The alarm sounded with an annoying buzz - . Some thoughts about how we must be crazy crept into my brain and then before I knew it the excitement of what I was about to do replaced any negative thoughts I had about getting up so early on a holiday (Good Friday).
Thumper and I had already made a
qualifying run for the Iron Butt Association on a trip out west to Sturgis,
Still, I wanted to qualify myself - riding the Buell Blast. We were contemplating making the run at the start of our annual summer journey. Then Thumper hatched the idea of doing it on Good Friday and getting it out of the way so we could enjoy the meandering journey north in July without the post-SaddleSore weariness to intrude on our vacation.
My plan was to leave around the
same time we had for our first IBA ride, 9 AM, head south first, then north and
eventually south back towards home. I
was still thinking along the lines of riding as far as we could into the
evening and then getting a couple hours of shut-eye, getting up very early and
completing the run. Thumper saw it
differently - getting up early, hitting the road and not thinking about sleep
until we had completed the circle back home.
After a check of weather that could be moving into
So here we were, 3 AM getting
ready to ride up into
After waking up our very understanding and tolerant neighbors just before in the morning to sign the necessary witness paperwork (thanks Amy & Jameson), we were headed to the gas station for our first timed gas receipt. The flashing red and blue lights of a cop blocking our way into the gas station was not a great way to start the run. With no choice but to push on to a different gas station we hit the interstate. After finally obtaining the mandatory first timed receipt we were off.
We rode north on I-75 towards
Around we stopped in
The Miccosukee Indian Reservation was open for business and was a needed fuel stop. Back on the road for less than 20 minutes we suddenly see a huge plume of black smoke rising in the distance and then break lights as everything came to a complete halt on the highway. I have heard horror stories in the news about bad accidents and long delays on Alligator Alley when it is completely shut down awaiting emergency vehicles and clean-up crews. Ohhhh, to come so far and be derailed just a couple hundred miles from completion.
Kick stands down and our run in jeopardy, we decided to relax and take advantage of the unintended break. We ate a granola bar, drank some water and snapped a couple photos of the beautiful sunset . The only other worry at this point was sundown itself. The mosquitoes down here in the everglade area could eat a man alive and repellent was one item missing from my endurance riding kit. I feel bad for the poor guy who's car was toast (no pun untended) but luck was on our side as they got the fire out and quickly started filtering cars past the melted mass of steel and plastic.
The only other challenge was dodging happy hour hooligans racing down I-75 at on a Friday night. I can't say I place my life in the hands of a bright neon green safety vest, but I did feel just a bit safer with it on.
All said and done: 1,050 miles, 19 hours 57 minutes. 15 stops, 13 for gas, 1 for lunch and 1 for the car fire.
The Blast and the FJR performed
flawlessly. I missed my cruise control
(ok, throttle lock) and the hand/wrist fatigue was my biggest nagging
problem. A little stiffness is always
expected on long runs and I am used to the road weariness that comes with long
distance riding. In the end, it was
everything I expected it to be. Now...the
next challenge awaits!
Daytona Bike Week, seems like every year there is one weekend with perfect weather and one with not so great weather. Problem is you never know which weekend it will be and usually plans must be made before that cute little weather girl gives the forecast.
For Thumper and I we've have had pretty good luck with this dilemma, usually picking the one weekend that turns out to be good.
This year we wanted to do both
weekends and luck was with us for at least half of the first weekend. We had near perfect weather on the first
Saturday and were able to ride into the
outskirts for lunch in Debary at the Swamp House River Front Grill on the banks
Then Sunday took a turn for the
worse, rain, wind and very unseasonably cold weather - flurries were reported
"Better days are in the cards I feel
Feel it in the changin wind
I feel it when I glide
With a little love and luck
You will get by
With a little love and luck
Well take the sky
In this mangled modern world
Youve got to try
Try a little love and luck
And youll get by
Mysteries dont ever try to solve them
Were just players in a game
And no ones keeping score
So have your fun
Go ahead and tell your story
Find yourself a lover
Who will glue you to the floor"
Kick stands went up on Thursday
and we headed north towards
Jeff played the part of the
hard-core biker dude and rode over from
Jameson was celebrating his 30th
birthday and we made it a night out in the
We had a pretty formidable group:
Thump and I were joined by the aforementioned Jeff and Jameson with Jameson's
wife Amy providing the mule vehicle.
Don't think that Jeep could have accommodated a hanky after we fully loaded
it with all our gear! Bobby N-The Dale
were along as was Todd riding Jeff's FJR. James & Toshia came all the way
Friday found the group heading towards the Worlds Famous Oasis for breakfast and then a sunny ride down A1A towards The Loop. That was where luck was surely on our side. Some unfortunate rider and a car had a little encounter, with the biker getting the worst of the deal and the north lane of The Loop was at a complete standstill. The masses from Daytona trying to head north were going absolutely nowhere. Tough for them, lucky for us.
