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Old 08-23-2012, 06:02 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by propilot10 View Post
Your dad sounds awesome! My dad got me into bikes as well and now I finally have time and money to ride! But sadly his back has seen better days.
Glad to hear from someone else that has MC riding as part of their family heritage. Sorry to hear about your dads back. Mines pretty messed up as are my knees and I am sure there will come a day when I can no longer ride a motorcycle. Maybe some type of trike at that point ?

Thanks for reading along.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:52 AM   #17
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Great RR

Nice RR man, wish I had done that with my pop!
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:05 AM   #18
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Nice RR man, wish I had done that with my pop!

Thank you man. Hopefully it is an interest that my daughter chooses to follow someday. I would love to know that the tradition continues.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:28 AM   #19
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So with the sun having completed it's gallop across the sky, it was the moons time to shine....and it did that in spades.




My view from the moonlit beach. I had it to myself for about an hour. NICE!!



I could see tiny vague shadows scrambling across the sand. Flashlight time!! There were hundreds of these little fellers' running around. I believe that they are Ghost Crabs but I could be wrong. I accidentally squashed a few before I realized that they were there.





While hanging out on the beach I met a guy that was taking his son camping. We got to talking and wound up hanging out by a camp fire, having a couple of drinks and and discussing politics, the state of society as well as other sundry topics. He was a really great dude and I couldn't help but think of all the time I spent camping with my dad over the years. His son is one lucky kid.

Here they are in the a.m. as I was getting ready to shove off for another day.



My humble breakfast that consisted of left over boiled peanuts, a pear, a breakfast bar and of course coffee. Ah, the simple things.



Good morning Florida. That is the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in the distance.



With a belly full of coffee that was rapidly trying to escape my body and having just driven through really shitty Tampa area traffic I decided to pull off at a rest area. "But aren't those on the interstate?" you ask. Yes, yes they are. I took the interstate just to get out of the Tampa area as it was my quickest route to Ocala. I met another rider while stopped there. Despite his rough exterior he was actually very cool. I am one of those people that will hang out with all types of people as long as they are respectful to the differences of others. He was one of those people so we talked for a while. It seems to me that so many in life (and on this very forum) are so quick to judge others for various idiotic reasons (loud pipes, no ATGATT, tattoos , the wrong facial hair, etc) that they wind up missing out on the variety of people that this world has to offer. Sometimes you can meet very nice people that you might even call friend but first you have to put your ego aside and simply accept that not everyone is you and that you don't have the right to try and force others to think as you do but I digress...



When I told him where I was headed (Ocala Natl Forest) he said "Follow me." and took me to some of the coolest roads I would ride on this trip. Almost no traffic, plenty of curves (for FL) and beautiful scenery. I can't remember your name bro but it was great meeting you and you were right, those roads were the shit! By the way, I never made it to the ONF.





A hill in FL?



For some weird reason I always wind up at this Wafflehouse just east of Brooksville FL. I honestly have no idea how I wound up here again as I hadn't picked up a map all day. I tend to just wonder around when I do trips like this, only referencing maps when I feel the need to pick a destination for the night. Where to? How about Wachula and a little bar called Charlotte's Web. I had read online that they allow free camping to bikers. Free is my favorite word when I'm out road trippin'.

Breakfast for lunch at Wafflehouse.



I found some really fun roads after leaving Wafflehouse. One in particular got me pretty damn exited. It was roughly 14 miles of rolling hills and nice curves. It's no Dragon but it does have a speed limit of 55mph and almost zero traffic. . One oddity about the road is that ,without warning and over a blind hill, it enters the Richloam WMA....Did I mention that it goes from pavement to dirt with no pavement ends sign all the while retaining the 55mph speed limit?! Quite a surprise when you are on a fully loaded Sportster. They say things happen for a reason and I am convinced that my years of riding dirt bikes were alll just to prepare me for this very moment!! I rode into the forest for about 100 yards contemplating just riding all the way through it but I wanted to make it to Wachula before the sun went down and this would be a bit of a reroute for me. When I went to u-turn I sunk down in the ultra soft FL sugar sand and nearly got stuck. I feathered the clutch, found some traction and rolled hard onto the throttle which resulted in a spectacular rooster tail and a 6in deep, 60+ foot zigzagging rut. AWESOME!!! (say it in Peter Griffin's voice)

