Saturday, May 01, 2010

Thunder Beach

This week is the spring visit for "bikers" called Thunder Beach. Starting last Monday, bikers of all types started rolling into Panama City Beach. Each day the numbers grew along with the crescendo of the exhaust pipes. Thursday I was in my favorite lunch place and the waitress told me that starting on Friday they would be crushed with diners. That afternoon I parked off Front Beach road and watched as hundreds of bikes rolled by. I was told that a minimum of 50,000 bikes would be here. Yesterday the numbers visibly increased along with the constant volume of vibrating exhaust.

I happen to like the biker scene and enjoy watching and listening to the sounds. Every conceivable make of bike along with eye catching customs can be seen just by sitting along the road. I estimate that close to 10% are women riders. I heard that the original estimate of 50,000 might be way low. The roar of the exhaust is constant with no letup. The roads around the beach are jammed. Roadside vendors are hawking their wares. It is a colorful scene filled with colorful characters.

So far no one has been seriously hurt and I am pleased by that. While they are a wild crowd there is not the drinking that was part of spring break. I will look forward to their return next year.

Next major event will be the Iron man Triathlon. They are definitely a much quieter group, but one that I don't look forward too. When they are practising they will ride 6 and 7 across tying up a lane. They cause me more inconvenience than the bikers. However, they come and spend and help the economy. One can only hope that our white sand beaches be spared fro the ever increasing oil spill.

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