Sunday, August 21, 2005

Dragonflies, wonder-cleaners and thunderstorms.

It had been twenty-three days since I'd last rode my bike.

Thats right, twenty-three days of staring longingly at other riders fortunate enough to be out on their bikes.

Twenty-three days my girlfriend had to put up with me pointing out every type of motorcycle I saw or heard, quickly followed by, "It's perfect riding weather. Everyone's out on their bike!" A slight pout would fill the silence, only ended by "Man! We should be out on my bike!"

Well my penance was obviously over this weekend as not only did I get to ride my baby, but I got to take her out twice! I'm talking about the motorcycle here.

Saturday Night
LA Shades, a store that sells everything from t-shirts to leathers and of course very affordable sunglasses designed specifically for riding, held a customer appreciation night at Mario The Bakers on Commercial Blvd and Bayview in Fort Lauderdale. With all the owners of both businesses being bikers the night was done right with inexpensive beer, free jello shots and the most amazing pizza and pasta.....and I'm not saying that because it was free.

Personally I limited myself to a one and a bit beers and absolutely no Jello shots, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

So the good news is that I got to go. Bad news is it was a short trip taking no more than fifteen minutes to get there, but what a beautiful fifteen minutes it was. I took the beach route and managed to catch the last few rays of the dusk sun. It was a busy night with at least a hundred bikes by the time I got there at 8pm. Colors were in full force worn by the Outlaws, State and All Saints Motorcycle Clubs. Had a good time and bumped into a few bikers I knew.

The night left me with these impressions though;
- You can wear any color as long as it's black. I didn't know this beforehand and wore a blue Harley T-shirt.
- It's never too hot to wear your colors.
- Tattoos are so sexy on a woman.
- Obviously pony-tails for male bikers are still in.

Had to cut the evening short at 9pm since I promised to take my girlfriend to see the 10 pm showing of 'Wedding Crashers', but just to get out was amazing.

Sunday Morning
Total Mileage (Round Trip)
126 mi

Average Speed
70 mph

Views n Sites
Good to great (see pics)

My biking buddy threw out the carrot of possibly going for a ride early sunday morning ride and sure enough when I called on the ride over at 7am in the morning he was up and ready. Maybe I'd guilted him into finally going out on his bike, but regardless of the reason we were out and we were riding!

Stopped at one of his favorite places for breakfast, Denises Kitchen on Copans and Dixie.

A couple of eggs benedict and probably too much coffee later we headed south on I-95 to I-595 out to 27 south. Highway 27 is divided with two lanes either side and a favorite ride for the local bikers with the start of Tamiami Trail at one end (sort of) and Lake Okeechobee at the other with about fifty miles in between making for a nice long and mostly quiet run.

We made it to Everglades Holiday Park by 8.30 am and there were already a nice collection of bikes taking their own break from the morning ride.

I had the chance to write earlier about the customized deuce I saw there and you have to check out the pictures! The nice thing about this stop is the whole range of sports bike and cruisers that stop by, giving you plenty of different bikes to check out.

Back on the road we went south on 27 to Krome (997) for a short 14 mile trip to the start of Tamiami Trail. Couple of things about this route to note.

- If you miss the turn off to 997 you're in dirt filled truck hell, I meant the kind of heavy trucks that make the entire ground shake when they hit a pothole. The dirt their hauling is that fine grit that feels like a million needles stabbing you in the face if you ride into it.

- While riding down 997 be prepared for occasional wall of dead marine animal (but I dont want to know what it is) smell.

Apart from that it's a nice ride with an okay view. Another break at Dade Corners Travel Plaza and the increasing heat as the day was kicking into gear had us enjoying our drinks inside in the cool a/c!

Back on the road heading north along the same route I noticed some clouds getting darker around us. Surely life wouldn't do this to me again and not in the same place!

Yes it would.

Just a sprinkle this time but right at the exact same point as when I rode from Naples last time. Couldn't believe it.

What little rain dried up really quick though with the day heating up. Even with the wind whistling past at 65 -70 miles per hour I was still getting hot.

The ride was broken up by an old lady deciding my buddy's lane was much better than hers and a trip up the Sawgrass Expressway that had us trying to pay tolls while riding on a bike. Thats always fun.

We stopped one more time for a break before we'd get back to my buddies place, during which a young kid wanted to demonstrate a new revolutionary cleaner for cars and motorcycles and offered to clean my buddies windshield. When he got permission he sprayed this stuff on my friends bikes paintwork, chrome and windshield all the while telling us what a great product it was.

"Is it petrolium-based?" my friend asked.

"No. It's oil based!" the young kid enthusiastically replied rubbing at the windhshield and continuing his sales pitch.

My buddy looked at me, turned to the kid, "Oil is petrolium."

"Is it?" The kid started frantically rubbing the cleaner off the different parts of my friends bike and then walked away a little embarrassed.

He didn't try to sell us anything, anymore.

It was midday by the time we got back to his place and the south Florida summer sun had hit it's rhythm and we were happy to get off the bikes, in the house and just cool down. We both agreed the day had gotten too hot to ride anymore and we'd made it back just in time.

Thirty minutes later I was heading home in my car, the top down and tunes on when some bikes came roaring by.

'Lucky guys' I thought, 'I should still be out on my bike'.


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