Rude Bikers NOT Welcome

by May 3, 2009 • 61 comments

You know, I’ve been trying to remain positive among all the noise dealing with the “biker” mentality. I know they bring a lot of money into our area and they are great for local businesses, no matter what you say. I talked to a friend that has his hands in several resorts and said that over this weekend, many of his properties are rented 100% and the others are in the 80’s and 90’s. But I digress.

I just want to share an experience with everyone and hopefully a few bikers will read it and share it with their friends.  This experience was not pleasant, and unfortunately (or thankfully for the bikers) I was not present when it happened, but it really hit close to home and severely affected my tone and attitude towards the “biker-crowd” this weekend. As my wife recounted her experience, almost being brought to tears, my blood boiled.  I grew angrier than I had been in a long time, and I angered more at the fact that there was nothing I could do about it.  Being a follower of Christ, I do pretty good at turning the other cheek when it’s just me involved, but bring my family into it?  And the story changes.

As my wife was traveling down Back Beach Road Friday, after going through the intersection of the newly renamed R Jackson Blvd, she had passed through the intersection in the far right “passing” lane.  With her turn-signal on, she patiently waited for an open spot in the center lane as her lane was quickly ending.  I emphasize the word patient, because she is patient, I am not.  She found a hole, (or so she’d thought) and merged in.  Of course, being Thunder Beach, there were bikers everywhere, and she happened to have pulled in front of several that were non-to-happy about it.

At this point, she being in the right lane, one of the bikers went up the right side of her mini-van and another sped past her on her left side.  They pulled in front of her and slammed on their brakes.  “I thought I was going to hit them,” she said, “two bikers with no helmets slammed on their brakes in front of me, I thought I was going to hit them.”  They slowed her and the traffic behind her to 20 mph on Back Beach Road.

After a few minutes, she changed lanes to go around them, and they cut her off, preventing her from passing.  Of course, at this point, she honked only to be rebutted with the middle finger the two bikers in front of her.  They then slowed even more, went to the side of her mini-van and began yelling profanities, with MY kids in the car.

Of course, at this time in the story, she’s almost crying.  “I was scared, I had my kids in the car, it was like I was in the movies, I couldn’t believe this was happening, they were yelling at me, saying bad words, my kids could here it and were scared, I’m a mom in a mini-van, how big could this make them feel?”  Good question, how big could this make them feel, yelling at a mom in a mini-van with three kids in the car traveling down Back Beach Road.

Could she had made a better decision in her merging into traffic?  Sure, we can always find fault in what we do in order to have a different outcome.  But, what gave the right to those bikers to harass a mom in a mini-van with kids. So someone pulls in front of  you, and you don’t like it, do you pull up next to her and yell profanities to her and her children?  Does that make you feel all big and tough?  If you read this, if you are the one that did this and you read this, you are a coward.  You are not welcome in Panama City Beach again.  You can keep your money.  Rude bikers are not welcome here.

When you come to Panama City Beach, we don’t owe you anything because you pump life into our economy for 3 lousy days.  This is our town, we live here.  You can’ t expect everyone to make sacrifices because of you.  Everyone is watching you, and if you don’t play nice, you’re going to hack off the wrong people, and at some point, you won’t be welcome here anymore either.

We can have a pieceful coexistence.  We do enjoy the business and the money you bring our area, but if you are going to act like a bunch of jerks while you’re here, then don’t come back.

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1 Concerned Owner May 3, 2009 at 1:31 pm

That getting in front of you with the bike and putting on the breaks briefly is as old a trick as the bike is. I had it happen to me once when some clown did that. It only works once, but I guess they know enough not to try it a second time as if it had happened again I would have rode right over him.

Another thing they like to do is get right next to you and kick in your door or fender, they all wear those heavy biker boots, of course as soon as they do it they speed off and you can’t catch them.

But hey, who was it on here that way saying how a lot of these bikers are nice doctors and lawyers and so respectable????


2 Concerned Owner May 3, 2009 at 1:57 pm

2 minor items:
1) What is this “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” business? What needs to be ‘moderated’???

2) This is sort of a generic comment that could go on this or any post about the spring breakers/bikers. I’ll put it here since this is the newest thread.

I keep reading about how much money the bikers bring in to PCB. Let’s think about this for a few minutes.

Most probably come for 2 nights at perhaps a room charge of $75-100 a night double occupancy, if you don’t like that figure make up your own and factor it in. The 2 people on the bike can eat only so much food in 3 days and use up only a small amount of gas.

I doubt they do a lot of shopping at stores, maybe some T-shirts or post cards, but they are not going to carry much home on their bikes.

So someone tell me where is all this money they are bringing in? Max $200 for motel, another $180 for food for 2 for 3 days, $20 for gas, $50 for Tshirts etc and $150 for booze, so we have at most $600 and probably more like $500 for 2 people over 3 days x however many 2 persons on the bikes.

Who does the money go to? Motels, restaurants and those junky shops along front beach rd. For this pitance twice a year we have those 6 days of BS where we might as well just stay home as the roads are jammed with bikes and we have a heck of a lot of noise at all hours and bad tempered drunks.

So 98% of the residents have to put up with this so that 2% can make some money? I think the bikers need to find some other city to have their meetings. Don’t get me started on the spring break crowd, that is for some other post.


3 bear February 9, 2010 at 10:18 am

i don’t no were you get your figures me and my friends spend on a average of eight to nine hundred dollars every year each on of us


4 Stephanie May 3, 2009 at 2:18 pm

I’m appalled by this. Being a biker I’m disappointed that other “fellow” bikers would act like this. It’s ashame that one bad incident could leave an impression on not only an adult but your children as well.

