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Old 03-15-2014, 07:38 PM   #1
dstriffler OP
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Location: New York
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New York to Key West

I had been planning this trip for months. Its my first trip of this size, and I was using this as a precursor to even larger trips, like the Trans America Trail and South America. The plan was to ride down to Daytona Beach for Bike week, taking the scenic route and never doing more than 300 miles per day, except on the first day to escape the cold. I have a bunch of free nights in hotels I accumulated so I would use those in addition to staying with family in Melbourne, Florida, and Wlimington, North Carolina. The entire trip would take 2 weeks (originally 3 weeks, but my job was not being very agreeable.). My girlfriend would fly down to Miami and we would ride Key West together, then she would fly back and I would finish the ride home. I bought heated gloves, a lot of luggage, and fully prepped the bike for the trip. We've had a very cold winter this year here in NY, and the week before I left was no exception. I originally planned on leaving Sunday, but a blizzard was due to arrive that day so at the last minute I changed it to Saturday AM.

It was 16 degrees when I left. That kind of cold seems to get into your bones, and despite the heated gloves and many layers of clothing I couldn't seem to stay warm. I just held on and pushed as far as I could go before stopping at a rest area in New Jersey to warm up. People were doing double takes at me as I was riding, I guess unable to believe that a crazy person on a motorcycle was out riding in such frigid weather. I don't drink coffee, but at the rest stop I sat down with a cup of coffee to keep me alert and warm me up.

Starting shots of the bike packed and ready to go:
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I got down to Rehoboth Beach, thinking it would be warmer but it wasn't. Apparently I was in a massive cold front, and would be all the way down to Florida.

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Lunch:
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:47 PM   #2
dstriffler OP
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Breakfast of Champions!
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My uncle's place in Florida:
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It did say bike parking....
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Florida and Daytona Beach!
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I read about a list of the top hamburgers in the US, and decided to visit the top three. I already did the Chanler in Rhode Island over the summer (#3), Peter Luger in Brooklyn in the fall (#2) and now Le Tub, in Hollywood Florida (#1)
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:57 PM   #3
dstriffler OP
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The Jungle Trail
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Miami Beach
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Key West!
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I had one of these drinks in a hollowed out pineapple...
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Hemingway House:
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One of his many cats:
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Lunch, and dessert at the Key Lime Pie factory!
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I ate it before my girlfriend could take a picture!
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Vizcaya House and Gardens
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:01 PM   #4
Hoot Gibson
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Key West

one of my favorite crazy places....count me in! plus spent many an hour at Reho Beach in Delaware when in the Air Force at Dover, back in 1968...pre Vietnam...now that place has changed over the past 45 years...was last there in 1997. Plus my 90 year old Mom has a Condo at Ormond Beach, just north of Daytona....been toand seen many of the place you photographed....great stuff!
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:11 PM   #5
dstriffler OP
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I saw this DR350 and took a picture, because it had Minnesota plates on it. I was hoping he rode it to Key West from there!


Dropping off my girlfriend at the airport:



St. Augustine!




On the way home I had to superslab it on 95, because I was trying to beat a huge cold front of thunderstorms. I went from Melbourne, Florida all the way up to Raleigh, North Carolina in one day. Then up to Harrisburg Pennsylvania the second. I wanted to be as close as I could to home so if I had to stay 2 nights to avoid the storms I could. On the way to Harrisburg it started raining, then it started pouring buckets! I tried to take an exit and when I got to the stop sign the bike died. Wouldn't start again. I'm sitting on the bike trying to get it started in the middle of a torrential rainstorm. It sounded like it wasn't getting spark. I managed to find some shelter for a little while in a barn. And after about 10 minutes, the bike started right up! Not sure what ever happened to it, maybe something got wet that shouldn't have.


After a few minutes a guy came out and said he didn't mind me taking shelter in the barn, but he didn't like anyone being around the trucks. So I left as soon as the rain let up.


I pulled into Harrisburg at night, cold, wet, and exhausted. The interstate sucks ass, and It was absolutely awful. I should have blew off work and stayed an extra 2 days in Florida to avoid the front, then taken the scenic route back.

The Hotel in Harrisburg


I left Harrisburg the next morning, even though it was 15 degrees out. I had to keep stopping every 20 minutes because not only was it cold, it was 30mph wind gusts. I had to stop when my hands were so numb they hurt. Plus my boots were still a little wet from the night before. It was rough. There were times I thought my knees might have gotten frostbite. This shot is when I pulled into my driveway. The bike is covered in salt and grime, though it didn't really come out in the picture.


Overall the trip was wonderful, and the bike performed admirably, with the small exception in Pennsylvania. I hated taking the Interstate home, but time constraints and weather restrictions changed my plans for me. I ended up doing about 4200 miles total, and averaged 68.3 mpg.

My route:
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:40 PM   #6
GAS GUY
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Cool ride report !!
That was a tough ride home,I give you alot of credit for hanging in there.
Impressive MPG numbers too,I wouldn't have thought the 650 would do that good.
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:55 AM   #7
Pugfug
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Great Ride report

Love the pics...my wife and I were in Key West back in February....can't imagine what it was like for you riding this time of year, given the crappy winter we've had so far! Great report...looks like you had fun!
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:32 AM   #8
oldxrider
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Cross country during the winter, that's badass
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:05 AM   #9
HPTuner
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Heck of a ride there! Props to ya' for enduring!
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:14 AM   #10
Hoot Gibson
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That Return Trip

Took a Massive Pair! Not sure I could have done that, even in my younger riding days some 40 years ago when I was 25.....Congrats for surviving!
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:51 PM   #11
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Well done on a hell of a trip !!!...j.f.
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstriffler View Post
I left Harrisburg the next morning, even though it was 15 degrees out. I had to keep stopping every 20 minutes because not only was it cold, it was 30mph wind gusts. I had to stop when my hands were so numb they hurt. Plus my boots were still a little wet from the night before. It was rough. There were times I thought my knees might have gotten frostbite. This shot is when I pulled into my driveway. The bike is covered in salt and grime, though it didn't really come out in the picture.
Man, glad you didn't get frostbite and made it safe. I got cold reading your RR. There must be a "snowman" award of some sort.

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Old 03-17-2014, 10:11 AM   #13
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:57 PM   #14
steved57
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Wow just wow I have been riding 42 years and ridden when it's cold but you just beat everything - non fairing bike in those temps you are one tough dude
Glad you made it safe
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:59 PM   #15
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How do you manage to find so much dirt to ride on?
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