We made a stop at The Last Resort
and then had a great lunch at Famous Philly's before heading to the Iron Horse
and Broken Spoke. It was well after dark
before we eventually made the long ride up US 1 and back into
Saturday Thump and I broke away
from the group and headed even farther north to ride the ferry across the
I treasure being able to hang out
and enjoy the company of friends, both old and new. Todd - hope your ride home was
enjoyable. James and Toshia - sorry you
had to head back to the cold north, maybe we will see you this summer if we
Kudos to Jameson, Thumper & Bobby - you guys put some miles on those bikes not meant for the long haul - buns of steel!
And a big southern howdy to the
new friends we met from
JJ, Rick, Dan & Eddie - thanks for the airplane chat and photograph opportunity.
Katie & Michael - head down to The Palace and have one for us.
Until next time - Happy Trails to all!
Firsts, they start almost the day you are born. Early on these momentous occasions are carefully recorded by an adoring parent in a little pink or blue book, first smile, first words, first steps.
Years later those same adoring parents cringe as the firsts become more serious: first date, first kiss, first car.
Today was a picture perfect chamber of commerce day here in the Sunshine State of Florida. Sunny skies, 70 degree plus temps, no rain. Mark and Steve arrived promptly at our house where Amy and Jameson had already parked the 919 out front ready for the day's adventure.
A few miles down the road we
pulled into the Neon Cowboy to await Bobby N-The Dale. The Dale would be arriving on the Red Rider, a Ninja, her
Most riders' first group ride might include a few close comrades they know well and the ride a short distance there and back to get a feel for what it's all about. No, not Dale. Jump in, head first and full gear. 7 bikes, a generous number of technically curvy roads and 60 miles later we arrive at the destination for the day: Sleepy Hollow just north of Floral City, Florida.
Set along the banks of the
On our ride home my thoughts drifted back as I tried to recall my firsts. My first bike (Honda Magna) my first group ride, first long distance/over night ride. I don't think I was as adventurous as Dale, and most certainly it was not a 120 plus mile ride through curvy narrow country roads. Dale, my helmet's off to you. Thanks for the privilege of allowing us to share in your conquest.
Thanks also to Mark and Steve (long ass ride on that chopper) and Amy & Jameson who graced us with two great days of riding.
Till next time, Happy Trails
I know many of you may be familiar with the traditional connotation of this frequently seen message on helmet stickers, the occasional vest patch or tattoo. But FUBAR has an alternate meaning for Thumper and I – Find Unknown Back- roads And Ride…
After doing just that across every corner of
But then those moments occur, when a little extra time presents itself and settling for the known, been there and done that attitude will just not due. FUBAR – we must find the roads we haven’t ridden yet.
And so it was Christmas weekend. My hobby of endlessly staring at maps, trying to pick out roads and somehow put together a sensible route culminated into the Horse and Ranch Country Ride.
The internet can be a wealth of helpful information when searching for interesting ride destinations, roads and watering holes. At motorcycleroads.us I discovered a few roads north of
Just east of
Alachua is a small
441 will continue north into
I have no idea how to explain the route home. We just started meandering down any old road – south, east, south, west, south, east, south, west…eventually dumping ourselves on 301 for the ride back into Dade City and home, 500 miles later and well satisfied that I had indeed found a few roads we had not ridden and further feeding the fires to find more.
New Years Eve would be spent at
our usual Punta Gorda destination – The Best Western Waterfront. Nice clean
place right on the waters of
After the big party and little sleep we managed to crawl down to the bikes and climb aboard for a leisurely ride down 41 to
Clewiston has the Roland Martin Marina and Resort at the south end of
Hwy 70 took us further east into
27 carried us north into
Thanksgiving – a time for family and friends. A time to reflect on everything you have to be thankful for. And…a couple days off to hit the road!
A leisurely ride down HWY 39
towards Myakka and a stop at
Further down the road we head into Punta Gorda and find our favorite Irish Pub, Celtic Rey, which I believe is soon to be renamed. Still great food, atmosphere and company.
Friday finds us heading further
The luxury of spending another night on the road mean that Saturday’s wake-up time was early and hitting the road while the cool fog still hung in the air for the blast home to get cleaned up and back to Riverview in time for the Elliott – Wilkins wedding. And we made it, barely, but we made it.
Thanks for a great time guys – the wedding was beautiful and the party a ball.