This is a poor representation of the community.


5 Hunter Palmer May 3, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Very sad story. I, too, try to embrace the biker events knowing they bring much needed money to our economy. But, like some Spring Breakers and some snowbirds, a few bad apples can taint our entire experience with certain visitors. While we strive to ‘turn the other cheek’ some forget that people actually live here. I am for a “Be Nice…I’m a Local” campaign that might help educate our tourist friends to not take our hospitality for granted. Sorry your wife and kids had to be subjected to that.


6 Slim May 3, 2009 at 11:13 pm

It was unfortunate that this happened to your wife, BUT this if not a true representation of all bikers! There are good people, and bad people in all walks of life, and it’s like you are stereotyping all bikers in your comments. Would you have even written this if it had been a couple of guys in cars? Would you be saying you don’t want people in cars to come there? Get my point? For all we know, it could have been a couple of local boys, rednecks from your community! Doesn’t matter whether it’s cars or motorcycles, road rage is a problem all over, and at the first sign of a problem she should have pulled into the closest store, gas station etc. It’s what the police advise people to do in that situation, so that they don’t end up dead. I am in no way saying your wife was at fault in any of it, but she does need to exercise caution!


7 Josh Helms May 4, 2009 at 8:59 am

I am a part time resident in Panama City Beach. As a condo owner on the west end of PCB I brought my family this past weekend to the beach.I had the same experience as Jason when my 13 y.o. daughter was sexually harrassed by 2 or 3 30 year old bikers.I AGREE. You guys are not welcome.No amount of money is worth this.These guys are nothing but a bunch of sexual predators.


8 Eric T Henderson May 4, 2009 at 9:46 am

I too am sorry to hear of some bikers that have tainted their reputation here in bay county. I have ridden at thunder beach multiple times and have always enjoyed nice rides with really nice people. No woman deserves to be threatened as she was with her kids involved and for sure no teenage girl should EVER be involved in any situation with a sexual tone to it. As a biker myself, I apologize for those uncomfortable situations that happened this weekend to both families that have written here on this post.


9 Andy May 4, 2009 at 10:35 am

I agree with the poster who said we shouldn’t stereotype the biker crowd. Whether these idiots were on a bike or in a car, it was a simple case of road rage and it shouldn’t have happened. Your wife and kids did not deserve to be harassed like that, but it could have happened on any weekend, not just during Thunder Beach.

On another note, your wife showed class by NOT reacting to them.


10 Cindy May 4, 2009 at 11:29 am

That is a sad thing that some people try and ruin things for the one’s that do try and act like normal people that just enjoy riding there bikes. My husband and I are some of the normal everyday people that do enjoy these events that are like a mini vacation for us. The only problem with this is did the mom in the mini van actually pull in front of the motorcycles and made them almost wreck? The reason I say this is because we have had this too happen to us many times because people in vehicles do not realize how hard it is to stop the motorcycle’s quickly without wrecking them. Maybe they were rude in the way they handled the situation but the mom should also have maybe handled it differently also! But don’t give the bikers a bad name just because of one instance because they are alot of good ones out there!


11 Jason Koertge May 4, 2009 at 11:37 am

Cindy, there was a sizable gap, plenty large enough to accommodate several cars. With her turn signal on, it seemed apparent that the gap was intended to let her in.

I own a motorcycle and have several friends that are bikers. I know that most are not like this. I talked to many people over the weekend that were great people.

I’m also quite aware that a car could have done the same thing, but the point was and the intention of the article is to point out that just because we enjoy the business, it doesn’t mean that the visitors to our area can frequent PCB and just act as they will.


12 Slim May 4, 2009 at 11:51 am

Josh Helms, I just read a story about a cop who raped a woman, so I guess all cops are rapist. I read a story about a mother who killed her baby, so I guess all mothers are murdering baby killers. I read a story about a business man that murdered his family, then committed suicide, so I guess all business men are murdering suicidel maniacs. We bikers, or as you say we all are, sexual predators have raised more money on average to help children, families, and individuals than any other group of people in this country. You don’t have to fill out forms, or meet requirements like with any other agency, because we do what we do from our hearts to help those in need. God forbid that you or anyone in your family ends up needing financial help for medical reasons, but we would rise to the occasion and even help someone that thinks we are ALL SEXUAL PREDATORS!


13 Gary Stoneking May 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Slim, Cindy and others posting in this thread: I think you are overlooking the “persona” part of being “a biker”. Many of these folks are accountants, lawyers, mechanics, even home-makers, in their every-day lives. Dress them in leathers, put them on a motorcycle, though, and they become “counter-culture” bad-boys, just like in the movies. It’s part of the gig, don’t you think, at least for some in the bike culture? What impresses me about Jason’s wife’s situation is how incredibly STUPID these guys are for pulling in front of the (already shaken) mini-van mom and slamming on their brakes! Talk about suicidal; that conduct takes the top prize.


14 Jason Cochran May 4, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Concerned owner you are an idiot sir. Everything in your argument is poor and not thought out! if you take that figure you have in your head, and multiply it by 10,000 you get good number, and that’s bare minimum. Get off your high horse, you live in a TOURIST TOWN. There is no reason for you to complain, none. If you are upset you are not getting your a piece of the pie then open a business on the strip or stop complaining. Also what gives you the right to say 98% of the people do not want bikers??? Now to the article i wanted to comment on. Do not let 2 bikers who were acting out because they felt they had that right ruin your image of the majority of bikers…..It was sour apples…Even the most beautiful of trees has a couple bad apples, but is that going to stop you from eating the other ones? The purpose of the analogy is s#%@ happens. I know you are even more enraged because it happened to your wife and kids and i would be mad to. but to single out the entire biker community by stating “you won’t be welcome here anymore either.” is wrong. While you have the right to be mad, please do not put this incident on the majority of bikers.


