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Old 07-23-2012, 07:09 AM   #1
Ginger Beard OP
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An amalgamation of RR's past

I have been riding motorcycles for roughly 30 years but the street bike phenomenon is a relatively new endeavor for me (about 10 years). In that time I have done quite few little trips here and there. Time for many of us is a precious commodity and trying to squeeze in a ride every now and again can be difficult. That is definitely true for me. When I do get to ride it is usually a spiritual experience. Not in the biblical sense mind you but it is definitely a good soul cleanser. Anyway ,not many of my rides are full on RR worthy so I thought that I would bundle a few small multi-day trips into this thread.

My two main mounts...

My trusty 2003 KLX300r. It is the epitome of dead nuts reliable. This thing has survived over 42k miles so far and will be entered in this years FTR Hair Scramble series in the vet C class.



...and my 2009 Sportster xl1200c. I love this thing. It reminds me of the raw riding experience that was provided by my first bike,an 86' xr80. It takes me all over the place and serves as my daily ride. I can't help but smile every time I swing a leg over it. I have put nearly 25k miles on it in the last two years and considering I have 4 bikes I tend to ride the Sportster the most. Fun,reliable and great mpg? Check,check and check.







My dad is the person that got me into this whole bike sickness so I want to start by giving him a big thank you for that influence. He is a a big inspiration to me and I am envious, amazed by and proud of the adventures that he has had in his life. A couple of years ago he decided to ride his Sportster from his home in Homer AK to my home in Hollywood FL. One morning I got a call from him that went something like this "The weather is finally nice here. I am loading up the bike and heading your way. I love you buddy. See you in a month or so.". A little over a month later my 70 year old dad and I were sitting around a camp fire talking about his solo trip from Alaska to the southeastern most tip of the lower 48. His "fuck it, let's do it! " spirit is something that I am glad to have inherited. One day I hope to look back on my own life and recount a tale of my own adventures. Hopefully they will include a metric shit-ton of motorcycle trips.


Here are a few pics from my ride up to TN to meet my dad for the last bit of his AK to FL trip.

With only 1100mi on the odometer I warm up my new bike for the first day's ride. Destination GA.



After nearly 3 hours of monsoon like rain I pull off in southern GA for a snack break and to wring out my socks.



My dad rolling in to the camp site in Raccoon MTN, TN. I hadn't seen him in over a year so this site was just awesome to me.



Our campsite for the evening.

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Old 07-24-2012, 06:08 AM   #2
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As this was one of my first road trips on a bike my picture taking was a bit sparse. Documenting rides/trips seems to either be an acquired skill or inherent talent...I have neither.

Decided to take a post breakfast walk. TN is beautiful place.




By the time we loaded up the bikes and hit the road we were already hungry again. About 2 hours into GA we decided to stop and eat. We wound up driving through a bit of a ghetto and as anyone knows, they tend to have some great food at really low prices. Finding these joints usually requires asking a local and this time it was no different. On the recommendation of a guy drinking a beer outside of a corner store ,we hit up a Taqueria. I wish I could remember the name of this place because for $5.99 you could get an all you can eat buffet of freshly made Mexican food.



Rest stop in GA. Time to touch base with the fam at home.



We stayed the night at a truck stop hotel in Savannah GA. We were planning on camping but it seems as though tent sites fetch a premium here. $40 for one site!! The hotel was $25.00 so it was a bit of a no brainer (which is perfect for us ).
The next morning we hit up the local WaffleHouse for breakfast. This would be the last time we would stop while the sun was shining for the next 4 hours.



Once back in FL we decided to spend a day with some family in Sebastian.


I grew up vacationing here as a kid and always find myself by the Sebastian inlet at least once a year.




One of the things that I love most about FL is the abundance of wildlife. It is wildly diverse and the density of the biomass is incredible.

Blue Land Crab.



Wood Storks.

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Old 07-24-2012, 06:28 AM   #3
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Good stuff. Your dad sounds like a cool dude
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:59 AM   #4
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Good stuff. Your dad sounds like a cool dude
Thanks man. He's a bit of a hero to me.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:09 AM   #5
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So back in March my dad came down to FL for a visit. Since his bike was already here we decided to spend a week checking out Florida and trying to find the old charm that has been eliminated from much of the southern end of FL.

