T minus 14 / February 24th – So, here we are 14 wake-ups from swinging a leg over Blue II and heading back to Daytona Beach for yet another bike week! This will be an interesting trip for a number of reasons:
- This is the 75th Daytona Bike Week, which is a pretty big deal. We’re still not sure if the expected extra-large turn-out will be a blessing or a curse; here’s hoping for the former as Daytona Beach owes us!
- Daytona Beach owes us! Regular readers will recall that our visit to last year’s fall edition of Bike Week, aka, Biketoberfest, was truncated at 6:30pm on Friday, October 16th. We’re just about fully recovered, notwithstanding a few scars and sore spots that just won’t fully heal-up, but it will be an important trip for us as we need to close that loop that has remained open since last October.
- This will be the first ride of any significance that we make on Blue II, the 2013 Road King CVO that replaced Blue I after she was damaged beyond economical repair on that fateful night last October.
- If fortune favors us, we’ll be bunking with a group of friends rather than “going ala carte” on our lodging which should increase the fun-factor during the downtime we spend recharging our batteries in our hotel/condo and free-up some cash for other pursuits. Now, if we could just find a way to manufacture some extra guilt-free days off for Miss Debbie!
So, as our excitement builds my attention must now be split in four different ways.
- We need to firm up our accommodations. You’ll recall from last week’s journal, we finally settled on heading down for the 2nd weekend of Bike Week. So, our first “just in case” hotel reservation at the Shores Resort & Spa on 5-8 March has been cancelled. I was able to finally score a new “just in case” hotel reservation at the Hampton Inn – Daytona Shores for 10-13 March for similar $$ and a generous cancellation policy that gives me until 7 March to see if a more affordable, fun-packed condo for eight (8) opens up.
- Sorting out a number of different activities at work to make sure all of the various tasks get covered while I’m out of the office rather than having to work remotely as I’ve done in past years.
- Getting Blue II fully prepped for the trip which will involve some garage time this weekend and a beta test run with Blue II and the BWB (Blue-Wheeled-Box).
- Keeping an eye on the weather, aka,. geezer-porn, to see what we might be in for in the way of any weather that might make the 1,000-mile trip a waste of time. And, as of right now I haven’t got a clue since the very long-range outlook isn’t quite touching on the days we’ll be in Daytona. However, the long-range outlooks typically change quite a bit when they’re this far out so we’ll see what we see here as the trip draws near.
We and our friends who have been on the hunt for accommodations continue to run up against listings on VRBO, HomeAway, etc., where the on-line “your dates are available” and “cost per day” information is nearly worthless. I suspect the brokers/agents are hedging their bets by keeping inquiries coming-in in the event they get a cancellation and using a cost that’s attractive to pull in those inquiries. It’s amazing how $300 ave per day quickly grows to $450 after broker fees, cleaning fees, resort fees and taxes get added-in or, in some cases is simply not the rate, i.e., we’ve seen it jump by 100% on some units.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed that some very nice condos that were undergoing some repair work and not being offered for rent just were released to the market. My gut tells me that they’ll fall into that category of “too good to be true” in terms of the daily ave cost and with regard to minimum numbers of days per stay, but we’ll see. Miracles do happen.
Again, I suspect as we get into the actual week before the event and 3 – 10 day cancellation windows ahead of reservations a lot of properties will come on the market at reasonable rates and for whatever days they can book as brokers/agents try to make sure they generate revenue for themselves and their clients on one of the 10 or so prime weekends of the year.
More to follow in the coming days.