North Myrtle Beach hit a record heat wave Friday as bikers kicked off the weekend for Atlantic Beach Bikefest. Bikers came out by the hundreds after the sun went down to party, drink and dance in Atlantic Beach.
Bikefest goers were scarce Friday afternoon as the area hit 95 degrees, breaking the previous record of 90 degrees in 1949, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina. More records could be broken this Memorial Day weekend, the NWS reports.
Red, pink, neon green motorcycles lined Atlantic Street — the main drag had women wearing brightly colored bikinis, motorcyclists doing wheelies, the smell of turkey legs grilling filled the air and the heat causing folks to bring out their umbrellas or stand under what little bit of shade they could find.
This weekend, vendors are selling yellow rice, grilled turkey legs basted in beer, glowing masks that are made to cover the face and nose, and Bikefest T-shirts.
Rebecca Riley, who rides with biker group Triple Threat, didn’t stop riding because of the heat — she wouldn’t waste a moment away from her biker family during her vacation. Riley, along with dozens of other bikers, made a pit stop at Hooters just south of North Myrtle Beach.
“We are all a family,” she said. “And, of course, we love to ride.”
As the sun went down, a couple hundred more bikes were parked along the drag, bringing lookers to take photos and sparking conversations about custom bikes.
When William Worsley was cooled off from the heat of the day, he headed from Hooters to Atlantic Beach on his bike.
“My favorite thing about Atlantic Beach is the food,” he said, adding he enjoys going to clubs and dancing. He wasn’t expecting the temperatures to reach the 90s, and if the heat continues, he will “post up and drink water if it’s too hot to ride.”
Hundreds of people surrounded the stage at the end of the main drag at Atlantic Beach after the sun set, with a DJ promising tunes until 2 a.m.
Latoya Jefferson from Maryland said the heat wasn’t going to keep her from partying.
“I’d rather it be this hot than rain,” she said.