Myrtle Beach Bike Week: What it’s like as a Harley rally girl
The women who tend bar at Suck Bang Blow know how to make the week-long festivities a party for the thousands of bikers who roll into town for Myrtle Beach Spring Bike Rally.
Each year the Murrells Inlet bar enlists a few dozen professional rally women — females showing plenty of skin and sporting fishnet stockings, black lace, leather, lingerie and biker boots — to bartend during the rowdy week and ensure the bar’s few thousands customers enjoy themselves.
“They are what the customers see,” said Bill Barber, SBB events coordinator. “Not only because they are beautiful — they work hard. They’re fast, they’re beautiful and they’ve become family.”
It’s also a time for the rally girls to meet new folks, reunite with friends who travel around to different bike rallies, visit the Grand Strand and make cash.
With revealing outfits, fun bar tricks and reasonably priced liquor, it doesn’t take much for the female, and a few male, bartenders to bring in the cash. Signs are placed around the bar encouraging patrons to pay anywhere from a $1 to take a photo of them to $20 to spank them.
Patrons can also pay $25 for a body shot, $100 for their underwear or $500 to trade outfits with them for five minutes.
Several of the women behind the bar work the bike week circuit from Texas to Florida, to Tennessee to South Carolina, including Wendy Browning and Stacy Walden, who have worked at SBB during bike week for more than five years.
“This is work for us, but it’s also fun for us,” Browning said. “It’s chaos, but you have your down time, too.”
With bartenders taking home anywhere from $500 to $2,000 a night in tips, the money is what initially attracted Browning to get involved in the biker world.
Browning spent her first year working at the “four corners” SBB location on U.S. 17 Bypass, which was torn down and replaced by a Neighborhood Walmart. Browning, a Florida resident, travels to nearly one dozen rallies each year, and sells real estate when she isn’t working a rally.
“My favorite part of the whole thing is the camaraderie of everyone,” Browning said. “They’re your family.”
For Walden, everyday is like Halloween when she’s behind the bar.
“You get to wear costumes everyday,” she said. “It’s just fun.”
Walden, who works one of several outdoor bars, has a spot closest to the bar’s main stage with a bird’s-eye view of each band that performs during the annual rally. The 37-year-old started working bike rallies about 12 years ago, with this year being her sixth at SBB.
But before Walden puts on her costume, which is rarely repeated, on her perfectly tanned skin, she follows her daily routine of eating a hearty breakfast, joking how nobody likes a “hangry” bartender.
Yet, the hustle and bustle of bike week never gets old for Walden, who explained how much she enjoys traveling the bike rally circuit and seeing new and old faces.
“I definitely have a gypsy soul,” she said. “The biggest benefit on top of the money we make is meeting people.”
Barber said SBB recruits many of the same rally girls each year. He said many have shown they’re hardworking and trustworthy, especially with the amount of money being handled throughout the week.
This year, SBB has 29 bartenders, which include about six who work full-time, Barber said. The bar also brought in more than 100 employees to help set up and work the event.
SBB operates completely different than it regularly does during bike weeks, Barber said, bringing in pallets of beer and alcohol instead of cases and using a different business operation when it comes to running the bar.
“It’s a whole other animal,” Barber said. “It’s a lot of work, but we’ve got a great staff.”