Here is my bike loaded up for the trip. She's changed a bit in the last couple of years.



Stopping off to visit my aunt and have a bit of breakfast. Hard to see her in the pic since she is the one that took it...My dad is saying cheeeeezzzzeeee.


My home town..West Palm Beach FL. Quick stat. In 2008 we were listed as the most violent city in the USA. West Palm Beach, FUCK YEAH!!!




Looking across the intracoastal waterway to the island of Palm Beach and a glimpse at how the other half lives.



Roadside break in Singer Island.



We decided to stop for lunch in Stuart FL. The place is called the Whistle Stop and they have some great southern cooking.


Our destination for the night would be Sebastian. We arrived at dark thirty-four and set up camp. It was a bit hot out but thankfully their were a ton of mosquitoes.

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Old 07-27-2012, 05:51 AM   #6
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Day Two of the Rediscover FL ride.

We awoke to a cool humid morning. The bugs from the night before had all but vanished and the forecast of rain turned out to be a bit...ummmmm..inaccurate.

Is that Indian Larry ? Nope...It's my old man goofing off.



And one of me showing off my awesome coffee stained teeth. Note that I am still wearing the same shirt as yesterday. I'm a class act.



Almost ready to hit the road.



Their was a greeting committee at the first gas station that we stopped at. This cock had a lot of chicks hanging around him. Probably because he's a ginger. I got a funny look by a woman that was pumping gas when I yelled out " Hey dad, look at this huge COCK!!".



Stopped off for lunch at a wild life preserve.




When we are on the road we try to keep the food costs down. Part of how we do this is local grove stands. $ .99 sardines and a $ .69 avocado plus a fist-full of sunflower seeds and dried fruit...The sub $3.00 road lunch.



Birds seemed to greet us at every gas stop. This Red Tailed Hawk was spending his day in Salt Springs.



We had spent the day just cruising some back roads on our way to meet with some old friends of my dad. Not very many pics from today but the ride was great! Relatively cool weather and winding ,low traffic back roads.

Our home away from home for the night....A trailer under some shady old oaks right on the shore of Lake Kerr.



We spent an awesome night with some great people. I was a bit trashed so I forgot to get pics. We wound up at a local seafood joint that had all you could eat specials. After eating more shrimp and fried okra than any human should consume, we headed back to our chalet by the lake.

I really love this bike and seeing this first thing in the a.m. just made me happy so I took a pic.




The neighborhood here really takes me back to what I remember Florida looking like before northerners,developers and bureaucratic greed stepped in and fucked up the state that I love so much. Note the distinct lack of pink stucco and palm trees held up by sticks.



This place does not suck.



A million dollar view for what would be the cost of a 1 bedroom apartment in the ghetto down here in SFL.



Poseur pic. Hard to see in the photo but that road behind me (which leads to the neighborhood pictured above) is sugar sand that is several inches deep. Luckily Sportsters have dirt bike origins so it's no problem even loaded with gear.


Beautiful back-country through Ocala.




I told my pops to pose all sexy for the ladies....This is what I get for asking.



We decided to head over and check out the Swanee River.




Way down by the Swanee River....