Thanks once again to my family and friends for putting up with my nomadic ways and days of non-communication while I feed my need to be in the saddle and riding down some lonesome highway.
Until next time,
Happy Trails, The Magster
I am obsessed.
Obsession as defined by dictionary.com (hey, we are in the age of technology – who uses a Webster’s anymore!):
ob·ses·sion Spelled Pronunciation[uhb-sesh-uhn] Pronunciation Key - noun
the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.
the idea, image, desire, feeling, etc., itself.
the state of being obsessed.
the act of obsessing
It’s all there. The thoughts roll around in my head 24/7 – where I’m gonna ride, the ride I just had, my current odometer reading, when’s the next road trip, how pretty the wild flowers were along that small country road, can the Blast odometer make it to the triple digit number?
My family and friends know first hand the true level of this obsession. I don’t call, don’t write. Birthday cards are late, the house needs dusting, projects sit in limbo – and where is Maggie Mae? Yep, out riding.
When I first started this web page the postings were a little more regular and I was a little more dedicated to keeping it updated. Then it got lost in the midst of my obsession, like everything else in my life, and riding once again took over.
Every weekend you’ll find the two
Thumper’s (my husband and my Blast) and I rolling along the beautiful
I don’t know how the obsession to
reach 100,000 on this single entered into my consciousness, but once it
permeated my brain, it stuck. There are
times I try to see good reason and believe I should get a new bike, especially
for the long summer journeys ahead. But
when it comes down to the actual part of doing that – my fixation with the
Blast wins out. Deep down, if I care to
admit it, the fascination may not be in trying to reach triple digits on this
bike, maybe that is just my excuse for wanting to escape out onto the two lane
Thanks to all who have continued to pop in from time to time, even when nothing new appears.
My gratitude to all those who have been integral in helping me feed my obsession and keep the bike running at it’s best:
Thumper – the best material ever for husband, best friend & mechanic a girl could ask for.
Jameson. The boys at RTM Motorcycles.
Cooter & Jim at
And Erik – for building an awesome machine.
And any day that includes a ride
I guess my venison chilli didn’t do too much harm Saturday night as Trent and Marisol were up and ready to roll right on time.
After a quick stop for a photo we
meandered over the big bridge, down the coast and had a great lunch at Gator’s
on the Pass at
The scattered sunshine became more scattered but we were able to dodge the rain for a while. Along with the rain came a little dark cloud over the Blast and we had a bit of a bumpy ride home (damn jets) but all that ends well is well.
Thanks Trent, Marisol, Bobby and Stacy. We had a great time with ya’ll today.
The Long Way??? We may never get to ride from London to New
York like Ewan & Charley did in the Long Way Round or ride through two
continents as they did in the Long Way Down, but we can find the long way between
two cities whenever we get the chance. And
though we may not have to cross any borders, there are African type prairies
right here in
The islands (Sanibel and Captiva)
were once dedicated to growing grapefruit and coconut and they have resisted
much of the growth that has invaded
Our escape for the weekend was The Parrot Nest on the south part of the island known as Old Town Sanibel, by the lighthouse. Nestled among the greenery, it is a hidden and quiet piece of paradise. Visit the owner and innkeepers, Brenda and Lenny, at www.parrotnest.com
Riding over the causeway and through Sanibel to Captiva is a relaxing and beautiful outing.
A short ride some 62 miles to the
south takes you to
Stan himself wrote the song and owns the restaurant and in the off season (August and September) he closes the place down. In his absence, we found Marker #8 down around the corner. A small town, locals mostly tavern/restaurant that sits right where it should, on the dock at marker #8. Come by boat, bike or car and relax in the screened in porch for some of the best smoked mullet fish spread we’ve ever had.
Heading back is never the best
part of the trip, so as usual we took the long way back. Just east of
Hwy 17 is the best north-south
route alternative to I-75 and is bordered primarily by cattle farms. This is the section of
At Hwy 640 we headed east to 39
and north again through Keysville,
Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be able to hit the road for 3 months…just like Ewan & Charley…
To experience this side of the
There is a quaint beauty and peacefulness that you cannot find in a theme park or even on a beach. Where the flora and fauna encases you in lush serenity and wildlife enlivens your soul. This is The Real Florida.
Weather by car or motorcycle, foot or bicycle – get off that beaten path and wonder wherever the old two lane road takes you. Get lost. Doesn’t really matter, after all if you do go astray, eventually you will find the coast. Find the coast and you can find your way home.
Explore the same paths that famous novelists and infamous pirates once roamed. Sit on the porch of a century old farmhouse or hike deep into an ancient sink hole.