Sorry, no pics of that little event. I didn't want to slow back down and get stuck as I hadn't seen another vehicle in quite some time and at 170lbs ,the idea of wrestling over 600lbs of bike out of axle deep sand sounded like no fun at all.



See that orange dirt on the road ? If you closely you will note an orange hue on my bike. Why? Well.......



...I tend to do dumb shit on motorcycles when I am left to my own devices and more often than not I have some type of ridiculous solo impromptu adventure. This time was no different. In my attempt to find a short cut to Frostproof I wound up in some orange groves. I figured "What the hell, I can ride through them and I will pop out on the other side. No biggie." I did do just that but not until I spent about an hour going through or around irrigation ditches, sugar sand and grass fields. I finally reemerged in a tiny neighborhood where curious onlookers asked me where I had just come from. When I told them and then asked for directions to "Scenic 17A" they laughed and said "The fastest way is through that grove there but it's easier if you take the road!". Thanks...Thanks for that. I took the road.

I really dig this area of FL. It has rolling hills and curvy roads as well as a ton of gorgeous scenery. It seriously looks like a painting in person.









Up next...My crazy night in Wachula at Charlotte's Web Pub!!!
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:38 AM   #20
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And now a brief interlude..




A few pictures from a pre-hare scramble event hosted by FTR and the Apollo MC club. We are getting ready for this years event schedule.

There are 4 of us in this pic.Can you find Waldo? In the foreground is my buddy Dan's (far right in pic) son. 14 years old and a B class rider. The kid is just plain fast!!




My buddy Ryan on his 96' EXC.



The two of us after an exhausting hot lap. You haven't ridden technical singletrack until you have done an FTR trail. 40 plus minutes for an 11 mile loop!!

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Old 09-07-2012, 05:21 AM   #21
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and now back to our regularly scheduled crapfest!!

So after departing from Frostproof I was pretty tired and wanted to make tracks to Wachula and the Charlotte's Web Pub. I refuse to take the interstate unless it is absolutely necessary. Luckily this part of FL is intertwined with secondary county roads that are so desolate that you may not see another vehicle for hours if you pick the right ones.....I got lucky and found some great riding through dairy farm land and preserve areas. Only a few cars over the course of a few hours.

When I finally arrived at Charlotte's Web I was greeted with a tiny building on the corner of someone's homestead. How cool is it to wake up, walk out of you front door, take 20 steps and arrive at work?! I went inside, ordered a beer and asked the bartender about the free camping. Her response ? " Sorry sweety but we only allow free camping for rallies." CRAP!! I chatted with her while I nursed my beer all the while dreading getting back on the bike. It was 5pm and I had been on the bike since 6:30 a.m. with only a couple of short breaks. After about 15 minutes she says to me "You seem pretty cool and you are kinda' cute. Let me ask Charlotte if she will let you put up your tent for the night." I thought to myself.."Kinda cute?" . What the hell, at least I may get a free camp spot. A few minutes pass and this cool ass looking older tattooed biker lady comes out of the back office and asks "You Dave?"... "Yes ma'am." We talk for a few and she says "Stick around, have another beer and feel free to put up your tent anywhere in old grove at the back of the property."

Charlotte turns out to be super cool as does her niece Casey who works there as one of the bartenders. I meet a few locals there and am treated like family. I get invited to a huge party but decline. I'm freakin' beat so I choose to hang out at the bar drinking beer and just talking to the people around me. Later Charlotte pops out of the back and sets up this big buffet table. Today is Cinco de Mayo and she has put together a taco and burrito station. The best part ? FREE!!! Seriously?!! Charlotte, you know how to make a guy not want to leave. YOU ROCK!!!


