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Traveling Man
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Discussion Starter #1
(I know I am long winded so I will be very brief.)

Well, I'm back after a trip to Daytona bikeweek. What a ride!!! There were five in our group making the trip....six if you count our buddy E.J. who couldn't make it all the way because of his work schedule but rode his Road King with us into Louisiana for grins. We got an early start just before sun-up Thursday with KrazyGG's radio blasting as we left the parking lot where we gathered.

The temperature was on the mild side....somewhere in the fifties. As the sun came up it turned out to be a partly sunny day with little wind. It made for an enjoyable interstate ride. I started in the lead with KrazyGG as tailgunner. I was really impressed with my newly installed radar detector and set a pace with the faster traffic somewhere between 75-85 . We were really making some good time but at one of our fuel stops it was suggested that we keep the speed down a little. So I let KrazyGG lead for a while. Jeezus! And they thought I led fast. LOL. We did slow it down later in the day when traffic increased though.

We had no firm plans for our first overnight stop but knew we wanted to stop somewhere about half way, which would put us around Pensacola. We had agreed that we wanted to camp the first night so we were packing tents and sleeping bags. We stopped at the Florida welcoming center and ask if there were any near by tent camping sites. We decided on the Blackwater River State Park. I gave them a call and told them that we were heading their way. They close the gates at six so we needed to get moving. We made a stop for some groceries and take out beverages and headed for the park. It was starting to get a little dark just before we arrived and we hadn't expected the route to be so long with so many turns. We came up on one of the turns too fast and three of us went by it. By the time we turned around KrazyGG was on the side of the road shooting the **** with a guy in a pick-up truck with Harley stickers on the back window. He was a pretty cool dude. He said "Hell, if you want to camp just pitch your tents in my front yard". We explained that we didn't want to impose and that the state park had showers and bathrooms. So he led us all the way to the park gate. The time was past closing time but the ranger(?) was still there and let us in. Setting up tents by flashlight is a real trip. LOL. The first day mileage was about 560.

We left early the next morning heading towards Kissimmee Fl. just south of Orlando. At the last minute I had reserved a three-bedroom two-bath condo. besides the four beds it also had a sleeper sofa so everyone had a bed with a couch to spare. A classy place for us. Almost too nice and only $95 a night!!!!. It was huge. In the complex was also a game room with pool tables, video games, a pool, jacuzzi, tennis court, duck ponds. A nice place for the whole family to stay some day. We ordered pizza, stocked the fridge with beer and cokes and spent the rest of the evening eating, drinking, and laughing at KrazzyGG's stories.

We estimated that we were about 70 miles or so from Daytona. We were right by Interstate 4 and had decided to first head for the Cabbage Patch. After we had traveled a few miles on the interstate the traffic came to a screeching halt. It was stop and go(mostly stop) and it didn't get any better. There was a trucker (Vietnam Vet) who told us to follow him on the next exit and he would lead us around that mess. I'm not sure of all the streets/roads we took and how we got there but he damn sure did get us out and back on the interstate. He handed KrazzyGG his name and address as we headed on to the entrance to I4. You meet some really cool people on the road. We knew when we where getting close to the cabbage patch because there was miles of bikes in stop and go traffic. That was the second of our long day of clutching it. We made it to the Patch and stayed awhile, drank a couple, looked around and headed out.

I can't even describe the traffic jam we encountered in Daytona. We spent hours getting to the bridge and looking for a place to park. We finally found a place on the grass behind a parking lot by the bridge. We were in no hurry to leave the area after all that so we spent the day on foot on one side of the bridge or the other. We were amazed to find that the Harley shop closed at 4 o'clock that day. Hell, it's bike week!! 4-O-frucking clock??? Anyway, we did all the looking that we wanted to do and drank a round back by the portacans and three patchers. I saw some tittie flashing, some bad ass outfits, but also saw some cops writing up some of them. I didn't stick around to see if they went to jail but they were called off of the street taking information. That's frucked up. I know it's a public street but it's bike week. Oh well, I'm not going back. The surrounding area Harley dealerships all put on their own parties. We wished that we had gone to one of them instead. We didn't see many of the famous big money exhibits because of the crowds and traffic. For the fun of rally partying, it's hard to beat the Republic of Texas rally here in Austin. TX. If it weren't for the fun ride to Florida I would say that the trip was a total waist of time. It may be different for those who are staying at Daytona Beach and can walk from their hotel or those who are camping and never want to leave the party grounds, but for us we didn't even care to go back the next day. Even on the way back Interstate 4 was jammed with stop and go traffic. We waited it out awhile about half way to Orlando at a Cracker Barrel. I heard on the news that it jammed up again after midnight.