Funny story: We decided to try and find a camp ground near the Swanee but they were either too spendy or full so we moved on down the road a bit. There wasn't much going on outside of the small town we had just passed through so we stopped at the first place we saw (a roadside bar) for some local help. We walked in,sat down and ordered a couple of cold ones and started chatting with the bartender and a couple of the local patrons....That's when it happened...Something seemed amiss with the decor and the bar's patrons. What was it? It seems that we had just taken a seat at the local Klan watering hole. WTF??!! The people eyed us suspiciously before asking where we were from. When I said South FL they went on a rant about how the damn spics (I didn't mention that I am half Cuban) and niggers had ruined South FL and that is why some of them had moved up to this area. There were also some "fun" items for sale like a "Don't Re-Nig in 2012" bumper sticker and T-shirts with a picture of a chimp and the words "Obama 2012" . Holy hell !!! After getting directions to a local campground and finishing our beers,we left post haste. Oddly the people in the bar were very helpful. My dad and I had a big laugh that night talking about what we had just experienced. Good times!!
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:39 AM   #7
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So after leaving the White Power Lounge we made our way to the campgrounds that we would call home for the night. The place is called Shady Oaks and I have to say that this place is pretty cool. They treat their guests like family and are pretty damn accommodating to the motorcycle crowd. We had an interesting night with the locals at this joint. The campground has a rec hall with a pool table. They serve beer and snacks as well which really helped add to the evenings festivities. Quick story: I use to play pool with my buddy Chris back in high school and college in order to "earn" extra money. After far too many fights with people that didn't take kindly to being hustled I stopped playing for years. Flash forward to our stay at Shady Oaks and lets just say the locals here aren't much different. After playing a couple of games with a few locals they decided enough was enough...The new guy MUST lose. I played one of the best local players that they had to offer. The bet? Loser buys a round for the bar. I tried to throw the game but he missed on the eight ball. I was tired and with 7 balls still on the table I decided to run them all in. My opponent was a bit pissed when he realized he'd been set up. I bought the round in order to make peace. These people were super cool and leaving them with a bad impression would not have sat well with me. Thanks for the games and beer Shady Oaks peeps, your campground is on my list of "must go back."


We met a fellow at the campground that goes by the name of Butch. He's a really interesting dude. It seems Butch is a fellow biker that had a pretty successful career out west and decided that he would leave said career in order to set out on the road for a while. Well, it seems Butch found the Shady Oaks Campground about 7 years ago while on his road trip and never left. Here are Butch and my dad discussing various road trips that they had taken on their bikes. Butch hooked us up with some great info on local roads as well as talking us into going to Cedar Key. Thanks Butch!!





After riding through some beautiful FL back roads, we found our way over to Cedar Key (click link for wiki info). Cedar Key is dubbed the most rural city in FL. It is literally at the tip of nowhere. The place is a really cool little fishing town and has a very old world feeling. I could see myself living in a place like this at some point.

Lunch in the park "downtown". The fresh locally baked blueberry loaf was the bees knees as were the boiled peanuts!!



The view from our table wasn't too shabby.





A pic of the main-street through downtown Cedar Key.




After leaving Cedar Key we decided to start working our way south. We road down through the Withlacoochee Forest, This area of Florida is beautiful and one of my favorites as the riding is great (for FL :) ).

On the way we found this cool old church.





Under the mossy oaks was the resting place of some former church members...Can't say it's a bad place to sleep the deep sleep if I do say so myself.





One particular headstone stood out. It was newer than the rest but check out the dates!! I tried to imagine her life and recount the changes that the world had gone through while she was part of it. Incredible!! Rest in peace Victoria.

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:37 AM   #8
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You tell a fine story and it looks like you're having a great trip. Here's to many more for you and your Dad!
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:18 AM   #9
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You tell a fine story and it looks like you're having a great trip. Here's to many more for you and your Dad!

Thank you nevermind.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:14 AM   #10
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After some great riding through the Withlacoochee Forest we wound up at the Silver Lake campground. The access road to the camp sites was a mix of sand and gravel which "forced" me to do some big corner drifts. I also tried to roost my dad but street tires don't throw dirt very well. When we got to the site he says "You know....If you drop that thing out here in the dirt I'm going to laugh at you." As well you should man, as well you should.

We met a couple that led us to what were considered the best spots in the park. These two were real characters. They had sold off most of their worldly possessions in order to simplify so that they could spend the rest of their years traveling in their minivan with their pet guinea pig. We hung out with them for a bit and it got me wondering if I would ever have the stones to shake off the shackles of societal burdens and just spend my days as a modern nomad. I don't right now and quite frankly that bothers me a bit. They were super cool old hippies and it was great knowing that there are still folks that live like this as they were the epitome of the peace and love era.



Our little home for the night.



The prerequisite camp fire...It is a camp donchuknow!