We’ve been riding and exploring
As rural as 129 may be, there are
even more remote county roads to explore as you ride along. Some may prove to
be dead ends, making you practice those short, tight little turns. Some turn into dirt roads, at which time you
must ask yourself how much adventure riding you want to do. Some will turn into curvy little gems you
will not want to forget even if you have no idea where it is or how you found
After years of wanting to visit Cross Creek and the childhood home of famed writer Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, we found it quite by accident and couldn’t pass on the opportunity to snap a couple of photographs.
Just outside of
This is the kind of aimless wondering Thumper and I enjoy the most. No destination, no idea where the road is going or where we will end up for the night. It is energizing yet relaxing. The hushed serenity of remote country roads with nothing more to look at than fields of grain or grazing cattle is calming and cathartic. And the miles will add up. Although we technically ventured no more than 150 miles from the house via direct route, we were able to log over 500 miles in two days and find roads we hadn’t yet ridden. That’s a treasure we will never stop looking for. Are you hunting for treasure of your own? Happy Trails….
Pics are posted in Photos 2008
Same goes for even small groups, for selfish reasons, I am first to admit. It’s just because I am used to doing my own thing with my favorite riding buddy (Thumper) and we know each other as well as we know ourselves. When the two of us ride, it is as if we are one. Communication helps. We have our blue tooth helmet headsets that allow us to constantly speak back and forth and that is definitely a plus when riding together.
But, there are those times when you want to share the joy of the journey with someone else. I am definitely not saying I NEVER ride in groups. I have had many memorable trips with friends whose company I truly enjoy: Panhead Phil, Bobby N-The Dale, Trent & Marisol, Whit & Kim to name a few.
This day we set off for the
beautiful canopy roads of
We are heading towards Sleepy
Hallow, a cool riverside restaurant/biker bar with live music, the shade of old
150 miles later I can say with heartfelt certainty that Jameson can be my wingman any time. Not once did I look in my rearview mirror and think “what the heck is he doing?” He rode his own ride, stuck with us and maneuvered those corners like he had ridden them hundreds of times. It was a great day. Thanks to Amy, his wife, who was with us in spirit, for letting him come out and play. And a shout out to Georgia Mom and Dad, Allen & Lynn – we miss you two.
It has been way too long since I have posted in here, I know. Way too much going on in my life and I have been very lax about writing.
Biketoberfest came and obviously went, without my presence, I am sure they did not miss me! Clutch long ago fixed and life goes on. Bike Week in February was perfect for us. We went the first weekend, great weather, light traffic. Got to meat the Motorcycle Monster finally.
Since then I have also had the help of my very dedicated mechanic (also doubles as my best friend and husband, Thumper) and my neighbor, Jameson – they took my motor apart to put a new gasket in (tiny leak) and went ahead and replaced the piston. I’m not complaining, that motor has 43,000 miles on it and really looked good inside. As of this writing, I rolled over 45,000 today and keeping my fingers crossed that I can get another 45,000 out of it. WHY? Why don’t I just get another bike? Simple – I just love this bike. Feel very connected to it. And I just want to see how far I can push it.
This summer we will be heading out to
Happy Trails, The Magster
The 400 mile
trip to Daytona. Or the Biketoberfest
that didn’t happen. Or you could say 10
hours on the road to
My luck with Daytona bike events has not been the greatest lately. In February with Bobby ‘N The Dale and Jeff along for the ride my Blast had a bit of a carb issue. Thumper quickly figured out the source of the problem and soon we were on our way. It turned out to be a great weekend.
My luck would not be as good this trip. All started out well enough. The rains were holding off up to the north, although getting wet before the day ended was almost a certainty. What’s a Daytona bike event without getting wet?
Trent and Marisol were joining us. We planned to hit some of the hot spots in Daytona on our way up to St. Augustine World Golf Resort – our destination hotel.
The ride down
Deen Still road in
Off 417 into
I pulled my clutch in and SNAP – surprise it pulled all the way to handlebar and just stayed there. My clutch cable had broke. I pushed myself into the closest parking lot and the task of trying to resolve the issue began. We were 110 miles from home. And although we had tools to assist in a repair job – there was not a clutch cable to be had. Destination Daytona, much to my dismay, was “too busy to check for a part”. WOW – so much for helping out the stranded biker during a major bike event. But that’s another rant for another place and time.
With no cable and me not wanting to make my first attempt at limping around without a good clutch in Biketoberfest traffic, I locked up the bike in a corner of the Walgreens parking lot, ditched our bags with the manager of the store. Two-up on Thumper’s FJR we started the 110 mile trek back to Wesley Chapel.
