Getting ready for Myrtle Beach’s fall bike rally

For Weekly SurgeSeptember 26, 2013 

On Aug. 3 Ken Piuma, James Major, Jr., and Donnie Becker all perished in a plane crash in Conway. They will be remembered Saturday with a poker run benefitting three charities in their honor: Donnie’s Memorial Fund, local Alzheimer’s Association, and Boston Terriers Rescue of S.C.

The run will begin at The Boathouse at 201 Fantasy Harbor Blvd., Myrtle Beach at 11:30 a.m. with the last stop between 3:20-6:30 p.m. at Sundown Sports Pub in downtown Surfside Beach with a pig pickin’. The ride will also go to Harley Roadhouse, Dead Dog Saloon, and Beaver Bar.

The entry fee is $15 per person and there will be raffles, silent auctions and 50/50 drawings at each stop. For more information, contact Andrea Jenkins at 424-2903.

CRUISE THE LOOP

Cruise the Loop is being promoted as next week’s Myrtle Beach area fall motorcycle rally’s largest poker run. The 90-mile ride is hosted by Suck, Bang, Blow and a relatively new Web site dedicated to motorcycle news and events along the Grand Strand, www.BikeWeekMB.com.

The Web site was created and is maintained by the folks at NextMedia, parent company to several radio stations including local, classic rock fixture WAVE 104.1, which once dubbed itself as “The Official Soundtrack of Bike Week.” Hearkening back to the rallies’ glory days, the station will once again turn its full attention to local and visiting bikers leading up to and during the rally which starts Wednesday (Oct. 2) and runs through Oct. 6.

I spoke to NextMedia’s Bike Week MB Program Director, Mark Krom, who explained many of the company’s advertising customers expressed a desire to help re-grow the motorcycle rallies that have suffered in the wake of efforts by Myrtle Beach officials to drive them away. While the rallies seem to be gradually improving, Krom’s clients said they, “…wish we had the volume of business we used to [during the motorcycle rallies].” Krom explained, “Last spring, we decided to invest…in developing Bike Week MB, a dedicated Web site…to promote the Myrtle Beach bike rallies…[and] perform a public relations service by communicating within this market and outside the market to promote the Bike Weeks in a positive way…to over 500 biker groups, motorcycle clubs, Harley dealers, ABATE chapters, etc. to inform them of the new venues and events...and the commitment of local businesses to make the Myrtle Beach Bike Weeks a better experience than in recent years.”

In recent years the bulk of the rally activities which used to spread throughout the Grand Strand have become more concentrated in Murrells Inlet. Burroughs & Chapin has taken over management of the North Myrtle Beach Barefoot Landing shopping complex and apparently nixed a long history of hosting rally vendors there, which will only serve to further concentrate activities on the south end. The 90-mile poker run, according to Krom, is intended to help spread the rally-goers’ business back out (and among his clients). The ride will begin and end at Suck, Bang, Blow’s original location, which is now the biker bar’s only locale following the closing of SBB Four Corners at the end of the 2013 spring rally. Riders will stop at Big Tuna in Georgetown; Capt. Seaweeds at Bucksport Marina; Gas Stop in Conway; the Myrtle Beach Speedway; and The Boathouse on the Intracoastal Waterway just west of Myrtle Beach proper.

While there are no plans to host vendors at the Myrtle Beach Speedway during the fall rally as was the case during the spring rally back in May, participants of the Loop ride will again be allowed to take five laps around the ½-mile race track on their motorcycles. (According to Krom, the MB Speedway owners do plan to host vendors and special events again during next year’s spring rally.) He also excitedly told me about the 5,000-square-foot Tiki Bar at Bucksport Marina’s 35-acre location; and told me how successful the ride was at bringing extra business to Georgetown during the inaugural loop in May. With more than 300 riders in the last run they not only filled the Georgetown stop, but surrounding businesses, as well. He credits combining his run with the existing SBB ride for the large number of participants.

The ride will take place from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Oct. 3. Riders can sign up from 10 a.m. until noon at Suck, Bang, Blow, at 3393 U.S. 17 Business in Murrells Inlet. There is no entry fee, but participants are encouraged to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project at the ride stops. Prizes will include $200 cash for the best and worst hands, $100 to a random rider, and other cool stuff such as a ‘Biker Barn’ man cave neon sign from Myrtle Beach Neon Works. There will also be a free BBQ supper (while it lasts) compliments of Keystone Smokehouse. Oh, how I miss riding!

Be sure to check out a fall rally extra edition of Ridin’ With Big E in the Oct. 3 Weekly Surge (and online) for more can’t-miss action and event listings.

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