The next day we slept late. We went to eat, visited the local Harley dealer(on Sunday!!!), stopped by the local Hooters to give them a thrill LOL, shot a little pool, fed KrazzyGG's left over fish dinner to the ducks(sorry about that GG), and packed up for departure Monday morning.

I had a few days to spare and I wanted to see the Florida Keys. Some of our group didn't want to do any more riding so I headed for the keys and everyone else headed back to Texas. I made some good time early in the morning on the turnpike headed south and even found a little time to venture off on I95 through Miami. I reached Key Largo and did a little rest/fuel stop. Somewhere that I think must have been Islamorada the traffic jam started. I moved about a mile in an hour. I finally stopped at a bar and grill and downed a cold one and watched the traffic out the window for about an hour or more. Just my luck.....it's spring break. I talked to a biker who was heading back that said if any rooms were available down the road that they would be $150 or more. That did it. I decided to head back to Orlando. I got back on the turnpike, put it in fifth gear and hauled ass back to Kissimmee. I rented a cheap motel roach hole for the night and decided to head for Biloxi, Mississippi for a little gambling adventure the next day.
I was making good time even though I was stopping alot at rest areas. It was not the nicest weather and the weather front that brought the chilly temperature didn't help me in deciding with what kind of gloves, leathers, etc. that I wanted to wear. I'll say one thing though......you meet some interesting people at rest stops. Most talk a lot more than I do. In the early afternoon I stopped for gas in Merianna, Fl. and the rain started. The wind blew through about 40 MPH. I suited up in my rain gear but decided that I would wait it out a while. The store clerk said that she had heard that a storm with golfball sized hail was heading this way. So I made myself comfortable talking to her and made a few new friends from various parts of the country. I drank my first cup of cappuccino....it was good. I went for another cup and the young lady wouldn't let me pay for it. That's cool....but I kept thinking "do I look that ragged?" LOL. One lady who stopped for gas stood and talked with me for more than an hour. She has a girl friend that lives in Houston that she has known for years and the conversation just kept going on and on. She asked for my phone number so I gave her yours DP. LOL. Hope you don't mind.:D You know I'm just kidding about your phone number. I don't even know it. LOL. Anyway, I stayed in a Hotel called Microtech(?) behind the store that the store gal had recommended and said it was cheaper than the Holiday Inn down the street. It was nice for sure. The next day I headed to Biloxi and stayed for the night. I gambled that evening but didn't win much at all. I left the next morning and headed back to Houston. I did stop for a short visit at Lake Charles gambling boats for a little while. I didn't do very well there either. I got back home with my bug splattered bike about 5:30 Thursday thinking about having to go to work Friday night. What a drag.

There are three recent additions to my bike that made my ride to Florida more enjoyable. First is the cigarette lighter. Damn....now I can light up and get a few puffs without having to find a place to stop. You smokers will know what I mean when you are trying to make good time. Second is the radar detector. I know it doesn't guaranty that you won't get caught speeding, but when the traffic is flowing 75-85 in a 70 it's nice to know when radar is around so you don't end up being the odd man out. Third is the fog lights. It's hard to imagine going back to a single 5 3/4 headlight.

I have a few pictures...nothing spectacular but I will post a few when I get them downloaded on my server.
 

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Ridge Rider
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435 Posts
Great story FG. I have a friend that lives in New Smyrna. I had contemplated going to Bike Week but was apprehensive since I've only had this bike since September and didn't really want to ride my old Suzuki. He said that Bike Week had gotten so crowded that it really wasn't worth the hassle and to wait until Biketoberfest. Fewer bikes and a lot more fun. I may give that a try. Glad you made it back safe. My friend said that nine bikers died.
 