A couple hours
later, with a quick drink of tea to recharge, ramp and tie-downs loaded we
turned the truck in the direction of
I called my parts guy Eric at RTM to order a new Barnett clutch cable for me. It would be a couple weeks before I would see it. Passing by Lakeland HD I called to see if I could get a stock replacement to hold me over until the Barnett arrived. They had it and would hold it for me. I had until 6 PM.
Eventually we made it back to bike, loaded into the truck and strapped her down, then began our 4th 110 mile trek.
Andy at Lakeland HD was nice enough to stay a little late to get me the needed replacement cable and 10 hours later we home, exhausted and ready to just relax.
Surprisingly, I was not as ticked off as I thought I would be – Thumper assured me I would be on the road again tomorrow. And how can you not smile when you push the bike into the garage, turn around and there stands your smiling neighbor Amy with two beers and hot wings in hand!
Yes – alls well that ends well.
Thanks to all those who came to my rescue – Thumper, Trent & Marisol, Andy @ Lakeland HD, Eric @ RTN and Amy – for always being there for me.
There are stars in the southern sky
Southward as you go
There is moonlight and moss in the trees
Down the seven bridges road
Now I have loved you like a baby
Like some lonesome child
And I have loved you in a tame way
And I have loved you wild
Sometimes there's a part of me
Has to turn from here and go
Running like a child from these warm stars
Down the seven bridges road
There are stars in the southern sky
And if ever you decide you should go
There is a taste of time sweetened honey
Down the seven bridges road
(The Eagles -
Seven Bridges Road)
We took off in the morning with(nearly)cool temps knowing
it would not last. Somewhere along SR 54 I thought to
myself that the bridges across the bay would offer the
coolest temps. So a plan had formed. We were just going
to keep going back and forth across the bay area waterways
until we ran out of places to go. As the Eagles said
“There is a taste of time sweetened honey, down the
seven bridges road...”
Old Tampa Bay Bayshore Boulevardover Alligator Lake,
60 East - Courtney Campbell Causeway
275 West -
Gandy Bridge East
Technically it was eight, but are we really counting? The Eagles song just appeared in my head as we were riding along and I love giving names to our travels, even the short trips, hence the
Eventually we ran out of bridges, time and fair skies and headed home. Life is a journey – enjoy the ride.
Until next time, Happy Trails!
I know I have said this before, everybody has a passion. For some people it’s sports, other enjoy hours toiling away in the garden. Some people pursue art as energetically as others pursue “The Big One” fishing for sport or trophy. For me it would primarily be motorcycles.
Motorcycles – what is it about all that plastic and metal
that causes some to squirm with the thought of dangerous crashes or Hells
Angels on wheels and others to close their eyes and smile at the thought of
leaning into the perfect curve. Old and new, motorcycles always
draw attention. An nowhere more so than recently up in
Amy, Jameson, Laurie & Pedro – had a great time – thanks for joining us on this one. Best four wheel motorcycle buddies one could ask for.
I also love the water and being out on boats, small or big. I find the feeling of floating free upon the water as relaxing as riding along those back country roads I love so much.
So what do you do when you have two things you love but you
can only be in one place at a time?? In
For the most part we grin (albeit not with our mouths open)
and bear it. But it also gives us the chance to climb aboard our
kayaks to see another side of
Saturday we headed for the Davis Island Yacht Club. We paddled towards
The next canal was longer and turned into a dead-end,
resulting in the need to turn around and paddle right back. For nearly 4 ½ hours we paddled until we had
gone completely around Davis Island, under the Bayshore Bridge, past Tampa
General Hospital and eventually down the channel and back to the Yacht
We were also lucky enough to be invited aboard the GIGI II a 34 foot sailboat captained by Furman “Whit” Whitaker and his wife Kim.
Sailing out of
Next up – getting closer to our summer journey. Where will Maggie be? Even I don’t know the answer to that one.
Summer is fast approaching with plenty of days filled with sunshine and warm temps. Currently the humidity is fairly low but that will be changing soon.
Went to see our buddy Ralph at the Bloated Bull yesterday – had to get our fix of his great wings – we are addicted to them for sure. Thanks Ralph – and to Kamieo – for taking such great care of us.
Headed over to
Later we also ran into some old friends – which is always nice. A little shout out to Ray, Deb & the Crew.
The Blast has just over 31,200 miles and running very well. Next up will be a poker run next weekend and maybe an appearance at Leesburg – the fastest growing Florida Bike Fest around.
See you out there,
Happy Trails – The Magster
Spring Break is here and the last place we want to be is sitting in coastal traffic, hunting for the evasive parking spot so we can sit on a crowded beach and bake. Yet here we were, headed to the beach.
