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Old 01-05-2011, 06:15 AM   #1
rtwdoug OP
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Heading to the Keys where its warm....

Poly has been wantin to visit the Florida Keys for a few years, so we decided to go between Christmas & New Years. Theres a bike swapmeet in FL that I always like to go to around then, & I needed some warmer weather. Its been a cold winter here in Alabama. So, we loaded up the truck with parts, put the bikes on the trailer & headed south on Christmas Eve.
Timed it just right, as N Bama got 4 inches of snow that night! (I was kinda bummed I missed the snow, but as I havent picked up the sidecar for the /2 BMW yet, I didnt have anything to play in it with anyhow....)
I took a 42 Harley Knucklehead, Poly took a 01 1200 Sporty.
Of course, we got to FL, & they were having record cold, all the way to the keys. dammit!
So we got to my friends near Sarasota, & headed south on the bikes.
It was COLD! FL cold is very damp, so its worse than usual. Still, it wasnt THAT bad, just colder than expected for south florida. They did say it would be warming back up in a few days tho.....
the route.....



We were a bit bundled up, sunny, but windy & 50 degrees



I looked at the map before we left, & figured out how to get to the small road heading east to lake okeechobee. But my friend Pam told me the 'best way to go' which of course took us north instead of east. By the time I figured her directions were wrong, we were about 35 miles north of where we wanted to be, so I found another road back south.

I found out that my bike will go 82 miles before hitting reserve, & 91 miles before running completely out. The last mile I was weaving back & forth, trying to slosh any leftover gas into the carb. At least we were in the middle of friggin nowhere.



Of course Polys 01 has a vacuum type petcock, so getting it thataway wasnt an option. Plus, it still has the factory fuel line crimp on clamps, which I didnt have the tools with me to cut. So I jumped on her bike, & took off on the search for gas. I found a station about 10 miles down the road, dug a couple empty bottles from the trash, filled em, & headed back.

Poly took this pic while I was gone.



So were back on the road, & finally got to the route we had been wanting to be on. 4 hours & 120 miles later, & we'd made it 40 miles from where we started. Oh well.

Didnt get to see lake okeechobee, as theres a big dyke all along the southern edge, so all we saw was a mound of dirt for 15 miles. I'd seen a lake before, so we didnt stop. Hiway 27 south sucked. nothing but cane fields, trucks, farm equipment, wind, & more cold.



We got close to Miami as the sun was setting. Thats when I noticed my headlight was out. Florida has a headlight law, you have to keep it on all the time. So I was worried I was gonna get pulled over. We got a room, & I looked for the problem, easy fix, broken wire at a connector. This bike was bobbed back in the 60's, & they used crappy aluminum wires, which are too soft. Plus, the plastic housing is old & hard. I got it fixed, but really need to rewire it when I get home.
Anyhow, it was nice to get off the bikes & into a warm room for the nite!
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:13 AM   #2
Dickyb
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Hum. Bet you're missing those hot Turkish plains about now.

Happy New Year Doug me old fruit.

Cheers,


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Old 01-05-2011, 09:04 AM   #3
klaviator
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[QUOTE=rtwdoug;14856694]Of course, we got to FL, & they were having record cold, all the way to the keys. dammit!
So we got to my friends near Sarasota, & headed south on the bikes.
It was COLD! FL cold is very damp, so its worse than usual. Still, it wasnt THAT bad, just colder than expected for south florida. They did say it would be warming back up in a few days tho.....
QUOTE]

Anyone have Al Gore's number??? We need to find out what happened to Global warming.

BTW, it did hit 71 degrees in Huntsville on New Years eve. I was running the air conditioner in my truck as I left town
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for the RR Love the fact you're doing it on Harleys. Clean Sportster and very nicely done knuckle.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:39 PM   #5
rtwdoug OP
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Hey Dicky,
hope you have a good new year also.

2 things I dont miss about eastern turkey, everyone begging for money or trying to run some sort of scam, & kids that like to throw things.
the hot weather wasnt so bad, as long as ya werent sittin in traffic.

Doug



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Hum. Bet you're missing those hot Turkish plains about now.

Happy New Year Doug me old fruit.

Cheers,


Dickyb
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:45 PM   #6
GB
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Good to see you back on here doing a local trip... how's the bike project for your sibirsky adventure going?

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Old 01-05-2011, 04:55 PM   #7
Foot dragger
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So that metalflake helmet,is that an original Grant from the old days?
I used to wear one like that on my trail 90.
Nice Knucklehead! That thing just emits style.