15 Jason Cochran May 4, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Also JH…My parents put on a Motorcycle show…all proceeds go to charity..all..dont just look at the bad


16 USRiderNews May 4, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Jason, my apologies to your wife and children. There’s no reason for that type of behavior. Those bikers are idiots, especially for slamming on the brakes in front of 6000 lb vehicle. I can assure you and your posters that while there are some who use the “we bring a lot of money” argument to excuse bad behavior, most of us realize that no town welcomes tourists who behave like juvenile delinquents. So let’s do everyone a favor, don’t lump us all as sexual predators, and we won’t lump you as ignorant hicks.


17 Concerned Owner May 4, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Concerned owner you are an idiot sir. Everything in your argument is poor and not thought out! . . . My parents put on a Motorcycle show

I think your post makes clear who the ‘idiot’ is.


18 ashley k May 4, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Earlier this week I posted a comment to the Thunder Beach complainers- something like- suck it up TBeach is only a week-but i am so eating my words now- i can honestly say that 98% of my experiences with Thunder Beach bikers have been negative but it is what it is- this experience happened to me (i am Jason’s wife) and I will never forget it- my kids and I were both freaked and scared- my kids kept saying “why is he yelling at us, why is he yelling at us”- i was on my way to pick up my eldest son from school and was late- due to the extended harassment of these bikers- i had no idea that what i was doing was wrong- i think that a city wanting to create or promote a family friendly atmosphere does not include Motorcycle rallies- like i said-if this was my only bad biker experience that would be one thing- but it isn’t- i guess this is an appropriate event to follow our nutso spring break- it seems like spring break part 2


19 D Bship February 15, 2011 at 8:40 pm

I live in PCB over half the year…….I will retire here soon…..I am a teacher……..I love the kids I teach, and I also Love riding my Harley……..The Bikers were wrong, and I’m not even going to get into the $$$ side……It is absolutely ridiculous for you as a mother, or anyone to stereotype all bikers! I have sat on the beach during the summer and watched drunks raise all kinds of Cain while I tried to hide it from my 12 year old daughter…….it is what it is! You live in a tourist town for almost 8 months….if you don’t understand what that encompasses then I suggest you move elsewhere…..just a suggestion.


20 Ms Condo May 5, 2009 at 6:23 am

slim is, well, thin minded!


21 Maureen May 5, 2009 at 9:46 am

My husband is a biker but he is not a sexual predator and he doesn’t begin to come off as a “counter-culture” bad boy, even in his leather chaps. They do serve a purpose though. He too would be outraged by the bad actions of a few. He has a daughter and grandson who live in PCB and it could easily have been them the bikers harassed. But these actions were committed by a few and not the majority of bikers. It doesn’t minimize what Jason’s wife and children endured, but it also shouldn’t serve to demonize all bikers.


22 JOHN May 5, 2009 at 10:02 am



23 Concerned Owner May 5, 2009 at 10:11 am

Bruce says in part: 1) most people trailer their bikes

2) If you are going to take our money then SHUT UP about us being there

Since I was about 20% of his post I will reply to a few minor items. Unlike Bruce I don’t hide behind a made up screen name, my various blog sites are easily clicked on at my screen name and have my contact info all over them. Anyone who wants to spend 3 minutes scrolling them can find out all about me and my complaints about our condo in PCB.

as to: #1 above, that ‘most’ people trailer their bikes. That is just baloney, most would mean that over 50% do and the actual % is perhaps 2%. I drove into PCB from Dothan on 231 one Sunday 3 or so rallys ago and got a real good look at those leaving and Bruce should be ashamed of such over the top statements. Makes people think the rest of his post is as wrong as this (& it is).

as to #2, this sort of ‘take it or leave it’ BS attitude is just what the problem is. So Bruce just stay home we don’t need you or your pals here in Bay County. We don’t ‘owe’ you a darn thing!

As to rentals, our condo wouldn’t allow 3 day rentals, as much as I think our condo management sucks, even to suing them, they did crack down on the 706 unit when they were taking weekly rentals via VRBO adverts. You couldn’t pay me enough to let some bikers rent my place.

For the moment the City administration is in the hands of the developers/retail store owners and this bunch likes the biker/spring break crowd. Both Daytona and Fart Lauderdale, oops, meant Fort Lauderdale (lived there for 5 yrs) went thru this for many years and finally gave the spring breakers the word that their nonsense was over, it will happen here eventually but we will need more complaints about spring breakers or bikers before the current administration pulls the plug.


24 USRiderNews May 5, 2009 at 10:14 am

Copy and paste this link into a web browser. You will see that motorcyclist are victims too.