History – that was the bait the lured us to this quaint Victorian fishing village. The downtown area is alive with picturesque buildings that date back to the 1800’s. Some have been updated a bit, but most still bear the markings of days gone by; old bricks, creaky wood floors and that telltale architecture from the early days when explorers landed on our shores.
The Palace Saloon has the notoriety of being "
Next destination – Old Florida – Tallahassee Style
These roads were formed centuries ago when Native Americans traveled the hills of
We traveled down 4 of the 7 or 8 famed roads stopping by the Bradley General Store along our way. As we entered the historic mercantile the scent of BBQ tempted us and soon we were sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch enjoying lunch and taking in the quiet peaceful countryside. Water bags hung above our heads to “keep away the flies”, although nobody could explain how this concept worked. “Don’t see no flies, so I guess it works” was the best answer we could get. The gentleman working the register had been doing just that for nearly 80 years as he was the son of the original owner.
Hard as it was to leave these “tunnels of trees” behind – we did and headed south towards Wakulla Springs. Arriving early it was our intention to ride around the
Getting out and riding on lonely off the beaten path roads is not without trial and tribulations. Several times we would ride for great distances through forested areas only to come to complete dead ends. But that’s part of what makes a journey an adventure – and always worth our time!
The Blast now has 30,500+ miles and Thumper works hard to keep me running in top condition. He is my hero!
The Blast now has 30,500+ miles and Thumper works hard to keep me running in top condition. He is my hero!
Enjoy the photographs, they start on page 6, Photos 2007
Till next time, Happy Trails
Another Daytona Bike Week bites the dust and so did the Blast (almost!).
This year we were lucky enough to
be joined by our “friends in high places” pals Dale & Bobby Hanson and
friend Jeff. Amy & Jameson also
ventured over for an evening of camaraderie at the Edgewater Inn in
Thumper as usual does an amazing job of finding his way around Daytona without hitting much traffic – darn near impossible during Bike Week but he manages to pull it off.
Biting the dust?? Yep the Blast
finally gave me my first real scare as we made our way out of Zephyrhills. At Hwy 54 and US 98 he decided to stall out
and would not restart. I cannot explain
the disappointment I felt as I heard Thumper saying “shut it down, there is gas
pouring out of the carb”. My heart was
nearly broken. Thumper grabbed the tool kit and fiddled with the carb main
needle, and the bike started. Gas had
quit leaking out but we deemed it too risky for the long ride to
Now just what happened next could be divine intervention, a miracle perhaps. The most likely scenario though was the gunk that fouled the carb dislodged, and a couple miles up the road the Blast was once again running like a champ. A command decision was made, and we turned around one more time, and headed back towards the beach.
There is never a bike event in
Daytona that doesn’t include a stop at Gators on the River off SR 415 outside
With the sun setting behind the clouds, it was probably the most beautiful ride through “The Loop” I can ever remember. That is the only part of riding my own bike that is hard – no way to take pictures!
Saturday found us wading through the various Bike Week must do list…Iron Horse, Boot Hill and checking out the latest rides in the dealer tents at the speedway.
The numbers were definitely down from previous years, something that totally surprised us with the great weather we were having. We were a little miffed that some of the vendors were packing up early and some of the watering holes appeared a little less than prepared with adequate staff – but all in all – Daytona Bike Week is always a fun place if you have a passion for motorcycles.
Thanks Bobby, Dale, Jeff, Amy & Jameson for a great weekend.
Where was Maggie Mae? You tell me.
The forecast called for lots of
sun, small chance of rain and great temps.
So out we went. Our thought was
to head to
Where? You tell me. I have posted a picture in the 2007 Photo Link – Desert Inn – you tell me where it was taken. I can tell you that we left Saturday morning and returned Sunday afternoon. We rode about 550 miles total and the location is rather historic. I will write a little more once the correct guess has been posted.
Sending a shout out to our new
Until then, Happy Trails…see you in Daytona for Bike Week.
Sunday January 14, 2007
Where Was Maggie Mae Today? Well, I can’t exactly tell you. It’s a pact Thumper and I made to each other years ago; we would never reveal the location of the “
Saturday January 13, 2007
For as long as man has roamed the earth, males have always had the need to try and “out-do” the other. It’s that whole Alpha Male thing. Put a guy on a motorcycle at a traffic light, another rolls up and you can pretty much count on the fact that when the light turns green – power will be put to the test.
But Saturday I saw a whole different side to the arena of men, motors and The Need For Speed.
We headed the bikes toward
Progress has made the area look a bit different and there are new roads in place that were not there the last time we visited, but eventually we did find Harbor Side Steakhouse and Oyster Bar (
The food is excellent. We had some of the biggest oysters I have ever seen. My pick: The grouper sandwich and Thump had a huge burger.