I'll keep tuned on this story,I need to get out to the Keys for some snorkling.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:14 AM   #8
rtwdoug OP
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Hey GB,
bike is comin along good, should be finished this month. Its looking bad assed! :)

And yes Foot, that metalflake helmet is from the late 60's.

Doug
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:21 AM   #9
rtwdoug OP
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Woke up to a sunny morning, altho not very warm yet, but better than yesterday! Got the bikes loaded, & ready to hit the road



I had to point out to Poly that her 01 sporty leaked more than a 70 year old knuck. hahahaha!





not a big deal, its a valve cover gasket leaking, which is a pretty common problem on these. But still pretty damn funny.

We jumped on the turnpike to get south of the Miami metro area. It was faster, but we had to stop like 4 times to pay tolls. 2 dollars.... 2 dollars... rediculous.
I noticed the motor smoking a little bit from being hot, & Poly informed me we were doing 70-75mph. hmmm, I dont think the knuck likes those speeds, better

slow down a little bit. At one toll stop, she noticed her dash had cracked. I guess her bike doesnt like that speed either. I dunno what coulda caused that, but I

had some of those little bunjee cords, so it was fixed.



We got out of town, & into the keys. It seems like this is the popular time to go there, as the traffic pretty much sucked. Theres only 1 route in & out, and most of it

is only 2 lanes.
Travel was slow, plus we wanted to stop now n then to see stuff





We just got onto 7 mile bridge, & I hit reserve. No problem, as its only 7 miles, & my reserve is 11 miles. Get off the bridge, & no towns. 1 gas station, but it was

shut down. well, at 10 miles, it started to sputter. I weaved back & forth, made it another mile before it died. But luckily this time, I could see a gas station, only

about 1/2 mile farther. thats not so bad. I check Poly's odometer, yep! 91 Miles!
Its funny that Ive never run out of gas in siberia, mongolia, etc, but run out twice in florida, in 2 days! hahaha

The last 50 miles before Key West the sun was in our eyes, but we wanted to get there today. We finally got there as the sun was setting.



Then we rode down to Duvall St, where all the tourists go, Poly sat with the bikes, & I went to look for a place to stay.
This is the high tourist season, & everything was expensive, & full. Crappy hotels were wanting over 200 a nite, & they had no safe parking, but I finally found a

real nice B&B that happened to have an empty room for one nite, & I was able to make a deal at what I thought was a real good price, specially for the area &

time of year. So I went back, got Poly, & we got cleaned up, & went walking around a bit.



the Simonton Court B&B



right outside our room was a heated pool



I have stayed in alot worse places than this!
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:27 AM   #10
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Nice. The Mrs. and I had part of our honeymoon there back in '03. I think we were there Jan 3-4 and the traffic to Key West did suck. I would love to go back.

I hope you enjoyed the trip.

Cheers.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:48 AM   #11
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Lovin this Doug, bikers from UK here were coming out later this year doing the Keys, before Sturgis, we cant wait, let know of any good biker bars down Key west.
Jof HDRCGB (Harley Davidson Riders Club GB).
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:37 PM   #12
rtwdoug OP
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Hey JOF
theres alot of bike friendly places in the keys, as many people ride down there. I didnt really see any 'biker bars' tho.

I met some guys from the HDRCGB in Normandy, France in 09. I was doing a RTW trip on a 62 panhead. One of the guys actually asked me 'is that some sort of harley motor in that bike?' hahahaha

They seemed a bit amazed by the handshifter also.

I'm not saying they are all clueless, but the ones I talked to.......

Summer is a good time to visit the keys, its off season, no traffic, & prices are alot cheaper.

Doug



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Lovin this Doug, bikers from UK here were coming out later this year doing the Keys, before Sturgis, we cant wait, let know of any good biker bars down Key west.
Jof HDRCGB (Harley Davidson Riders Club GB).
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:51 PM   #13
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Cool Doug, thanks for reply, were Region 12 which is Devon, Southwest UK also ride a GS as well
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:57 PM   #14
rtwdoug OP
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I wont hold that against you.

so how much does that thing weigh with all your gear on it?

nice tag, was it hard to get? I know special plates in the UK can be big bucks!

Doug



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Cool Doug, thanks for reply, were Region 12 which is Devon, Southwest UK also ride a GS as well
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:02 PM   #15
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Cheers
been France but did not see ya, i was on the superglide!!!!
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