Welcome to RideMyrtleBeach.com
2011 Spring Rally IS ON! This year's event will be held May 13-22nd, 2011. Even though the city of Myrtle Beach is no longer sponsoring the event or permitting vendors in the city limits, the rest of the Grand Strand area ready to welcome you!!
This rally, also known as "Myrtle Beach Bike Week" or "Myrtle Beach Fall Rally" will be promoted as "THE GRAND STRAND BIKE RALLY!". Approximately 300,000 people make their way to the rally area for the 10-day event. The festivities include motorcycle racing, vendors, concerts, and parties. The event contends with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as one of the most popular motorcycle rally in the United States.
Myrtle Beach City Ban
In 2008, the Myrtle Beach City Council announced it would no longer host motorcycle rallies, and approved a set of ordinances on September 23, 2008 that attempted to make Black Bike Week impossible. Fifteen laws were passed, restricting muffler noise, requiring helmets within city limits, limiting parking to two bikes per space, restricting loitering in parking lots, and more. In spite of this, Black Bike Week 2009s' attendance was only reduced slightly. Vendors, hotels, biker groups and promoters are attempting to schedule events for Black Bike Week 2010 despite the Myrtle Beach governments' ban.
The Myrtle Beach budget to fight lawsuits was $350,000 in 2004, increased from $250,000 to $275,000 in previous years because the city knew it would be defending itself against the NAACP lawsuit.
In anticipation of the 2010 Harley Bike Week rally, a local Harley-Davidson dealership has said events would still take place for their bike week event, but on a reduced schedule of only 5 days, May 11 to 16, while the web site Myrtle Beach Bike Week, LLC says a full-length rally of May 7–16 will take place. Both sources say there will be no vendors inside the city limits of Myrtle Beach during the Harley Bike Week, and they both encourage attendees to boycott the city and patronize those communities and businesses outside the city which do support Harley Bike Week.
The Myrtle Beach Convention Center has ceased attempting to find a replacement for the Carolina Harley-Davidson Dealers Association, which has moved to Hard Rock Park. The reason for moving The Carolina Harley-Davidson Dealers Association event to New Bern in 2009 was that Myrtle Beach, "passed all these silly laws, they said we ruined their May, so we talked about it and decided to oblige them," said Gene Lummus, former president of the association.
Another proposed rally, a Harley Owners Group convention, would take place May 18–22, 2010, at North Myrtle Beach, about 15 miles (24 km) up the coast from Myrtle Beach.
Helmet Law Struck Down
On June 8, 2010 the South Carolina Supreme Court overturned a Myrtle Beach city ordinance requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets, on the grounds that the state law, requiring helmets only for riders under age 21, cannot be preempted by a city ordinance. The court ruled unanimously that in addition to the priority of state law, the local ordinance created undue confusion for motorists, and that the city itself had invalidated their helmet ordinance and some other ordinances also passed to suppress motorcycle rallies, in a subsequent amendment. The ruling took effect immediately, requiring that pending citations be dismissed, the records of those cited under the ordinance be expunged, and all fines collected be returned.
The state Supreme Court had heard arguments on February 3, 2010 in a lawsuit by two groups of plaintiffs seeking to overturn the ordinance. One group of plaintiffs was made up of 49 motorcyclists who had been cited for not wearing helmets in Myrtle Beach. The second plaintiff was the organization Business Owners Organized to Save Tourism (BOOST) along with South Carolina State Representative Thad Viers. BOOST's mission includes ending "the practice of ‘selective tourism,’ whereby government entities and/or organizations welcome some individual and group tourists but discourage others." Viers, a Republican representing Myrtle Beach, said, "There's certain things cities can do, and making up their own traffic laws is not one of them. I believe the law and the constitution are on our side."
During the hearing in February, Justice Don Beatty said to Mike Battle, Myrtle Beach's lawyer, that, "I realize the issue is narrow here, but don’t pretend like we don’t know what’s going on. We read. We all know why the city," passed the ordinances, questioning whether the intent of the law was not to promote safety but rather to curtail motorcycle rallies. Justice Costa Pleicones told Viers that the city's interest in regulating noise, lewd behavior and nuisances was legitimate.
In defense of the ordinance, the city's court filings argued six key points, among them that their helmet law was constitutional and did not contradict the state traffic code. Myrtle Beach's attorney Mike Battle also argued that because the state law was silent on whether adults must wear helmets, only addressing riders under 21, that cities had the freedom to make their own laws with respect to those over 21. Battle also argued that the benefits of the helmet law were greater than the inconvenience.
The ruling prompted speculation that motorcyclists would return to Myrtle Beach in greater numbers. Some motorcycle rally participants immediately booked rooms for the next year, while others vowed never to return to Myrtle Beach, instead favoring businesses outside the city limits.
|Myrtle Beach Hotels||Myrtle Beach Pictures|