My dad and I spent the evening drinking whiskey and eating some leftover fruits, peanuts and bread while discussing life and how much each of us has changed while we have shared this journey called life. I know he won't always be around so getting to know about his life, what has influenced him to be himself and where he feels that my path will lead me in this life becomes more important to me with every passing year.

Our ever faithful steeds wait patiently for tomorrow's ride.




I fell asleep to the sound of light rain and the flicker of a fire that refused to yield to it's proverbial elemental nemesis.

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Old 08-15-2012, 07:47 AM   #11
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We awoke the next day to high humidity and a bit more heat than the previous few days. No biggie since we are Florida natives but man, some cool whether would have been nice. I told my dad about the ADV solute. He found it pretty funny but decided on the "tard" hand instead . Nice dude!



We packed up and headed out with no particular route in mind. It turned out to be a great day of just wandering around. Sadly I was a bit lazy with the camera on this day...More so than usual.

We found our way to the little town of Frostproof in the Highland County area of Florida. This is one of the few areas in FL where there is elevation change that isn't the result of a thousand garbage truck parade or river dredge. The town of Frostproof has a very 50's feel and they have done a great job preserving the old world feel as well as the building with their classic architecture.







It seems that they were preparing for their first annual bike fest. That banner over the road says "Welcome Bikers" on it. We felt special to be the first to arrive.



We stopped at O'Hara Restoration to check out some vintage scoots and cages. A big bonus for me is that they are one of the few Royal Enfield dealers in the state. I really dig these things and will own one at some point. The one that they had in stock was shy and it hid it's face behind my right mirror when I took this shot.



We continued to ride south until we came to Sebring. After battle Sebring rush hour we decided that we had enough of being on the bikes for the day so we decided to stop for the night. Sebring is a bit touristy and the prices for lodging and food reflect it. We had been camping for several days and decided to spoil ourselves by finding the cheapest hotel in town. The owner was really nice and gave us a room in the back of the hotel that was away from the other guests and where the bikes wouldn't be visible from the road. $49.00 split two ways...SCORE!!

We found a restaurant that seemed promising on the outside. Once we got inside I immediately noticed the white tablecloths and thought " Ummmm...We have a problem Houston." We said fuck it and sat down at the bar. There was a super stuffy preppy young couple at the end of the counter complete with sockless boat shoes and sweaters around their necks. WTF?!! I had no idea that these people existed outside of the Revenge of the Nerds movie set and surely believed that if they did indeed exist, they had become extinct during the 90's...NOPE!! Their they were...Right there....Complaining to the bar tender that the last place they had gone to simply could not make a proper Mint Julep or White Russian.:ymca When I asked the bar tender what their drink specials were he snidely responded "This isn't that kind of bar." . He then proceeded to tell us about the last ruffians that had come in. Seems that they got drunk and began to *gasp* DANCE!!! I asked him for two shots of Jack and requested that he turn the music to something with a better beat for jigging. I thought that it was funny. Him? Not so much. I made a few more classless jokes as the evening progressed and not one of them resulted in the crack of a smile. Apparently his stuffed shirt had ruined his sense of humor. Oh well, the food was actually damn good and my pops and I got pretty lit on beer and whiskey regardless of their discontent with our appearance and demeanor. After drinking until my vision had deteriorated we headed back to our room for some R&R.
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:46 AM   #12
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It was definitely getting to be summer in FL. We awoke to 80 degree temps and high humidity. It was one of those mornings where you need to bite a hole through the moisture just to take a breath. I needed a shower after loading my bike (I didn't take one because I am a bit gross. ). Today would be a bit of a push for home due to work constraints on my part. This was to be the last day of our little tour of FL.


Getting ready to depart from our private suite at the Sebring Budget Inn.



We stopped and had a bit of breakfast at the local diner. Eggs, bacon and a pile of biscuits and gravy. No pics of it but trust me, it was good!

We wound our way down towards Okeechobee FL to have a look at Lake Okeechobee. The lake is huge and shares it's shores with 5 Florida counties. Check the link for more info on FL's largest lake.