25 Karen May 5, 2009 at 10:50 am

Hoo-ray for Bruce # 19!!! You said it all and I completely agree. We had a wonderful time this weekend and yes…we live here full time, we work full time and own a bike. I would much rather eliminate the spring breaker crowd any day instead of the Thunder Beach group that absolutely without a doubt brings in multiple numbers of revenue to our county!!!
What do the spring breakers bring to us…we ALL know the answers to that…NOTHING but drunken kids, trash everywhere, extreme damages to where they end up staying and so little money (fast food and beer, big deal), all you whiny, complaining, ungrateful people out there…Bruce is right…what are you wanting? Families only…are you kidding? Do you actually think that families (during the 3-4 months there here on vacation) will bring our county enough revenue to help us out for the entire year? Don’t you people understand that in order to keep us tax payers from getting nailed harder than we already are that we need as much revenue as possible? I’m sure all of you condo and vacation home owners that have complained about the bikers are now smiling all the way to the bank from the revenue YOU received by renting to the bikers! Why don’t all the complainers move out of the “tourist” areas and go live where there are no tourist and have no additional revenue monies. That’s where you belong. And if your retired…you can go get a job somewhere to help offset all the additional monies your going to have to pay out to live in a town where they don’t want revenue from outside sources!
As for Ashley…I feel terrible that this happened to you and your children…no excuses for that behavior!!! If this ever happens to you again whether it’s a biker, car driver, semi trucker, mini van person, whatever…PLEASE pull over into a center or other safe area and call the police. There are crazy road rage drivers in all walks of life. It’s not fair and it’s a closed minded way of looking at things when you lump everyone into specific catagories because one person in any one group does something unacceptable. LAST BUT NOT LEAST…EVERYONE NEEDS TO APOLOGISE TO THE BIKERS FOR CALLING ALL OF THEM SEXUAL PREDATORS. You should be ashamed of yourselves, how dare you say something so disgusting as that!


26 TJ May 5, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Poster “Bruce” needs to learn some message board manners. I hope the site owner deletes his post where he tells other posters to “SHUT UP” and calls them morons and idiots.

I run several message board/blogs and when a troll starts in with the name calling and tries to start a flame war they find their posts deleted and IP banned.


27 Karen May 5, 2009 at 1:52 pm

TJ…it’s called Freedom of Speech!
He didn’t use any foul language, because if he had I would agree that it would need to be stopped too.
It’s people like you that try to “Shut Up” opinions from those you don’t agree with.
So…you’ve NEVER called someone an idiot or moron or told someone to shut up??? Yea right.


28 Jason Koertge May 5, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Karen, TJ is right here. I have to remind you that pcbdaily is a web site owned by a private company that allows comments to be made at its sole discretion. Myself as an owner in the company and moderator on pcbdaily have every right to allow or not allow each and every comment to pass through to be publicly visible.

In other words, if I feel like someone is “flaming” by name calling, being flat out rude, or leading to unproductive conversation, I won’t publish the comment.


29 Jason Koertge May 5, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Oh, and I said it before and I’ll say it again, and I’ll remind everyone that I never said that ALL bikers are like this, nor did I ever say that just because of this one experience that we should never have bikers come here again. BUT, what I did say was that for those of you that do act like this, you COULD ruin it for the rest of the bikers if you hack off the wrong person.

They say that one bad apple won’t ruin the whole bushell, but I would agree that it is a little difficult taking that first bite from one that was resting right next to the rotten one.

Great comments by the way, I greatly appreciate everyone’s participation. I know when conversations get heated, it’s easy to start name calling, etc., but I would appreciate it if you did not resort to that. There is a way to have fruitful conversation without such behavior. And don’t give me any of that crap that if I can’t handle it, then I should get out of the kitchen, because this is my kitchen, and if I don’t want it here, then I won’t tolerate it.

thanks again, and I had tons of fun at the venues. oh and by the way, I also own a motorcycle, but I would never dream of risking whether someone could stop as fast as me by putting on the brakes in front of a 3,000 lbs vehicle, regardless.


30 paul May 5, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Isn’t it illegal to modify the exhaust of a motor vehicle. Shouldn’t the laws be enforced . I left PCB 2 weeks early to avoid the noise. I ride a bike and have for 40 years but do not annoy others with unnecessary pollution and noise


31 TAMMY May 5, 2009 at 4:48 pm

I too am a biker who is ashamed and amazed at some people. We also own 4 properties in pcb so we wish the best for all, including the residents, other visitors and investors. But I think in any large group be it bikers, spring breakers, etc. you will find people that do not respect others and those who do respect and appreciate the time and effort that it takes to have a beautiful city to enjoy like PCB. I too am a christian and know what restraint it can take to deal with what happened to your family. On behalf of decent bikers I am sorry and know that restictions are needed to keep situations under control.


32 Richard May 5, 2009 at 6:54 pm

I really do not know why we keep doing this. Everything we do seems to come down to money. Life is not about money or stuff, it is about relationships. The problem is not bikers, or teenagers, or any other group of people. The problem is about respect. Our respect for the tourist and their respect for us. Respect begins with consequences for misbehavior. Most of the bikers that I have met are well mannered and polite.

Jason, your wife should have used her cell phone and called the police including their license plates. The police should enforce the noise ordnances that we have. Underage drinking is illegal and should be enforced on the spring break crowd. You cannot ignore enforcing the law, and then complain when you do not like the laws people are breaking.

You cannot tell me that the police do not hear the loud bikes. Of course they do, they do not want problems, so they ignore them. This means the bikers intimidate them. This is not good.

We are either a town that has order, or we are not. So far, I would say we are not. This is a real shame because most of us are honest law abiding folks. We need to vote for people that will support us and our interests.


33 ryan May 5, 2009 at 8:47 pm

The money issue is being over estimated. As a condo owner three nights at $100/night isn’t very much money. It doesn’t even pay the HOA for the month, and that money goes to pay expenses anyway. As far as merchandise sales, it looked to me all the on-site vendors were out of towners, so all that money left Bay county on Sunday. And who knows if they even collected and submitted sales tax. The only locals who benefit are the servers and bartenders, who seem to be the only ones that support this event and spring break.


34 Concerned Owner May 5, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Since this thread is very interesting I emailed the direct link to PCB and Bay County commissioners with the suggestion they look in and perhaps post some comments.

Perhaps we will get some input from them?


35 Jason Koertge May 5, 2009 at 11:15 pm

I doubt we’ll see any public comment from them, but I did see Mayor Oberst today who said she’d been following the comments.


