daytona, why don't you just move? These events have been happening long enough for you to know what goes on there. No I do not agree with some of the bikers (I call them "weekenders") that think they rule the city just because they come there and blow all their money on stupid things. My boyfriend and I live only a few miles away and have been going to bike week for a few years. I agree about the snowbirds and tourists, they are a pain. There is something that you did forget to mention in your little "hate letter to the bikers", Florida IS catered towards tourists, retirees and snowbirds. Therefore, if you are not happy with it, just get out. They will always be around. Have a nice day!


The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to