|Bruce Bennet Interview - Delmarva Bike Week© Preview!|
Winslow: Bruce Bennet is one of the driving forces behind Harley-Davidson of Ocean City and Delmarva Bike Week ©. With the big changes in the event this year, Bruce was kind enough to allow us to post info on our site. I also asked Bruce if he could answer a few questions that have been swirling around about the event. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Bruce!
Bruce: Hey Steven, my pleasure.
Winslow: This years event is themed "This Year We Ride!". I'm sure you've heard the complaints in past years about everything being in one spot. The traffic problems, the mud, the crowds, you name it. This year you've spread things around. Whats new and whats coming back from last year?
Bruce: Yea, making Delmarva Bike Week© as six-location event should help address our two biggest complaints: Traffic and more places to ride. We've still got four locations within five miles of downtown Ocean City with Seacrets, Sunset Avenue, Francis Scott Key and Harley-Davidson of Ocean City but know you can stretch your legs with a nice 20 minute run to Winter Place Park in Salisbury and then 30 minutes on up to Harley-Davidson of Seaford. The six locations gives us six different feels to the event, kind of like six rally's in one, and it also let us bring back just about everybody with a few more twists.
Winslow: Thats awesome! Living in Delmar, I kinda like the idea that I will be closer to the event than I have been in the past. Are all 6 locations going to be going strong Thursday to Sunday, or how are they scheduled?
Bruce: Yes, all four days. The event is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 to 4 on Sunday. Obviously Seacrets and around the Sunset area at sponsors like Micky Fins and Harborside, the evening will run a little bit later. But all those great places you visit on the Cruzin The Coast Pin Run will be great places to revisit when Bike Week closes at 7 p.m.
Winslow: What do you think some of the "must do" attractions will be this year?
Bruce: Well you must visit all six sites. At least that will let you get some riding in. But we've got a couple of cool things going on at Winter Place Park with a bike trailer giveaway and a pallet of Pepsi products giveaway. There are also celebrity builders and the such scattered around and of course the Cruzin' The Coast Party Pin Run even has a slight twist this year. Then the Red Knights' Mr. Whippy ride on Friday is a lot of fun and the town of Chincoteague really welcomes the bikers in for the day. But there are thrill shows, big rigs, lots of cool toys an a couple of bikini contests and pudding wrestling at some of our sponsor locations. Good luck doing it all in four days.
Winslow: Im going to try! *LOL* I will be in town from Wednesday for the 9/11 boardwalk event on. I'm sure we will cross paths somewhere...
Bruce: The Red Knights are really stepping up to make sure America never forgets with the 9/11 Ride.
Winslow: There is a rumor going around that this will be the last year for Delmarva Bike Week©. Some are already writing off Delmarva as a biker event destination. Any comments on that? No one has a crystal ball and knows what will happen between now and next year, but I'm sure you guys have thought some about it. Personally, I seriously doubt it. I think Delmarva Bike Week© has taken on a life of its own.
Bruce: Its a tough gig sometimes. We try to keep the event free to get into and free to park and a good time for everybody, but that ain't cheap brother. And then you have little locations popping up that are trying to undercut your event, but they haven't invested eight years and a ton of money to make the event fly. Maybe each of them could kick in some money for promoting the event rather than just feeding off it. All I can suggest is make sure you buy your OFFICIAL event shirt, it keeps the lights on.
Winslow: Thats one BIG impression people seem to take with them that I hear year in and year out, this event is FREE. Kudos on being able to keep it that way! I know you guys have poured your heart, soul and endless bucks into the event. I've been attending since the days of about 100 bikes showing up at the campground, hehehe. To be honest, I'm just going to be happy to be able to get in! The last two years, we have been turned away trying to get to the racetrack. I'm sure spreading it out will help allieviate that some!
Bruce: Our two biggest complaints have been traffic around Rt. 589 and a lack of places to ride. Delmarva is an awesome place to ride a motorcycle with a ton of great back roads. With a combination of Harley-Davidson of Seaford, Winter Place Park and Chincoteague on the Cruzin The Coast run (and Mr. Whippie Ride), you should put be able to hit 100 miles almost every day. Just make sure to support the places who support the event.
Winslow: One big recent news item in the biker world is Myrtle Beach and the local town basically trying to get rid of their event. From what I have seen, it seems like Ocean City, Worcester County and Maryland have embraced Delmarva Bike Week©. I have the impression they see it as good for the local economy and good for everyone. What is your impression of how the locals feel about the event?
Bruce: It can be a double edged sword, that's for sure. But we run everything above board and from the beginning we have been up front about what we are doing with local governmental officials, law enforcement and state and county highway departments. You have to give respect to get respect and Delmarva Bike Weeks© track record is good. I think the locals enjoy the spectacle of bike week and of course the tax money it generates ain't bad at all.
Winslow: You guys have done a great job supporting just about every local bike group from the Beach Riders to the Red Knights to local breast cancer groups. Awesome work Bruce! Anything coming up you would like people to know about?
Bruce: Fall is a very busy time, there is something almost every weekend. At Harley-Davidson of Ocean City weve added a September concert on the 27th with Never Never, a really good Zeppelin band from Baltimore. And we have the Wheels That Heal car club that will be at Harley-Davidson of Ocean City on Oct. 18 raising money for a little girl with cancer and the Marine Corps Toys For Tots run leaves from HDOC on Oct. 19th. Its just a great time to ride a bike.
Winslow: Thanks again for taking the time to answer these questions. I can't wait for Delmarva Bike Week©! Were going to try to get around to as many of the locations as we can. Hope we get to say hi at one of them!
Bruce: I cant wait to hear about your weekend - and see the photos. Have a great time, keep it on the speed limit and the rubber side down.
Interview by Steven Winlsow
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