36 Bruce May 6, 2009 at 9:34 am


I agree that all bikers should respect the town that come to and I WILL NEVER CONDONE the actions of the bikers that were mentioned out here for what they did to the woman and her children and Josh’s daughter. These are the ones that should stay away since they ruin things for the majority that respect the community the event is held in.

Some states do have exhaust mod laws and others don’t. Most states do not.
I have modified my exhaust, but I did not run up and down the strip seeing how much noise I could make. Also as others stated and I agreed with is that they should have a cutoff time for noise.
I understand the people that live in the communities where things are promoted need rest because of their jobs. I parked my bike at 7pm and drove my truck out of respect for those that live there.

I hope that PCB got the taxes they charged. I know that every vendor that I bought fron collected sales tax (which is fine with me) as long as PCB received them.

Our Club is a Law Enforcement Organization and our Chapter rent a condo for $750.00 for 4 nights there. We looked for condo’s at lower prices but found none. If your realtor is renting them for a $100.00 a night during bike week, then I would look for someone else (no offense intended), I just believe that you could have rented them for much more since we were very happy to only have paid 750.00 for ours.
I know that there are several out here that would like for PCB to be a family only beach and do away with bike week/spring break, etc…that is great if the community could survive on income from only 3 or 4 months of revenue. I don’t know know if it can/can not. I am not a resident, but I have spent every summer there since I was 5 yrs old. 30 years ago, the only people that went to PCB were families from areas like SE Ala, SW GA, etc… there were things for families to bring there children to (ie.. Petticoat Junction, Miracle Strip Amusement Park), but that is all gone now to make way for more Condo’s.

I am not intending to sound like a smart @#@, but if PCB were to revert back to a family only beach (and that would be fine with me), there are many destinations near by that would like to host a bike rally, does the residents there intend to bring back Amusement Parks for families to take there kids to or not. Are the only family activitties going to be putt putt, Shipwreck Island, Pirate Cruise. These are things during daytime (excluding putt putt). What about the evening, children like rides. I would have not wanted to have come down as often as a child had there not be amusement parks. My parents purchased a place at the beach because I enjoyed going down so much and every other weekend I was at Miracle Strip Amusement Park with friends having the time of my life. It was very sad to come down and see such a ICON gone. My son never got the chance to see PCB the way I saw it.

Thank you for your time


37 Corky May 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Hey Jason,

So sorry about what happened on the beach this weekend with your wife. It was unacceptable and should not have happened. I am personally ashamed of the actions by this person and it takes a very weak individual to not be able to handle their emotions and then get frustrated at a mom in a minivan. Truly sad. I also wholeheartedly agree with the title of your article and do not want riders coming here that are not respectful to our local community and its residents. From me to you and to your wife, I am truly sorry she was subject to such rude behavior and will stand beside you in your statements relative to how this type of behavior is NOT acceptable in or out of the rally weekends. If the bikers – or tourists – are not going to respect our community & its citizens, then stay home.

I do want to mention a few things after reading all of these comments, I am a little overwhelmed at the negativity towards all of the attendees of the rally because of one person’s actions. The majority of the folks that come down for the rally truly love and respect our community – see Cebo’s article on how clean everything was – and best of all, keep coming back to Panama City Beach. After four years of working this event and talking with so many of the attendees, I have discovered a large number of these riders return in the summer season with their kids. Believe it or not, a great deal of these riders are our targeted demographic for the summer tourism season. They are very family oriented, have expendable income, live within our 6 hour drive market, and are somewhere between 35 – 55 years of age. Change the clothes on these folks and put them in a Suburban and you’d smile & open the door for them.

I recommend you watch this video shot called the Faces of Thunder Beach shot last year and see if these folks fall into your concept of the stereotypical biker.

Other comments:
Hunter Palmer’s suggestion of “Be nice…I’m a local” is AWESOME! Let’s make t-shirts! 🙂

Concerned Owner – Internal polling during the event and on our online polls show that the average dollar amount spent over and above accommodations is somewhere around $350 per person and $600 per couple. Regardless of where the money is spent – restaurants, rally venues, shops, etc – the tax dollars stay in Bay County. If our attendance matched our Spring 07 numbers, that could translate in as much as $15 to 18 million dollars into our community this weekend. Isn’t that a good thing considering our economy and our dismal winter season?
We also had very few wrecks and only one tragedy – which happened in Destin actually – so if all the bikers were drunk, why weren’t there wrecks all over the beach. Not cool to judge folks like that……

I am not even going to touch on the sexual predator thing as that is far too offensive and the poster should be ashamed of making such a statement.

Lastly, to those that have stood up for the rally and defended what we try to do for our community with this event, we are truly grateful. I personally have tried very hard to market our rally in a way that stays in line with what the TDC and other community leaders have been leaning towards. Although it is a motorcycle rally and I am not trying to attract families to the event per say, we make sure that all of our venues are, at the best of our control, “family safe.” We do no adult entertainment found at other rallies, Thunder Beach sponsors no wet t-shirt contests or the like, and we accept no advertising from adult entertainment facilities. We actually made a paying vendor remove a stripper pole as it went against what we are trying to do with our rally. There is a long term method to the madness so to speak,a my personal approach with our lodging advertisers focuses more on getting those riders back in the summer & winter with their families rather than booking those last minute open rooms. We have received overwhelming support from a large majority of business owners and residents that see the positive aspects this event brings to the community.

I also want all those folks that make negative comments about their experiences to know that I am listening and have garnered a few ideas from comment pages like this to make our rally better as well as alleviate concerns that have not been considered or addressed by my team. I do think this is a great arena for all of the events and activities of the area to learn how to make things work better for all of us.

