The History of Bike Week
Daytona Beach, Florida
Bike Week has its inauguration on January 24, 1937 with the first running of the Daytona 200. The first race took place south of Daytona Beach on a 3.2 mile course, and the first winner was Ed Kretz of Monterey Park, CA . with a speed that averaged 73.34 mph.
After running thru the years 1937 through 1941 , the Daytona 200 was discontinued in 1942 because of the rationing that was part of World War II. However, even though the racing event was "officially" called off, people still gathered, and the "unofficial" party that is now known as Bike Week had begun.
The famous motorcycle race resumed in February 1947. Promoted by Bill France, the race drew a record 176 riders. The race changed once again in 1948, when a new beach - road course was used . Located near Ponce Inlet, the new course measured 4.1 miles. The last Daytona 200 with the beach-road course was held there in 1960. In 1961, the world reknowned race found a new home at Daytona International Speedway.
Bike Week has evolved over the years, with the event becoming more structured when a special task force was organized after the 1986 event. Today Bike Week is an exciting a 10-day festival that expands throughout Volusia County. Enjoyed by locals and motorcycle enthusiasts world wide, Daytona Beach Bike Week welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.