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Old 06-02-2010, 03:19 PM   #1
Swampy OP
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Ridin' Florida!

I've been ridin' the great state of Florida since '88, and while I'm no born-here Cracker I have come to embrace the beauty of the state!

I have criss-crossed the state from side to side, and top to bottom on a variety of bikes over paved roads and sandy single track and everything you can think of in between.

Let me share with you some riding in Florida. With good friends and alone. On street bikes and off-roaders. We'll throw in some history, scenery and a bunch of fun.

So grab a beer, sit there and make vroom vroom sounds, and enjoy the thread as it grows!!

(I'll even take you to some out-of-state locales as well!)

... and big Hello! to all my DDS friends!

Let's get this adventure started!

__________________________________________

"Ring, ring"

Tom - "Hey Swampy, it's Tom, you wanna go for a ride this afternoon?"

Me - "Can't make it today, Tom, how about tomorrow morning?"

Tom - "That's even better! What bikes are we riding?"

Me - "I'll bring the 6-9-0."

Tom - "Great I'll bring the DR650!"

And plans were made to meet at the DDS Hernando County Command Center at 0800....

Great, I've got time to finish my paper, get to sleep, get up, meet Tom, ride, get back and do another paper. School's gettin' in the way riding!

Brrrrrrrrp. Brrrrrrrrrrrp. Brrrrrrrrrrp The alarm goes off at 0615.
(No, my alarm clock doesn't actually sound like an '81 YZ490, but I just like to make the brrrp brrrp sound!)

Wheel the 6-9-0 outa the garage, turn the key, let the system pressurize, thumb the button and I'm riding. Riding outa my garage to adventures unknown...


I remember I used to get up way early to go riding... this morning... I remembered why...

The air is cool. The sun is rising. The mist in the air. Florida in the early hours is a sight to behold.


Traffic is sparse on rural country roads. Even more sparse on a Sunday morning at 0730... but now I remember why I liked to ride in the morning...



Florida in the morning. Beaches are beautiful at sunrise. So is the interior. The REAL Florida. The parts where no one likes to go, the tourists avoid, the city folk have no idea. I remember why I love mornings on a motorcycle. Scenes like this remind me of my childhood growing up in cow country Upstate NY...


I know I've said it before, but I get offended when I hear riders say Florida sucks to ride in. People are so blinded by instant gratification and fast paced activities, that they don't know how to stop for a moment and just breath. To be part of the world, part of the moment. To just.... be.

I remember why...



I arrive at the Hernando County Command Center. The most photographed WaHoo in the world. I remember why I like to ride in the morning...


Next up... we head away from civilization...
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Swampy screwed with this post 06-03-2010 at 02:34 PM
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:49 PM   #2
Swampy OP
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So we ride....

The aroma of pine needles, dust, and woods... a blue sky, a motorcycle... I remember now...


I get a peaceful, easy feeling in the woods...



Sharing the ride with a friend...



I remember now why I ride...



A glimpse of the river...



A quiet, peaceful feeling of what lays beyond the bend


..and taking in what the road gives you...


...and even when you reach the end of the road, things still look pretty good...



We make our way to refuel and part ways. It's now just a little before noon...


Yes I remember now...


More reports & commentary coming! Stay tuned
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:20 PM   #3
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I can't wait to see the rest
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:29 PM   #4
Dave J
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Excellent! Good pics.

DJ
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:40 PM   #5
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Thanks guys,

I have twenty years of riding to share with you and more coming each weekend. So strap on the helmet, crack that bottle, and sit back and enjoy Florida (and the surrounding States!)
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:50 PM   #6
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Bring us more
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:58 PM   #7
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prometheus,

I grew up in the Catskills. I have about 500 pictures from last year up around Cooperstown... and more from each trip I took and returned...

We'll get a bunch of stuff happening... hope ya'll are subscribed to the thread!
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:04 PM   #8
Swampy OP
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So last week I had to go to Safety Harbor for a roll-out party with my company. Yea. I know. Tough stuff ain't it.

So I wheeled the BMW outa the garage and took off south to Pinellas... about 40 minutes later I pulled into the park.

Now I'm not gonna bore you with party pictures from a bunch of IT people whooping it up, so let's cut right to the chase, shall we...

I did a little research on the park before I went and it has quite a surprise history!

So I motor through the park looking for something... okay I passed it and had to turn around...



Odette Phillipe's grave marker! Until yesterday I had no clue who Odette Phillipe was... well... he was a surgeon in Napolean's Army...


...He came over on his boat in 1864...



...and...


That was interesting... but now on to site #2 in the park...


...the whole park borders Tampa Bay so there's always a view...



...and now Site #2: Tocobaga Temple Mound!


Those crafty early natives new a good spot when they saw one. There's a bunch of mounds on both coasts that are by major bodies of water...




... and look... it's a federally protected historic site!





...and... here's the view from the top of the mound...



So...

While it's off the beaten path for most folks, if you live in Pinellas County, chances are you've never been here.

Visit the park, relax, maybe do a little fishin'...

Then head on down the road into Safety harbor for a quick bite and a cold beverage!



Now...... where should I take you next.... hummmm.....

Oh I know!
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:07 PM   #9
King_Panther13
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I'd like to see some love for Polk County :<.
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:27 PM   #10
GB
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Enjoying the tour and the history

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Old 06-03-2010, 07:13 PM   #11
71tr
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Damn, I lived across the bay in Tampa for thirteen years and never knew there was a French grave marker in Phillipe Park. Thanks for the tour Swampy and keep it coming.
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:55 PM   #12
kojack
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I hope you have some ride reports of around zephyrhills, I have a winter/summer home there in a retirement community, forest lake estates!.

My folks bought one 4 years ago, and I go every year down there...and what you speak of is true, the interior small town florida is the real florida! I love it there. can't wait to go back!

keep up the rr, and hopefully i can see a shot of your bike infront of f.l.e.!

thanks...im in!
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:08 PM   #13
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Swampy, I spent 2 years in the Catskills. Beautiful place, but I'm a born here Florida cracker so I had to come back.
If your in North Florida hit me up for a ride.
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:17 PM   #14
Swampy OP
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Yo Kojack!

Lots of neat stuff in North Florida... I'll be puttin stuff up!

Badweather.... I know Z-hills... I live in NPR!

For now I'm off to Valdosta for the weekend...

More to come when I get back...
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:26 PM   #15
badweatherbiker
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Have a blast Swampy! I live 20 minutes from Valdosta, to bad I'll be working most of the weekend...
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