Motorcycles are coming.....maybe

May 13, 2013 -- 10:55am

I've lived in the Myrtle Beach area for 26 years now and I've learned when to avoid the touristy spots.   I also know when it's safe to be on the highways and when to take the backroads.   We're a tourist mecca...that's what the Grand Strand has hung its hat it confused me to no end a handful of years ago, when several area governments decided they wanted to pass laws and rules to run motorcyclists out of town.     In case you don't know, May along the Grand Strand is essentially Bike Month...with the Harleys here for 10 days followed by sport-bikes here Memorial Day weekend.      In the late 90s and early 00s, both rallies became a bit over-grown, closing down highways with traffic and pretty-much making it impossible to get around.      It started to regulate itself and get back to a more managable size when rules were passed to require helmets and to restrict where, and how many, vendors could set up.     That led to several years of motorcycle-less highways during May - which was the intent - but it also devastated businesses that rely on tourists.       Things ARE starting to come back somewhat, but they will never be back to levels we saw in previous decades.    That's a shame.   We are a tourist community and should welcome any group that wants to come here and spend money.   Like any group, if they break the local laws, they will be held accountable...but we shouldn't pass special laws aimed solely at them.       It's always been my contention that there are more residents that are either in favor of the bike rallies or who are indifferent to them...than those who are against them.   It's just that the anti-bike forces are better organized, and have more money, power and political sway than the pro-bike groups.       

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