Attendance down while biker fatalities on upswing with a second roadway death

BIKE WEEK 2010/EXCLUSIVE

NSBNEWS.net photos by Henry Frederick. At left, April Perreault, a Bike Week bartender at Pub 44 in New Smyrna Beach, gets hit on by 90 percent of her customers, even though there are fewer of them than in year's past, as the overall presence of bikers for the annual rally centered around greater Daytona Beach is down in part to the economy and the weather. In the second photo, a vintage Harley chopper stands out from the other bikes at Pub 44.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- April Perreault makes a decent wage as a supervisor of an auditing company overseeing convenience stores. She makes plenty as a bartender during Bike Week, especially tips, even though attendance so far is down from previous years, with the motorcycle rally entering its 6th day with four to go.

And while the crowds are down, biker fatalities are rising with a second death early Tuesday in DeLeon Springs, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Just after midnight , Paul Allen Jarrett of Charleston, W. Va., and a friend, both retired police officers, were riding their Harleys north on US-17 when Jarrett lost control of his bike, crashed into a fence and separated from the bike. Jarrett, 53, was pronounced dead at bthe scene.

An Ohio woman, Linda M. Lockwood, 45, a passenger on a Harley was killed Sunday on Atlantic Avenue in New Smyrna Beach when two bikes riding side by side touched. The rider, Lockwood's companion, Russell Luce, 42, suffered critical head injuries and remains hospitalized in critical care at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach.

Cold and rainy weather Friday and Saturday put a damper on Bike Week 2010, but by Sunday, things were starting to pick up with sunny skies and temperatures climbing into the 50s.

Then tragedy struck with two quick deaths. Daytona Beach continues to be the clear choice for many of the bikers with fewer trickling into New Smyrna Beach, considered an outskirt. Still, Pub 44, has managed to draw strong crowds the last couple of nights, though attendance was sparse Tuesday afternoon with gusting winds up to 30 mph keeping bikers off the roads.

Today, several thousand bikers are expected to fill the campgrounds at Sopotnick's Cabbage Patch in Samsula for cole-slaw wrestling, which begins at noon.

With fewer customers Tuesday, Pub 44 bartender Perreault had no complaints.

"There may be less guys, but still 90 percent of them are hitting on me," the 26-year-old Edgewater gal said. "The weather has been crappy, it's a lot slower with this economy and seems to be getting worse and worse each year, but I'm doing good," she said. "The bikers are very nice and yes, a lot of them try and ask me out. They ask if I'm married? Do I have a boyfriend? They ask me to marry them, promising me houses and cars. They're nice, though. Daytona has more scum. That's why I work down here."

As for tips, there were lots of bikers returning to the bar for more Buds, just to flirt some more, with Perrealt more than pleased to see the tip jar filling up. 

'The bikers are very nice and yes, a lot of them try and ask me out. They ask if I'm married? Do I have a boyfriend? They ask me to marry them, promising me houses and cars. They're nice, though. Daytona has more scum. That's why I work down here.'

-- April Perreault, Pub 44 Bike Week bartender

About the Blogger

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com, launched in 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among Florida's most experienced reporters specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting and winner of multiple state, regional & national journalism awards in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut. The first of his three books, "Creepy Ass Cracker" (842 pages, Xlibris), hits bookstores this Fall. 
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