Not a great pic as my camera didn't like the lighting in the joint but here are Charlotte and Casey .



FREE TACOS and $1.50 BEER!!!



As the night progressed,the place filled up with a mix of local farmers,retirees, surly bikers and college kids. A really cool mix of people that all got along just fine. See what happens when you can put preconceived notions aside and just enjoy life's differences?

My free secluded camp spot in an abandoned orange grove. So freaking cool.



After a great night I stumbled to my tent around 1 a.m. So much for being tired and wanting rest eh?

This night was graced with a "Super Moon" which ,combined with the moisture in the air, made for a surreal setting once the sun went down. Unfortunately my pics didn't turn out but let me just say that with the glow of a low hung full moon that forced brilliant shadows to be cast by the twisted old trees through the apparitional swirling fog I felt as though I had entered another world. I sat down on a rusty old chair for a while just admiring the work that nature had put into this seemingly living night. I had this beautiful feeling of being all alone yet being in a crowd of loved ones that had passed on but whose spirits were greeting me in the twilight. I said a quick prayer to my ancestors and retired to my tent where I promptly feel asleep. Alcohol is a hell of a drug.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:01 AM   #22
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I awoke around 7 a.m. (late for me) to a gorgeous view.



It was still wet out and I was in no hurry to just jump up and bug out so I took my time. I moved my tent into the sun so that it could dry out a bit and used that fantastic rusty old chair to brew some much needed coffee. How the hell I managed to escape a hangover was beyond me but I sure as hell wasn't going to bitch about it. I spent a few minute staring at my map and planning my route home.



After packing up I stopped for a photo op in front of the pub. Last nights lively festival with all it's sites, sounds and smells had given way to a shell that simply housed a recipe for future lively nights. It was now devoid of the "life" that made yesterdays eve so memorable. The contrast was startling as I stood there alone in the parking lot with the only sound being the engine of the vehicle that was about to take me home.



I found some great little backroads that meandered through a combination of old growth oak stands , slash pine areas and palmetto scrub. At the end of one particularly twisty road (you laugh but us Floridians know where to look ) there was a group of sport bike riders parked at a gas station about to head in the direction that I had just come from. I chatted them up for a few minutes and it turns out that this particular road is pretty popular with the local riders. They all commented on how they never see HD guys come down that road and that it was cool to see a guy putting one through it's paces. One rider in particular was super stoked to hear that I had raised my bike 2 inches rather than the typical slamming to the earth that is so popular right now. Gave me a big thumbs up when he saw the Works Performance shocks on the bike. Sometimes compliments just feel good.

I made my way to CR78 for a nice relaxing ride home. It was now love bug season and they made their presence known by exploding all over my bike. For those of you that don't know this pleasure , it is something like being sprayed with liquid plastic...The look and smell is, ummmm, not enjoyable and they taste even worse. Add to that the fact that they are a pain in the ass to try and scrub off once dried and you have a recipe for a less than pleasant ride while in their company.


A bike that has been kamikaze'd by some of the little bastards!!



And the last pic for this ride. A brief stop at a small park for a piss break and visor cleaning.






.....for today.
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Ginger Beard screwed with this post 09-07-2012 at 06:26 AM
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:04 AM   #23
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A few random riding pics.

My daughter and I on a ride through a wildlife management area. 22 miles of dirt, mud , water and potholes.




I had the pleasure of meeting up with fellow inmate GhostRiderFC who is traveling around the USA. He's a great guy and has a really cool ride report here on ADVR. LINK to his RR.


Flight 592 memorial in the Everglades.



Saying goodbye and wishing him a fun and safe trip.

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Old 09-11-2012, 04:50 AM   #24
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Some Florida sugar sand.



The mighty XRL getting it done.

