No hitting the brakes for bikers kicking off 81st ‘Spring’ Bike Rally

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MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) — There’s no hitting the brakes when it comes to the Annual Myrtle Beach Spring Bike Rally, especially when it’s gone on for 81 years.

Spokes and Bones Saloon is one of the largest biker bars in South Carolina. The biker bar is one of six participating in this week’s event. The owner says he’s making it extra special this year and is expecting a crowd of thousands.

The Annual Myrtle Beach Spring Bike Rally kicked off on Monday across the Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet area. The rally usually takes place in May but was postponed because of COVID-19.

“You know we aren’t going to let our motorcycle community down this year by giving them half a show,” Doyce Heinzmann, Owner of Spokes and Bones Saloon said.

It’s usually a much cooler and healthier rally in May, but the show must go on.

That’s why the Spokes and Bones Saloon owner created the committee that would persuade Horry County Council to approve this week’s rally. Eleven council members were in favor of rescheduling the rally that would bring people to town.

“Everyone has vendors, music, but no one has the atmosphere we provide,” Heinzmann said.

The saloon is only open two weeks every year — one week for the spring and the other for the fall rally. Doyce Heinzmann has owned the saloon for 22 years. There are now 13 bars on the six-acre property and every year it keeps growing.

“We’ve done a wine bar, antique patio, a speakeasy, tiki bar, a French Quarter bar,” Heinzmann said.

This year’s newest addition is a brick patio. It’s helping the saloon space out and socially distance tables and chairs overlooking the nightly concerts on the water.

Just because the event isn’t the same time as normal, Heinzmann says that doesn’t mean the show can’t go on.

“So many people depend on it whether it’s our servers, vendors, hotels, motels, all these folks need this income,” Heinzmann said.

Other participating vendors say Horry County’s approval to hold the spring bike rally will help their business tremendously. Owners say the annual bike rallies are a huge portion of their business and help them get through winter and the slower months.

“The Spring Bike Week or July bike week is very important for our business, not just SBB as a biker bar but it’s important for the entire community. I mean it affects fishermen, gas stations, restaurants, it’s a big economic event here,” William Couch, Murrells Inlet SBB biker bar owner said.

Twenty-two rallies have been canceled and only about four rallies taking place this year, according to biker bar owners. Murrells Inlet is one of the four. Several vendors across Horry and Georgetown County are expecting the crowd size to grow into the week.

A Horry County spokesperson tells News13 on Monday afternoon 15 vendor permits were issued for this week’s bike rally. In past years, that number has exceeded 50.

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