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Traveling Man
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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah Dawg, I've heard the same thing about the crowds being less at Biketoberfest. Don't get me wrong....I did have a good time in Florida. But to briefly sum it up like I did, I had to say that the least fun was getting to the rally and back to Kissimmee. I am glad that I experienced Bikeweek but don't think that I will be going back to it. Other than in Texas, Florida has some of the most friendly people that I have met in my many travels. I'll be going back when it's not spring break or bikeweek though.

Oh DP! Everytime I would pull out of a rest area where I talked to some HD riders I thought "****, why didn't I tell them to drop in on this forum". Well, I remembered somewhere around Pensacola to tell a dude on a Heritage about it. He was heading back to Colorado and had been to the Keys also. At least he had made it all the way to Key West before he turned around a day or so earlier than my attempt. He said he would drop in here so I'm keeping my eyes open.

Later,
 

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Premium Member
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Wow! What a report, FifthGear.

You've got a lot of us very envious! ;)

Glad ya' made it back safe. Your thoughts about the crowds inside of Daytona are well founded. Frankly, a lot of big events are becoming more enjoyable away from the central location. i.e. Sturgis (why visit Sturgis itself when the real activity is in other areas?)
 

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Traveling Man
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1,272 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
One of our riding buddies was pretty nervous when he saw the Honda hanging from the crane!





Hey, you guys didn't really want to see pictures of motorcycles did ya?
 

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Great story FifthGear, but if thats brief brother, I would hate to see it when you got something to really say:D . Thanks for the photos too. I'm planning on trying to make the Sturgis run this year since I've been out of the country for the past three years. Hope it pans out better than your recent Daytona experience, but I've always preferred Sturgis to Daytona anyway:) .
 

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Founder/Administrator
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Great Story

No wonder why my phone number has been ringing at weird hours of the night Ken! :)

Sounds like you at least had a decent time out there! Thanks for the great post and especially the arse pics! :)

I too just got back into town from my two week course in MO. Check out my post and pics in the General Talk forum, I had some bad luck hit me. If I would have went on this trip with you, it was sure to have happened to me in FL vs MO. It took me about 3 days to get back up.
 

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Traveling Man
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1,272 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Re: Daytona

highrider said:
The Austin Run might be an Idea,
Hey highrider, if you do decide to come to the ROT Austin rally let me know....We'll be there. It is only a three day event but it is worth the visit! I will be doing like last year...I will pull our camping trailer up Thursday and return and head out Friday on my bike with my wife not far behind in the truck to pull the trailer back Sunday. She prefers to ride with me on my bike at this one rather than ride her own anyway.

It's nice to have a base camp to go back to and chill for a while at the site. Now of course after the vendors shut down for the night, the partying really begins. They do get a little wild here in Texas. Last year two co-worker friends attended as they did the year before. Ater the concert was over they came to the camping sites with us. I don't think that their wives were ready for the heavy partying and nudity that they saw and they drug their husbands off by the ears back to their motel. LOL. I figure that if they are offended that they shouldn't be there after dark anyway. But to each his own.

They list under scheduled events AMA flat track races as last year but also have a few new ones.....Battle Trax street fighter competition, Last-Man-Standing Demolition Derby, quads and lawn mower racing. LOL. They didn't list the wet t-shirt contest this year. It was cancelled last year because of lack of interest. There were so many women ridng around naked that everyone was lined up in lawn chairs down the camp roads as far as you could see watching the paraders ride by. :D

Anyway, it's a fun rally. Last years numbers were 22,000. Up 6000 from the previous year. It's growing fast and I only hope that it never gets as far out in numbers so that it's frucked up like bikeweek. There is actually two big parties going on Saturday night......One in downtown Austin on sixth street where the bike parade ends and the other at the rally site which is about 12 miles east of Austin. I've done the sixth street thing too many times and prefer the rally site myself. In any case, if you get the chance come on down.

Later,
 

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Re: Re: Daytona

FifthGear said:

There were so many women ridng around naked that everyone was lined up in lawn chairs down the camp roads as far as you could see watching the paraders ride by. :D



Later,
Make sure you grt pics this year :D
 
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