My 2cents,



38 Keys February 25, 2014 at 8:22 pm

You write so honltsey about this. Thanks for sharing!


39 Kirk Lancaster May 6, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Nice job, Corky.


40 Bring Back PC Beach May 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm

I am old school – I go back when the Redneck Riveria was a nice place – you could see the beach – you could go to the hangout- and hear y’all come back – bop to the sounds of beach music – walk the beach without getting permission from some condo association- well we opened up PC to the Condo’s, developers, to northerners (I’m married to one so I brought one to my lovely town), to Pier Park, to the St. Joe Company, to the many housing projects – to thousands of people who come to PC to spend the almighty dollar. Some of you would like to do away with Spring Break – AEA and spring break has been here before some of you- in 1966 I came for AEA spring break with a group of fellow Alabama HS students – had a blast – some of you would like to do away with Bike Week, the Summer Festival, the Jazz Festival, First Friday, etc. You are like the person who bought near the airport and complains of the noise from the airplanes. Personally I would like to ride my Harley down front beach road see the water – ride my bike to Applachiacola see the water – ride my bike down back beach road -see woods and water – so the almighty dollar won and PC is what it is today – a town run by the developers to make the almighty dollar –


41 Rachael Howard May 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Corky, very well said! All the things I wanted to say, summed up very nicely. It just amazes me at how many people are so quick to cast that first stone. And how many are so quick to pass judgement on others. I am a biker, a mother, a wife, and a medical professional. I wear leather (much cheaper than a skin graft). I wouldn’t give up my lifestyle for anything (including ignorant stereotyping). My harley is cheaper than a therapist. 🙂


42 Shannon Love May 6, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Corky, thank you so much for putting this event on. My friends & I ride 8 hours to get there & look forward to Thunder Beach each year. I’ve never been to Daytona Bike Week but I spoke with a fellow biker at one of the venues that used to go. He said now that he’s been to Thunder Beach he won’t be going back to Daytona. He said this is the rally to go to. As far as the quality of riders that attend, I’m a corporate pilot, my sister is a school teacher with a master’s degree, her friend that rides down with her is also an elemetary school teacher, another buddy is an aircraft mechanic who also teaches Sunday school in his church, another is a plant manager for a large textile company, another is a professional firefighter, etc. I try to be as respectful as possible while there because I love the area. My wife & I hope to bring our 3 year old down later this summer for a family vacation.


43 Karen May 6, 2009 at 6:12 pm

YOU ARE THE MAN with all the right things said.
I wished everyone felt this way.


44 Jellen May 6, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Thunder Beach doesn’t bother me as much as Spring Break. It’s only two weekends a year but I like to hide during those weekends. Why do so many of the bikers think it’s cool to be so noisy? The beach is a place to chill out, leave the stress behind and commune with nature — it’s the Gulf of Mexico for goodness sakes! Bikers who create more noise than they need to are stealing the ability to lose stress and commune with nature from everybody else. That’s not nice and their money is no better than the money of the person who just wants peace and quiet, even if the “peace and quiet” money goes to Bay County through property taxes and year-round purchases. Creators of loud noise should be ticketed. Perhaps some of that tourist money brought into Bay County should be used for beefing up effective policing during Thunder Beach and Spring Break.

I enjoy seeing some of those custom bikes (but would not be heartbroken if I never saw another one). I have noticed, though, that the bikers like to ride in packs. If one bike pulls out in front of me, a group generally follows, even if there is only room for one bike. I shouldn’t have to come to a complete stop to allow that when my car has the right of way. Perhaps Jason’s wife broke up a group of bikers riding together and they took umbrage at that. Some people – bikers, car or truck drivers, can be very rude and scary. I’d like to see them have to appear in front of a judge and explain their behavior — to the point of a public apology to the driver they cut off. However, this isn’t a Disney dream sequence. It won’t happen.

I DO like the idea of t-shirts and bumper stickers that say “Be Nice — I’m a Local”.


45 Jason Koertge May 6, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Thanks for chiming in Corky, great event, and great work!

Some of you may have noticed that your comments never got posted. If you re-read all the other comments, I’m sure you can figure out why, that is, unless you like smokey burnouts, and have a weak intellect, like me! 😉

Also, I should note, again, (if you would actually read the comments, you’d already know this) that I never said all bikers are like this, nor did I ever lump all bikers into a category because of an isolated incident. Of course, I would think that the title of the article alone would be indicative of that. Indeed, the title could simply be changed to Rude Tourists NOT Welcome, as it is cross-applicable.

I am thrilled, however, at the level of communication on here though. I hope that all of you that are finding this site for the first time poke around and see all the content we have in the archives and all the content we publish each week. Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter!


46 Shannon Love May 6, 2009 at 9:43 pm

If I may, I’d like to post another short comment. This one in response to Jullen. I agree that the beach is a great place to “chill out, leave the stress behind, & commune with nature”, I love the beach as well as the Gulf, even though I live 400 miles away. However, PCB is a tourist destination. If you want peace & the ability to commune with nature I’m sure there are quieter stretches of beach elsewhere. I’m not trying to sound arrogant just pointing out the obvious.


47 Jellen May 6, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Shannon, my family moved here over 30 years ago when there was no Thunder Beach weekend and there was not a big push for spring break. It was quiet. There were sand dunes where condos now soar. I’m not interested in moving 400 miles away because someone else thinks they are entitled to destroy my peace and quiet. I could make a strong argument for eliminating the noise and exhaust pollution these newcomers bring but instead, am only asking for the consideration of decent folks to not be rude and let me enjoy MY day as I let them enjoy their day. You know, many tourists come for the chill out factor, not the noise they get in the cities they leave behind.


