Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Myrtle Beach Rally 2009

As a 17 year resident of Monroe, NC and being only 2 1/2 hrs from MB, I spent a lot of time at the beach. I was pretty ticked when I heard of the city's plans to put a damper on the rally because it really is a great place to vacation. You simply cant beat the hotel rates right on the beach because it is considered their "off" season for both the spring & fall rallies.

So anyway, I decided to send an email to the city manager and do a little complaining. You know, sometimes it just plain feels good to gripe a little, and sometimes things actually change for the better when you do!

The following is my original email and his response. I think it would be a great idea to make our voices heard on this issue, especially about the helmet law within city limits. How stupid is that?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 3:15 PM
To: Tom Leath Myrtle Beach, SC City Manager
Subject: Motorcycle Rally letdown

Dear Mr. Leath,

I'm writing today to express my deep regret in regard to your fine city deciding to harass the motorcycling community by instituting new laws pertaining to the spring and fall motorcycle rallies..

I think I ( as well as most who have been attending the rallies over the years) know exactly what group of revelers is responsible for this drastic measure, and I can sympathize with your dilemma.

However, it would seem a much better course of action would have been to simply enforce the laws already on the books, not create new ones that make no sense (i.e.; helmet laws within city limits in a State that does not require helmets). Seriously, do you think this will really keep the problem segment away? I don’t. These people will come and probably be an even bigger pain than they were before! Its like outlawing firearms, ya know?....only outlaws will then have guns.......

My wife and I intend to come to MB during the spring Rally in celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary in spite of what appears to be your city's efforts to harass people like us. Please know this, we are not the hell raising, excessive drinking, fighting, trouble makers you are trying to "punish", but normal, decent hard working middle class Americans who's chosen form of recreation is the all American Motorcycle. I think your making a huge mistake by lumping all motorcycle enthusiasts’ into one misconceived clan!

Apparently we will now be made to feel uncomfortable while riding in your city because of the actions of the stereotypical, troublemakers.

This is truly sad

Mark & Lori
Catawissa, Pa
Mark and Lori, thank you for your email.

If this is any consolation, no one here is very happy about where we are, including the governing officials. We have three motorcycle rallies that last for three weeks during the month of May. Two Harley rallies and a sport bike rally. It is not true that all of our problems are during the sports bike rally. We have problems during all three rallies. What started out as a weekend rally 68 years ago, now is three rallies with hundreds of thousands of bikes. That concentration and duration is more than we should have to deal with.

We are anti-rally and not anti-motorcycle. I am glad that you are planning to come in the Spring because I think you will enjoy the area regardless of whether all of the elements of the various rallies are still in place. 13 million visit during times when we do have rallies and enjoy all that we have to offer.

As for the helmet law. We wish that the State of South Carolina would pass a helmet law. Council, based on history, knows that several will die during these rallies and feel that a helmet would have prevented most if not all of those deaths. Having an event and knowing that people who attend will die is a pretty daunting feeling. If a helmet saves even one person from death or serious injury, then Council will feel that did the right thing.

Tom Leath
City Manager


  1. This is a great post, and a well thought out and well written letter.

  2. No matter how much I hear about this whole clusterf*ck, I just can't help but think that all of these new ordinances and negative publicity are just going to keep the honest law-abiding citizens away. And the bad-azz, think-we're-bad?-then-watch-THIS, rebel-rousing, trouble-makers are still going to come, but with an F-U attitude. I just have a really bad feeling that all of this could backfire in MB city officials' faces.

  3. Thats exactly what I told him. Guess we'll have to wait & see......

  4. Yeah, this makes about as much sense as Nevada and Las Vegas. Last time I rode into Nevada helmets were required throughout the state EXCEPT in the Las Vegas city limits. ???? I don't know which one is more ass backwards.

    Everyone has an agenda, in the end it's the one who can outlast and battle the longest who will win. Your letter is another soldier for the fight. Most people don't have time or bother to take the time to put up a fight. That is why all these laws get passed.

    I have been MIA for awhile. Nice blog brother.

  5. Nice letter. I'm surprised you got a response at all.

  6. So, Myrtle Beach wants bikers to come to their little place of the world, but not hundreds of thousands of them for three weeks in the month of May. Organizers should have gotten together and solved this before the Council had to.

    Seems like there is too much of a good thing in Myrtle Beach. Makes me wonder when 2 or 3 other Johnny Come Lately idiots will organize rallies in Sturgis and screw that up also.