18 Jun,2013

30th Annual Atlantic Beach Fest

For some, Memorial Day weekend is about getting together with family and friends for food and fun while remembering those that have served this great country of ours. For others, in addition to honoring those that have and do serve our country it’s about all about the beach….Myrtle Beach for Atlantic Beach Fest.

2010 marked the 30th Annual Atlantic Beach Fest which has also become known as Black Bike Week. Despite new ordnances and laws specifically created to discourage all bikers from making their annual pilgrimage to Myrtle Beach, Atlantic Beach and the North Myrtle Beach Drag Strip were going strong. Yes, the overall attendance was significantly smaller from the 200,000+ of previous years, but thousands of true disciples still made the journey to Myrtle. Helping to bring the crowd to the North Myrtle Beach Drag Strip were Rickey Gadson, Jason Britton, Eric Hoenshell and Team Myrtle West who were burning up the track with speed and stunts. On Atlantic Beach, we found Roaring Toyz showing off their new fully custom BMW S 1000 RR, hometown favorite Myrtle West with their award-winning bikes, Boston’s Kory Souza with his trend-breaking bikes rocking a nasty pin-strip look, Break Lites flexing their work and rounding out the pack was TOCC who unveiled their “Race for the Cure” stunt bike for Breast Cancer Awareness. In addition to the professional builders the custom bikes were everywhere you turned, from the crowd grabbing sinister Halloween Pumpkin and Freddy Kruger bikes to the elite custom Harleys from Twisted Image mc out of Ohio.

And while South Myrtle Beach did successfully shut down bikers from showing up, they failed miserably in their goal of attracting more “family” oriented business during this weekend. Yes, it’s only been a couple of years in trying to accomplish this shut-down; however, the bikes on the Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Boulevard were simply replaced with an over abundance cars. So what’s next? New ordnances against rims that are too tall or whips that have too much candy paint to stop the cars from descending onto Myrtle?

A few years back I coverered Black Bike Week for the urban/street bike mag that started it all, Cycle Dreams. My recap was titled “Is Myrtle Dead” referencing the number of cars that began to take over Ocean Blvd. Maybe those idealistic law makers did us a favor by helping to kick-off the mid-Atlantic bike season with getting back to its roots – BIKES at the Atlantic Beach Fest.


Written by: Leon L. Brittain
Motorcycle Journalist and photographer