The wife and I got back last week from a fantastic week of riding around the Ocala area. I'll be writing it up here as a series of day rides.
Our plan was to head to Ocala, FL and do a series of day rides out from there. It's only 100-150 miles away from home, but this was our first vacation dedicated to exploring the area with the motorcycles and the first trip I'd try to write up. The plan started as follows: Sunday Get setup in Ocala, Monday West to Cedar Key, Tuesday North to Ocala National Forest, Wed. East to DeLeon Springs, Thur. Daytona for Biketoberfest, ???
A week off of work, a happy riding partner, a new map and 20 bucks! (note to self: may need more cash..
The plan gets fuzzy after Thursday though. I don't vacation well, it's an art. The wife didn't know if I'd be able to relax and slip into vacation mode while staying at someone else's place. So we thought we might just ride home on Thursday after Daytona... (spoiler alert: nobody goes to Daytona this trip
The preparations started with her 1984 Honda VF700C. We just picked it up a couple months ago and since it had been sitting awhile, went through a few things. Replaced fluids, seals, brakes, tires, bearings and did valve adjustments, carb rebuild, etc... fortunately there was no trouble found during the process. She put a couple thousand miles on it and we knew it was solid. She'll start the trip with only 11k on it!
Note the highly detailed route map and early departure time!
My 1985 Honda VF1100C is my daily transportation with 111k on it. It's my first bike and I've owned it for four years or so while putting around 8k per year on it. My faith in it is good and I've been through most all the systems at least once. It just needed a new front tire, valve adjustment and carb sync in preparation for this trip.
The list of sins committed against this bike are long and will not be confessed here. But let me just say that while lot's of folks tie-wrap things to their bikes some of mine are structural! (not shown here)
We packed twice of course. The first round included things like: tire plug kit, 12v compressor, etc.. After fitting everything into a HUGE bag, it was clear that another plan was needed. In the last 4 years I have never needed to plug a tire on the road, so out that went along with quite a lot of other stuff. I figured if one bike had a little problem like a flat, the other could ride in to the nearest auto parts shop and get whatever is needed at the time. Besides, I've got: AAA w/motorcycle coverage, cell phone, credit card. Where we're headed, that's enough to solve any serious problems as well.
Second round of packing got down to two small duffel bags and small saddlebags. Now we are ready to go!
We headed north on US 1. This lighting is best for photographing my bike!
West on 44. Her bike does fine photographed in the sunlight!
City parks are some of the most wonderful things I enjoy on a trip. But when you need them, they hide! While I could skip a meal now and then, it's not really a plan I support. So while we were riding along, I see the beautifully shaded parking lot of the Post Office at DeLeon Springs. It's Sunday and we have the place to ourselves. Just have to love a woman who will let you count a Post Office parking lot as a picnic stop!
We then headed north again. This was on County Road 3 just north of the DeLeon Springs State Park. The road parallels US Route 17, but we were looking for the smaller roads and this fit the bill perfectly.
At the corner of CR 3 and SR 40, we saw a motorcyclist receiving medical attention. Handlebars folded and twisted around, but the bike still looked like a bike at least. Some pretty odd looking tire marks through the intersection where the roads met. No guesses to the chain of events that caused it, but it certainly heightened our alert level. I trust they were alright..
After getting settled in (some of my family were away traveling and we were staying at their place while they were gone) we were ready to find our way to the local grocery store and stock up on a few things. While getting the bikes ready to go, a friendly neighbor out walking his dog stopped to checkout who we were and what we were up to. My family had told me that they keep an eye out for each other up there and we had expected to meet someone. After we chatted awhile about our trip, he gave us the name of a road on the west coast to consider 494. Real nice guy, told us to stop by his place if we needed anything or just some local knowledge. Have to see how the week goes...
Getting groceries on the bikes requires more planning than with the car. We'd emptied the duffel bags back at the house and were pretty sure this would all fit.
Groceries all packed up and ready to go. While the yellow straps worked great for us, when strapping down groceries you do have to be aware of what is under them! Didn't break a single egg though.
After a wonderful dinner (and reminding myself afterwards to take more food pictures!
) we were ready for a good nights rest. The first day of wandering still lay ahead.