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Old 10-01-2012, 06:18 AM   #25
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The Everglades

Here are a few pics from a recent ride through the Everglades National Park. The road stretches 38 miles and there are various boardwalks and hiking trails along the way.



Lots of youngsters this time of year.
Juvenile Banded Water Snake.



This flower reminds me of growing up in the country. They were everywhere and seeing one always takes me back to memories of cool misty morning walks with my dogs, birds singing in the background and the faint rumble of my horse as he scrambled to make it to the fence before we would pass. It's interesting to me to find these memory triggers. The human mind is an incredible thing.



I had most of the boardwalks to myself which gave me a very connected and calm feeling.



If you ever come a cross a fly like this one do try your best not to be on the menu. At over an inch long with a very painful bite, being lunch isn't a fun experience.

Horsefly.



Massive Mahogany Tree.



A pair of air plants waiting to bloom.



The isolated and vacant walkway was great. I love being out in these areas knowing that there isn't another soul for miles.



I thought that this fungus was really unique and beautiful. It was very small (about 4mm high) but stood out in a small patch of light where the canopy had relented it's shadowy grip on the the sun above.



Five lined skink that was courteous enough to pose for a pic before sprinting off into the undergrowth.



Another juvenile snake. this one is a black racer. As they age their colorful markings give way to dark black.



Is the alligator Florida's toughest apex predator? Nope, that honor goes to the trucks. At roughly 9 feet long I can't imagine that the vehicle that hit this fellow left the scene unscathed.



If you are lucky enough to get out here when the tourists are gone there is barely another vehicle. If only all roads were this devoid of traffic.



The end of the access road, Flamingo.

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Old 12-16-2012, 06:56 PM   #26
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-My dad got shot and killed when I was one year old.
I grow up wandering how it shut be having a father...

-Love your thread, you are are a lucky guy... Big hug for you, your dad and your daughter.

I have a daughter too, she is 15 years old. I have carried her on a scooter, later on a motorcycle since she was 8 months old. By the way, my dad should be around 70 if he were alive.
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:29 PM   #27
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-My dad got shot and killed when I was one year old.
I grow up wandering how it shut be having a father...

-Love your thread, you are are a lucky guy... Big hug for you, your dad and your daughter.

I have a daughter too, she is 15 years old. I have carried her on a scooter, later on a motorcycle since she was 8 months old. By the way, my dad should be around 70 if he were alive.

Sorry to hear about your father. My condolences and thank you for the well wishes. Send some love to your daughter from a fellow rider here in states for me. I appreciate the sentiment regarding my dad and I am very thankful that such a man chose to be part of my life. I never met my biological father. My family had arranged for me to meet him when I was in my early 20's but he was murdered 2 weeks before my birthday. Life hands out some shitty cards at times but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I know that seems a bit cliche but I am sure that you are the person that you are due to how you became who you are and I am positive that your daughter benefits from that.


Cheers to you. If you ever make it state side please do not hesitate to contact me.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:21 PM   #28
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Thanks for the trip down( and around) memory lane. I was fortunate enough to be stationed at Avon Park Bombing Range from the early '70s til '79. Central Florida was a wonderful place to roam. I used to drive 40,000 miles per year inside the areas you covered, camping, hiking, scuba diving in the lakes and grove ponds ,and just roaming the country side. Yea, those grove roads can be a bit of a challenge, I even used to ride a ten speed bicycle through them. You captured the essence and beauty of the real Florida of years ago and allowed us another look at it. Thank you.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:39 AM   #29
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Great pics. I live just up the road and come down to Florida as much as I can. It may not have of much in the way of twistes but for me the scenery and wildlife more than make up for it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:33 AM   #30
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Great pics. I live just up the road and come down to Florida as much as I can. It may not have of much in the way of twistes but for me the scenery and wildlife more than make up for it.

Glad you enjoyed the pics. Your post reminds me that I need to get up to SC and do some back road exploring again.
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