48 Shannon Love May 6, 2009 at 11:28 pm

What newcomers? People,like myself, who come for Thunder Beach or college kids who come for Spring Break aren’t “newcomers”, we’re tourist coming to a tourist destination. I said earlier that I try to be as respectful as possible while I’m there because I don’t want to see a good thing ruined. For what it’s worth, when I see another rider acting a fool (winding it to the rev limiter or doing a burnout) I shake my head in disgust because that kind of behavior attracts attention from law enforcement & locals alike. I understand your point but I’ve been coming to PCB nearly all my life (almost 40 years now) for vacation & it’s always seemed, to me anyway, as a “touristy” town. I’ve been there during the summer months with my wife for a “normal” vacation & we hear car stereos blasting up & down the strip shaking the windows in the condo. I mean, it seems like there’s always some sort of annoying behavior going on no matter what type of people are there. Nevertheless, I thank you & the other locals who accomodate us during Thunder Beach.


49 Veronica Sabourin May 7, 2009 at 10:14 pm

I have read the comments about the rude bikers during Thunder Beach, and I wonder if the bikers you are refering to are, they locals or from out of town. I am a local and have been cut off and been given the bird by local teenagers and spring breakers. However there is more profanity and explicit exibitions during spring break then there are during Thunder Beach. The bikers also spend more money here in 3 days then most spring breakers spend in a week. With lot less hassel, clean up and fights…


50 Jeff May 9, 2009 at 10:10 am

This has been a very informative post about Thunder Beach… I have been to Myrtle Beach Rally, Sturgis, Daytona, and many many smaller rallies and far and above, this one is the most laid back, quiet, biker rallies of all (I am a local). It is very respectful and as family oriented as possible for an adult venue. I can play devils advocate here, there are two sides to every story and the truth usually lies in between… Did the lady pull in front of the bikers or did she have plenty of room? Was is a close call or was it not close at all and the bikers overreacted? Not sure, but coming from someone who has been cut off in traffic on my bike by a mini van, I can tell you that it is not a pleasant experience but I lived to talk about it. I don’t condone what these two bikers did but maybe just maybe it was much closer than what the driver of the mini van thought and the bikers were trying to get her attention. Stupid way of doing it but I bet the next time she looks twice for that motorcycle. Don’t get me wrong, those bikers should have counted their blessings that they were still rubber side down and not sliding down the road on their butts. Just remember, most police reports when a car hits a bike say that the driver did not see the bike and we as bikers take that risk everytime we hit the road and many, many times we encounter soccer moms on their cells phones in a 4000 pound cage who “did not see us”.
To the other locals who complain about Spring Break and Thunder Beach and everything else that goes on in PCB, one question.. Why do you live here? I don’t say that to be sarcastic.. But if you don’t like it, why do you live here? I live here because I love the weather, the beautiful beach, the people and most of all I do love meeting all walks of life here.


51 Larry May 10, 2009 at 8:34 am

People, let’s wake up. Myrtle Beach did not run the bikers out of town because they didn’t like their money. So there must be some other reasons, duh. And here we are letting the tail (business owners) wag the dog (citizens of PCB and Bay County). From reports, the Mrytle Beach rallys were a whole other level above Thunder Beach. With Mytrle Beach gone, do we really have to invite the worst side of the bikers to PCB for us to realize first hand that we do not need it in our community. The writers thanking Myrtle Beach for sending the biketrs to PCB will live to rue their glee. With Mrytle beach out of the picture, Thunder Beach will only get worse in terms of numbers, lawlessness, noise, etc. Do some research on the rallies at Mrytle Beach, Daytona, abnd Sturgis and I hope you will agree the time to stop it, or at least keep it from growing, is now.


52 Walter Kraszewski May 10, 2009 at 11:15 am

A few issues back folks were saying that Mrytle Beach’s
loss because they kicked out the bikers was Panama City’s gain.

Why is Panama City Beach always ready to take in the garbage other cities throw out?

As someone pointed out the money ain’t worth the trouble, the distruction amd total lack of respect for
our residence, our beaches or our city.

The quicker our city fathers see the light the faster Panama City Beach can become a true Family Vacation Spot.

More people need to go and speak publicly at council meetings. Panama City Beach used to be rated among the top 10 beaches. Now it’s known for the trash that comes here and the world’s largest beer bash.


53 Shannon Love May 10, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Larry, I can’t veiry this as it is second hand info but it did come from someone who attended Myrtle Beach every year. The reason I got as to why Myrtle Beach was done away with is this….a city official’s son was murdered during “Black Bike Week”. This was apparently the catalyst that motivated the powers that be to determine that it would be best not to host “Black Bike Week” anymore. They couldn’t quite do this without also doing away with “Bike Week” lest they be accused of racism. Now, I’m not trying to bring race into the discussion, I’m just relaying the reason I was given.

Why are you singling out Thunder Beach? Why do you feel it should be stopped? Yes, it’s noisy & traffic is sometimes heavy but as I said before, during the summer months, when there’re no bikers or Spring Breakers, it’s still noisy & congested. This last rally was my seventh & I have yet to see one single fight or any other form of “rowdy violence” for that matter. Some of you locals speak of PCB as “your community”, which it is but I really doubt that the area turns into a quiet, seaside community when the bikers leave.


54 Bruce May 11, 2009 at 6:37 am


Here is what is on the HD Website for HD of Myrtle Beach
about the Rally.

Every One that thinks that the people don’t want the Rally in Myrtle Beach needs to read this. I copied and pasted this from the HD Website.

From Harley Davidson of Myrtle Beach and Horry County Residents:

We look forward to seeing all bikers for the 69th Annual Spring Bike Week (May 8-17) in Horry County (everywhere but the City of Myrtle Beach) in 2009.