But the real entertainment was the constant flow of boats along the channel. Including boats with some of the biggest, loudest motors I have ever seen. Think back now to the two bikes sitting at the light and imagine two boats powering along in a no-wake zone, the engine with that classic sound of a short block V-8, just waiting to get to the end of the channel…and then, vroom! I posted a picture of what one looks like but in now way could reproduce the heart thumping sound as they make their way through the channel.
We met some new friends, Dewayne & Tina we would like to send a shout out to – Thanks for a great night!
Until next time, Happy Trails
The Saturday the 30th found us heading south on HWY 17 in central
Right down the road is the Fisherman’s Village and Harpoon Harry’s (a Restaurant/Bar and Bikers delight) is right on the water overlooking
New Years Eve day we hit the road and headed down to
That evening while floating around in the bigger than life hot tub pool, the band played on the patio next door and we danced around in the hot water. Later, we sat alone on a secluded beach overlooking the water and waited for the stroke of midnight signaling a New Year – the fireworks were a bit delayed but well worth it.
Boy, where does time go? 2007. Everybody tends to reflect back when the New Year comes along. 2006 was a great year for Thumper and me. My life long dream of riding a motorcycle from
The web also allowed us a way to keep in touch with family and friends and so a new little hobby was born. The site is just under a year old and had over 6,000 hits – so I guess I will try another year. Thanks to you all for your support and friendships.
Here is a little shout out to Scott, Kristen, Kenny & Jason at Harpoon Harry’s – it was great meeting you – hope to see you again soon. And Jason, to answer that age old question – What Would Buddha Ride? Well, a Yamaha of course! See you in
The holiday was capped off by putting my Mom on the back of Thumper’s bike and heading to
Photos in the Photos 2007 link.
Photos in the Photos 2007 link.
Until next time, Happy Trails
Hope everyone has had a great holiday season so far. We truly are blessed. Great fun, lots of family and hours on the road.
You remember Ralph from Fat Heads and then The Bloated Goat? Well he has opened The Bloated Bull on the corner of 301 and
Sending a big hello out to David, whom we met this past Sunday. He was there on his HD Fatboy, nice bike. He will be making a trip to see Tom, Brian and Eric at RTM for some new rubber real soon.
Thanks to all who have signed my guestbook recently. Hope to see you on the road sometime.
Till next time, Happy Trails, Maggie Mae
All I can say is Bubba knows how to put a Blast through it’s paces. Bubba Blackwell is a stunt rider I was lucky enough to meet recently. In addition to being a very nice guy to chat with he does some amazing things on Buell Motorcyclcles, including a Blast.
Bubba – thanks for taking a few minutes out of your busy day to say Hi and allow me to take pictures.
We had a great day riding the curves in Ozella – Trent, Marisol, Casey, Bob & Stacey – we had a great day. Can’t wait ‘till next time!
Until Then, Happy Trails
New pictures start on page 15
When does a 300 mile round trip journey turn into a 625 mile adventure? When it is
After years of seeking out alternate routes from Wesley Chapel to Daytona, the toll
road route has become our favorite. Departing Wesley Chapel on Hwy 54 East
towards Zephyrhills we turn left on
all the way to Hwy 98.
At Hwy 98 we turn right (SE) until we get to
Rock Ridge. Rock Ridge will eventually become
you all the way to Hwy 27.
At Hwy 27 turn right and not far up the road is the entrance ramp to I-4.
Now I do not like I-4, but we are only on it for about 3 miles, 2 Exits –
so I tolerate this part of the trip. It goes fast. You will take the 2nd Exit
417 Toll towards
I would recommend investing in a Sunpass. We have one for each bike
and trust me when I say it will be worth every penny you spend. It is just
$25 to purchase, another $25 to fund it and you will love it. Once on 417
you will not have to stop at all – you will breeze through all the toll booths
with no waiting in line. However, the traffic on 417 is light and we have
never encountered a backup of any sort. It bypasses all the I-4 Orlando
traffic hell. It is approximately 50 miles from I-4 to Sanford. You exit
Turn right on 17/92. At 46/46A turn right again. Take this to 415 and turn left.
Just before you cross the big bridge on 415 you can turn left on Celery Ave.
and a cold one either on the way there or on your way home (our tradition).
Back on 415, this road will take you all the way past the World Famous Cabbage
Patch Bar and to
want. But we prefer the road less traveled. So - just past that big bridge we take
a right turn on
it dead-ends and then right or east on
it will be a left turn onto Florida/Maytown Road.
Osteen Maytown road is a 22 mile jaunt through forest with little traffic,
even during a bike event. You will come across an occasional car and
some bikes but it is definitely the road less traveled and it is a great ride.
