The 2016 Daytona Beach Bike Week will be the 75th anniversary of the event. Although today, Bike Week is now one of the largest motorcycle events in the world with endless attractions, it all started in 1937 with the first running of the Daytona 200.
The first Daytona 200, also called the “Handlebar Derby” back then, was a 3.2 mile course that was very cool as it included both riding on the beach and the road. Ed Kretz won the first race on an Indian motorcycle with an average speed of just over 73 mph.
In 1941, due in large part to the implementation of WWII rationing of tires, fuel, metal, and engine components, the annual race temporarily discontinued. Although the race was not being held, people still showed up to party and for non-racing events.
After the War in 1947, the Daytona 200 resumed. In 1948, the race moved towards Ponce Inlet to a 4.1 mile beach and road course. The final race that included riding on the beach was held in 1960 and after that the race moved to the Daytona International Speedway. The Speedway will host the 75th inaugural Daytona 200, a lot of other racing action and many other attractions. It is one of the main hubs for Daytona Bike Week and definitely a “must see.”