We ended the day on a bit of a somber note as my dad and I knew that we wouldn't be doing another road trip for a while. The following day he popped in to spend the day with his granddaughter and did his best to impart some old school wisdom on her. I wish that we didn't live so far apart because I truly believe that more of his influence would be beneficial to her in the long run just as it has been for me. Moments like these are rare for us but we make the most of them when they occur.





El fin.....For this ride that is.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:50 AM   #13
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At the end of my dads trip to FL he gave me a huge surprise. The talk went something like this.

Quote:
Dad: "So I won't have time or funds to ride my bike back to AK, do you think that you might want it?"

Me: "HELL YES!!"


Dad: "Okay but I have one stipulation...You have to do something cool with it."


Me: "I already have something in mind man. Thank you so much."
This is the bike that has served my dad so well. He has ridden this bike all over the USA. It is the bike that took him on his AK to FL bucket-list ride. It has survived the Dempster and countless "off the beaten path" adventures along the way and it has done so without one complaint or breakdown. This will be the bike that I build into something that will take me on a special trip that I have planned. A trip that has been in my mind for over a decade. A trip that I haven't been able to make happen yet but it WILL happen.

Here she is as my pops left her with me.



In a few weeks I will start a build thread for this project and will post a link in this thread.


Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it!!
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:23 AM   #14
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Solo around FL...A Break from the daily grind.

So a couple of months after my dad went back to AK I realized that I had the itch again (NO, NOT THAT KIND OF ITCH!!). Originally I had planned to do a weekend ride with some of the guys from the Quad Cam Bastards but they had to bail for various reasons. I had already taken a couple of days off work and I hadn't been to St Pete since I was kid so I said decided "Fuck it, I'm going for a ride!" Since I was solo I decided to just wander around heading north west with only a destination in mind. The route? I figured it would come together as it was meant to.

I loaded up my bike and headed to Clewiston for gas and a snack break.




Cruising through "downtown" Clewiston. I really dig the old timey feel of this town (minus the digital sign).



A long ,boring stretch of US27...



Who says South Florida is flat and curve-less ? The naked human eye, that's who.




1978 called, they want their neighborhood back...



Found this cool little seemingly unused road that went on for miles. I didn't see another soul for over 45 minutes which is uncommon given FL's population density. I wish I had more pics of it as it turned from decent blacktop to old blacktop to broken up blacktop to pieces of blacktop strewn in a road-like shape complete with trees growing out of the cracks then back into brand new blacktop.



Really bummed that I don't have pics between that last one and St Pete. I found some really fun back roads. One of which traced a meandering railroad track. The road went back and forth over the track in a snake-like fashion. Ever jump a fully loaded HD ? I have quite a few times and it is fun as hell in that ass-puckering sort of way! YEEHAAAAAW!!! I saw one car in the 1.5 hours that I followed that road. Good times....

Crossing one of the various bridges heading to St Petersburg.



Like I said, I had no real plan for this ride. Fort Desoto park was a last minute decision and I got there right before the office closed for the evening. When I walked in ,the park official asked what my reservation number was. I responded with " Reservations?! We don't need no stinking reservations!!" to which he just looked at me blankly. And the uptight couple in line behind me? Not even a snicker. I then said (with a non-mexican accent this time) "I don't have a reservation, do you have any sites available?". He said that he doubted it but after a few tense minutes he did find one. He was actually pretty cool and we chatted a bit about where I was riding to and about the tourists that like to feed the cute and cuddly raccoons which are now not afraid of people and commonly raid camp sites. BRILLIANT!!!

I got to my site about 15min til' sunset. As I sat there on the beach I thought about life and how lucky I am to be able to do things like this. I said a silent prayer for the beautiful state that has been my home for 38 years. Between the developers, the government and the populous that all seem insistent on fucking up our local environment, this beautiful place is going to need all the help it can get...Even if that help is in the form of some bullshit well-meaning spiritual utterances from some dude on a motorcycle ride.

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Ginger Beard screwed with this post 08-22-2012 at 08:13 AM
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:27 AM   #15
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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.
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