Myrtle Beach wins back Bike Week

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Bikers are discovering businesses that have been here for years for the first time this week. They are riding through the city instead of around. The riders are also changing.

Bikers have been riding from Murrells Inlet to North Myrtle Beach. No longer are they going around Myrtle Beach using Highway 31. They are coming right through the center of the city and making pit stops along the way.

"The more and more people that come through Myrtle Beach, it gives everybody an opportunity to grab that piece of the pie that we've been looking for the past couple of years when the bikes left and were actually boycotting Myrtle Beach," explains Doane Widenhouse, Owner of Barrel Sports Bar and Grill.

The Barrel Sports Bar and Grill is right in the center of the popular ride from North to South Strand. Market Common is also in the middle. Some bikers got so caught up in boycotting the city, they admit they've been missing out.

"We had no idea that you know... this complex existed ... it's a beautiful area its very nice," admits Vincent Breslin. Breslin has been riding from New York since 1999.

Bikes have been lining the shops at Market Common, which some say has been very uncommon in the past. Hundreds of bikers came in to move the Healing Wall.

"Some of the rides are actually bringing the bikers into the beach and they're getting a good turn out. They're coming to the bars here in the beach for a ride," says the Odays. The Odays rode in with the Healing Wall.

Local bikers are noticing even the riders are different. They are younger.

"The younger people aren't used to the rally scene ... everything's new to them. They aren't used to the contests going on. There's always something going on in the rally and they're looking for something new," explains Angelo Miller.

Bar owners say the rally provides something unique that you wouldn't see anywhere else.

"Rarely do you see a guy that's 20-21 years old hanging out with someone that's 70, but they have something in common and that's riding motorcycles and having a good time," says the owner of Full Throttle Saloon, Michael Ballard.

The biker community is hoping this is the year where the rally will finally come back to life and say judging from what they've seen so far and the new group that's taken interest, it will be.

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