|12-03-2013, 11:41 AM||#1|
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Temple Terrace, FL
Thanksgiving Weekend Ride – Central Florida
Bike: Suzuki V-Strom 1000 2012
Top Box: Bestem 929 (brake light wired)
Dry Bag: 20L bag from Walmart’s camping selection
Tank Bag: Cycle Case Rider GPS Tank Bag
Phone Cradle: RAM RAP-SB-187-UN7U Universal bike Mount (Amazon)
Power outlet: Motorcycle Bike 12 Volt Power Outlet Jack Lighter Socket, Handlebar Mount, Fuse, 60" Wire Harness (Amazon)
Mirror Extenders: generic from eBay
After a tasty dinner with friends on Thanksgiving Thursday I got to go to work all day Friday. The day went by slower than Christmas night waiting to open the presents the following morning. At home everything was ready to for my wife and I to embark on our first ever weekend long ride. We have ridden all day before, sunrise to sunset, but never overnight. Somewhere in the mix of rides there is a failed attempt and moto-camping, we got so much rain that our tent turned into a pool and we had to ride home; luckily we were less than two hours ride from home.
Black Friday came and went and I missed all the sales while being stuck in the office longing for what was coming that night. Clock out time came and I rushed home, stopping to fill up the bike. At home the wife was ready to go. Once I arrived, first thing was to load the bike: inside the top box was all rain gear, tools, toiletries, flashlight, zippo and fluid, wife’s thermal layer of her jacket, and some running shoes. Change of clothes for the weekend end up in a dry bag bungee tied to the top box. Tank bag contained my phone, wallet, warm gloves, Leatherman wave, driving directions for the days’ ride, and some other things that I can’t remember right now. Checked tire pressure and we are off.
The ride started at 6 PM with the original idea to make it to Winter Park, FL in 2 hours via interstate, have dinner, and continue to our hotel in Lake Mary. Things changed as soon as I locked the door at home, my wife remember we had $40 of free food at a restaurant in Celebration, FL (about half way to Winter Park). Adjusted the GPS to point me to this restaurant rather than to the original dinner destination. The ride to the restaurant was mostly uneventful, just a ride on I-4 at night. It did get a bit cold on the bike, it was 51F before wind chill. Dinner was great, we got some tapas, paella, and finished with churros.
We got on the bike but not before putting some more clothes on to avoid getting cold. From the restaurant it was a straight shot to Lake Mary to our hotel, again on I-4.
The only plan we had for Saturday was to follow the directions I wrote, right through some town, and see if there is anything to do. Total ride for the day if done at once was 130 miles, or 2.5 hours. While getting the included breakfast at the hotel, my wife saw that there is a mansion in the first town and that they do tours; this mansion is supposed to “the largest, most opulent and historic home ever built in Florida before the 20th Century. So we got moving toward the first set of directions to the town of Deland, FL and in search of the Stetson Mansion but when we arrived we found that we needed reservations to do the tour. We got on the road again, Co Rd 42 to be exact, which took us through the south side of Ocala National Forest. I stopped at one of the entrances that took us to Clearwater Lake which included a good looking campground (which we took notice for the future), and the lake was open for swimming (this is a strange thing in Florida because of alligators in any body of water).
Co Rd 42 took us across Altoona where we found an open house/fair for rescue horses. A family takes over horses that are mistreated or which can be cared any more by previous owners. They were grilling some hotdogs with onions and peppers, we had one each. After taking a some pictures, petting the horses, and playing with a small puppy we continued on Co Rd 42 and then a left on US-441.
We passed by The Villages (+55 town) and Leesburg. Took another left on Co Rd 44 that lead us to our lunch destinations. I had picked on two places beforehand based on online reviews and we chose The “Dam” Smoker BBQ. Pulled pork, sliced meet, and a loaded potato later we are on FL-19 to Mount Dora.
I have been at Mount Dora a handful of times and it is always nice to be back here. Today they had the Light Up of the city celebration. We arrived at 3 PM when the streets started to get closed by the police and had hard time finding parking; ended up sharing a spot with another biker on a FJR. My wife was feeling sleepy so we went for coffee but ended up drinking a beer while overlooking the street from a second floor balcony. Everybody walking in the street was headed to the park where a concert was scheduled. We made our way there too and found a sport to sit. Concert started at 5:30 so he had about 2 hours before it for a nap. Got us some coffee and the concert started. Concert was all Christmas songs and performances by local dance groups. The city had the light up of the city and all the trees and light posts came to life. Also the giant Christmas tree was turned on and music was playing with the lights flashing in sync.
It was close to 8PM when we got some beers for the hotel tonight and left Mount Dora. Took FL-46 straight to the hotel. This road was pitch black at some points but I was impressed with the lighting power of the V-Strom good depth , wide light pattern, and excellent clarity. Arrived at the hotel and ordered pizza delivery but couldn’t enjoy the beers since the froze on the hotel freezer in no time.
Sunday started again with breakfast and checkout. The original plan was to take some roads around lake Apopka to Lakeridge Winery. Instead with went to Winter Park, to Park Ave in particular. Walked a little but was too early and all stores were closed. Got coffee and nutella crepes at a French bakery.
Pointed the GPS to guide me back to the roads I had planned around Lake Apopka by instead it decided to send me through US-50 with was none stop street lights and shops. When I realized the error I was too far to turn around so I throttle until I saw a familiar intersection. At this point my train of thought was, since I can’t see the new roads I had planned out I will take one tried and true and very fun. I took the right to Old Co Rd 50 (FL-455). This is a very scenic road, with rolling hills and nice turns. While riding 455 the GPS kept readjusting to guide me to the Winery but I kept ignoring. At the other side of 455 I said “OK GPS take me to the Winery”.
Lakeridge Winery uses the native muscadine grapes for its wine, they are very sweet but tasty. We took the tour, tasted their selection, and bought 2 bottles for home. We are going to be back on December 14 for the Godiva Chocolate and Wine festival.
Across from the winery we stopped for lunch at Oakwood BBQ. This was the last stop before home. We took our time at lunch and over looked from the Florida “mountains”. Stopped for gas and head home through familiar roads with included the scenic Lakeshore Dr in Clermont, FL.
[IMG http://i.imgur.com/cnM4njBh.jpg [/IMG]
Made it home before dark and unpacked the bike. I notice the back wheel was getting a little flat down the middle and could have used some more air pressure this weekend; lesson learned for next trip. With a total of miles travelled of 380.
|12-03-2013, 12:13 PM||#2|
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Southeast Lower Carolina
Nice ride. Good riding weather ahead, relatively speaking. Bok Tower Gardens is a great day trip just by Lake Wales.
2009 BeeMWhua G650
Family, Friends, and Felons in Florida
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