The City of Myrtle Beach has initiated a media campaign designed to deter the good, law abiding motorcycle riders from coming to our area. The information being disseminated by the Grand Strand Chamber of Commerce and City of Myrtle Beach does not accurately portray the views of the people of Horry County. The majority of people and businesses look forward to you visiting and desperately rely on your visiting to make it through the year.

Furthermore, the City of Myrtle Beach has never played a role in bike week and has made it clear they don’t want to play a role. In years past, over 90% of the events taking place were outside the limits of the City of Myrtle Beach. The new rules and regulations really WILL NOT affect your visit or any of the activities and events.


55 Bruce May 12, 2009 at 2:39 pm


Please don’t get me wrong and not intending to be negative.

If Panama City Beach is wanting to become a Family Vacation Spot, should it not have things for the kids of all ages to do after the sun goes down. When I was a child, my parents had a place at PCB and the fun part as a kid was getting to go to either Petticoat Junction or Miracle Strip Amusement Park at night with friends and ride the rides, etc… The only things to do now are putt-putt, shopping, go carts, and Ship Wreck Island (and it has not changed for years) that is affordable. Wave runners, para-sailing is not cheap and only last about 30 minutes.

I was one of those bikers that came down for Thunder Beach, I am retired military and I bring my family down to PCB during the summer now only for the weekend becuase my son gets bored when it gets dark because there is nothing for him to do. Does Panama City Beach plan on building another Amusement Park that will attract families with older children.

We now go down to Orlando for extended vacations because of all the Amusement/Theme Parks (ie.. Disney/Universal Studios/Sea World). If PCB is to truly become a Family Vacation Spot it will need to be able to provide entertainment for children of all ages, not just pre-school (age 3 thru 10).

Please don’t get me wrong, I beleive that visitors should respect the places that they visit as guest, but without the right things and the money to make it happen, how is PCB going to get to that point that you would like to see.

I went to PCB as a Spring breaker in the early 80’s, so PCB was welcoming Spring Breakers in the 80’s and my brother, who is 60 went down to PCB in the late 60’s for Spring Break. It has always been a place for Spring Breakers, not something that has only been going on for the past 10-15 years.

I have asked the same question on this blog to thoses that keep throwing out that they want PCB to be a Family Vacation Spot Only and get rid of Bike Week/Spring Break. But when I ask the question about Amusement Parks to attract families with older kids I get no response. Why is this. I would really love to know if PCB is in talks with anyone to bring/build an Amusement Park.

I do not believe that PCB will be able to make the change to A Family Only Vacation Spot until it has things for children/kids of all ages to enjoy.

I may be wrong, but I been going to PCB since I was 5 yrs old and nothing has changed except that you can no longer see the beach because of all the new High Rise Condo’s.


56 Bryan Durta May 20, 2009 at 9:16 am

Those of us who would like our destination to be “Family Friendly” do not necessarily want it to be “A Family Only Vacation Spot”. There are many tourists without children who prefer to visit destinations that are “Family Friendly”.


57 Bryan Durta May 20, 2009 at 9:31 am

I better clarify my post above:
I am not advocating against Thunder Beach. In fact, the organizers of Thunder Beach try very hard to keep the event “Family Friendly”. Unfortunately, some of the participants(both tourists and businesses) do not conform.


58 Suzanne Henderson October 25, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Unfortunately, bikers don’t look or sound the part of the happy tourist on vacation, and are easy prey for criticism. Whether it’s spring break, hordes of people on bicycles, marathon participants or bikers…incidents happen…it’s all part of the package of being a resident of Bay County.


59 Thomas February 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm

To begin I am a local – lived here all my life. Last year a biker pulled out in front of me, mind you I drive a heavy SUV – This biker almost caused me to flip because I had to take evasive action, I was actually driving on two wheels for a brief second. Next time I am not so sure I will risk my life to save someone whom was not paying attention to the roadway. Just want to remind those of you who ride your motorcycles, pay attention to the roadways! Its not only my duty to pay attention but you the bikers as-well.


60 Jim May 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm

There is no excuse for any driver to behave poorly whether in a car or on a motorcycle. I have seen horrific driving habits from both type drivers. This particular rally seemed to have more participants than any other I’ve attended over the past six years. I came with family and bike club members, stayed at the Edgewater Beach Resort, toured many of the stores, parks, and establishments, and ate at some of the best restaurants. With the good there will always be bad and unfortunately one family had a bad experience with a biker. As many have said before…you don’t judge all by an individuals actions. Yes…many of the bikers are young, immature, love to rev the motors, get drunk, and carry on in a manner which I’ve seen immediately handled in most cases by the Panama City Beach Police. One must, however, assume that most participants in the rally are good people. It’s sad that you should feel so disgruntled because of one individuals rudeness. We all know as well that two wrongs don’t make a right. On a positive note I thoroughly enjoyed visiting PC as I do every rally and appreciate the hospitality. I enjoy the security with the presence of the PCB Police Department. The community is one of which provides beautiful beaches and entertainment. For the record, however, I am one of those bikers that spends a lot of my own hard earned money which does help with your economic needs in the community. The beach is a public land of which both visitors and residents can enjoy. No matter what you say or do…it will not change the fact that twice a year Panama City will host the bike rally just as it will the Spring Break. Panama City enjoys the tourism dollars just as the condo owners, hotel and motel owners, restaurant owners, service station and convenience store owners, and every other business type owner does. Instead of branding the entire biker community as “evil doers,” chalk the experience up to that of one that could happen in any city or town in the US. Do that and I won’t brand all Floridians as disgruntled short tempered people who don’t know how to express themselves better.


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