It's that time of year again.
This past weekend kicked off the 75th-annual Bike Week. Flocks of bikers from all over the country have made their way to Ormond Beach take a ride down A1A and visit popular spots like Destination Daytona and the Iron Horse Saloon. But do you know how the 10-day long event actually got started?
According to the OfficialBikeWeek.com, the tradition started Jan. 24, 1937, during the inaugural running of the
Daytona 200. The first race took place on a 3.2 mile beach and road course, and Ed Kretz of Monterey Park, CA was its first winner. He rode an American made Indian motorcycle and averaged 73.34 mph.
In 1942, the Daytona 200 was discontinued because of World War II. The American Motorcycling Association noted it was “in the interests of national defense” that the event was canceled. On February 24, 1947, the famous motorcycle race resumed and promoted by the legendary Bill France. Newspaper stories of the period recount that the city fathers asked townsfolk to open their homes to the visiting motorcyclists because all hotel rooms and camping areas were filled to capacity.
Today Bike Week has transformed into a 10-day festival that expands throughout Volusia County and welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
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