There's a wealth of entertainment opportunities in Myrtle Beach year-round, but the Atlantic Beach Bikefest provides visitors with even more sights.
People all down Ocean Boulevard could be seen leaning over hotel balconies and sitting in plastic porch chairs Friday evening watching the crowd slowly trudge past. Violet Eleres, from New York, pulled up a chair near 4th Avenue North to see all kinds of bikes and their riders.
"I usually don't like being around a lot of people, but I don't feel uncomfortable here at all," she said.
Thousands of bikers – decked in leather, T-shirts and highwaisted shorts – slowly made their way south, sometimes stopping for minutes at a time. Eleres said everyone who stops says hello, and most people are just happy to be on vacation at the beach.
"They all come here to have a good time," said fellow visitor Mari Tyler.
Even though motorists and bikers are stuck in the traffic loop until 2 a.m. Saturday, traffic on Ocean Boulevard was one-way all day Friday. Tina Seymour, who lives in Myrtle Beach, said the loop helps keep cars from going into private yards or clogging up side streets mostly used by locals.
She also said the increased police presence helps keep the peace during one of the Strand's busiest weekends.
"It's definitely safer," Seymour said.