It was a little over a week ago when I was sitting in the airport about the board a plane that would take me away from the northeast?s hellish winter. The feelings of excitement crept up my spine, my body teething with anticipation. In a few hours I am going to be lying on a beach in the sunshine state, where the only thing I?ll be studying is female anatomy and the drink menu at the bar. As we board plane, visions of beach babes and coconut rum dance through my head. I turn to my travel buddy Jim, who is rocking out to the music blaring from his headphones. From the faint lyrics, I think I could make out the heart-pumping words of Kelly Clarkson?s ?Since You?ve Been Gone.? ?Jesus man, what are you listening to?? ?Dude, I?m getting pumped!? he shouted back. Different strokes for different folks. All I knew, was that we were ready to cut loose.
Two hours later the pilot?s voice came on the intercom, ?In a few moments, we will be landing in Daytona Beach, Florida. The weather is 83 degrees and sunny. Have a great spring break and enjoy bike week.? It was music to my ears. I didn?t know it was bike week, but the more the merrier, right? Jim and I approached the baggage carousel and anxiously awaited our luggage. As the red blinking light started spinning and motors on the conveyor belt started rumbling, we focused on the hole spitting out bags; knowing it was the last responsibility we would have to deal with for the next six days.
Our bags finally plopped out, which we grabbed immediately. Outside the terminal we met with our taxi driver; a disheveled, haggard looking fellow named Gilberto. His face was weathered from years in the sun; he could have been an advertisement for sunscreen. This guy was a character and oh boy, did he have stories. He told us stories about girls, bikers, crocodiles– anything you could imagine?completely full of it, but entertaining. He kept feeding us ridiculous information, and he knew we were eating it up. Thirty minutes, $26 dollars, and few good laughs later, good ol? Gil dropped us off at the Sea Spray Motel. It wasn?t the nicest accommodation, but it would suffice for two guys on spring break.
Jim and I changed into our swimming trunks and hit the boulevard. We were new to the city so we decided to check out a bar that Gilberto recommended called ?The Oil Spill.? As we entered the bar, it seemed like the something out of a movie?the crowd instantly silent. The music might have skipped. We approached the bar, ordered up some drinks and the crowd seemed to continue on with their conversations and stories. What Gilberto forgot to mention was that the bar was a Hell?s Angels hang out. Jim and I stuck out like a sore thumb, to say the least. We relaxed and chatted about plans for the rest of the week, but grew nervous as we heard a loud rumble from outside. It sounded like 500 motorcycles were slowly surrounding on our location.
This is when Jim and I knew we were in trouble. A scrawny man with long grey hair, and an even longer goatee, looked out the window and shouted, ?Banditos!? And with one word every biker jumped to his feet. What ensued is far too brutal to actually discuss, but there was a brawl. Fearing for our lives, Jim and I sat at the bar and did the only thing we could; hide in the corner under a table, until the bartender took us out through the back door. Apparently, an Angel stole a loading ramp from the Banditos, which they didn?t take too kindly.