A few curves, lots of trees and
US 1 in Oak Hill. A left turn on US 1 and you are heading north towards
all the fun.
Grant it, this route takes a little longer to get to Daytona, but you will encounter
less traffic, you will not be sitting in the heat inching your way along and once you
get into the New Smyrna area on US 1 there are lots of places to stop. Venders,
pubs, bike shows….it all happens along US 1 from Edgewater all the way North
to Destination Daytona in
We did a lot more riding this year than hanging out. I guess that is why a 300 mile
trip turned into a 625 mile adventure. After all riding is what it’s all about anyway,
More riding also meant less picture taking. So I apologize I don’t have a plethora
of bike event photos. There’s always Bikeweek…
Thanks to those we chatted with, you are what make our bike events truly memorable.
Photos are in the top photo album starting on page 13. Map photos are there also.
Biketoberfest is coming – I can’t wait!! How can I sound so exuberant and enthusiastic about an event that I have gone to every year for the past 8+ years? Well, I just love bike rallies. Period.
I know some of you will think to yourselves that there is too much traffic, too many people & prices too high for the same old thing. I hope to give you a fresh way of looking at it.
First we don’t just head out on the highway towards Daytona and end up sitting in traffic. We find the back roads which tend to have less traffic, prettier views and offer a more enjoyable trip. After all motorcycling is about the journey, not the destination, even if that destination is Bike Week or Biketoberfest.
Once in the Daytona vicinity, we seek out alternate routes. The most common roads will lock up with traffic, which will also include a ton of cars/trucks/trailers. Don’t be afraid to meander off the main roads and find a new way around. But, be mindful of the signs that indicate a particular area is closed to local traffic only. By getting off the beaten path you will save lots of time and enjoy yourself more.
As for doing the Main Street Shuffle – all I can say is pick your time wisely. If you head out there in the middle of the day it will be hot & crowded. On the other hand if you head out there very early in the day you will get better parking. You will be able to walk and shop without another biker growing out of your side and you will have more fun. That goes for all the most popular Daytona destinations. The earlier you get there in the day, the less of a headache it will be.
The events in Daytona continue to grow and you don’t have to go to all the right places to have fun. Get out there and explore, you will be amazed at what you find. Points North, South and West of Daytona are brimming with events and bikers. To the West is Sanford, Deltona & Debary. New
Each year there are new places and new vender areas popping up. Getting out and exploring some of the outskirts not only gives you a break from the main street shuffle, but allows for more ride time and that’s what it’s all about anyway - isn’t it?
So even though this will be my 6th Biketoberfest with Thumper, I am giddy with excitement and just can’t wait to saddle up and head out. We love seeing all the bikes, chatting with other bikers and just being in the milieu of a Daytona bike event. Every year is a new adventure. I’ll be writing about mine soon.
I know it has been a long time since I have posted. Too much riding? There can never be too much riding, but it does tend to get in the way of managing a web page.
Anyway – we have been enjoying our greatest riding time of year down here in the South. Temps get cooler (a little), humidity drops and the bikes come out in force. Watch for those lovebugs….
As always, The Hog Pen offers great music and biker camaraderie – Thanks Glenn for keeping it real.
We had an End Of Summer, Jimmy Buffett Live, but not in person, grass skirt and Hawaiian shirt party. The turn out was good and we enjoyed burgers (Thanks Trent for helping out)
The bike rally season is upon us. West Coast Bike Rally, the First one, was held in Palmetto.
Quaker Steak & Lube was the location for Buell Days with demo rides and stunt riders.
Next, we are off to Spooks & Scoots and then Biketoberfest.
New pictures start in the Photo album page 11
Happy Trails, see you out there….
The VentureRider 2nd Annual “Tail of the Dragon” gathering at
We left Wesley Chapel at bound for the north part of
Friday morning was cool and rain poked and prodded us as we meandered towards Blairsville. Just outside of Blairsville on US 19/129 is
But first – we wanted to head into the alpine
The rain never did let up. For those who do not like to ride in the rain, Saturday was a total wash out. The rest of us rode into Blairsville for breakfast. The toughest of the tough then continued on to Deals Gap, The Dragon run was on!
Thumper and I had some chores to attend to and since we had already slain the dragon we watched as the others pulled out in a still steady rain.
Later that day, rain still sprinkling down upon us, we gathered for dinner, drinks and story hour. Door prizes were handed out and the 50/50 ticket drawn.
Back at the cabin, with the cool north
Sunday morning dawned and a long ride ahead. Nearly 600 miles needed to be covered. Hopefully before the rain once again set upon us.
8 hours later, 100 miles from the finish line our luck ran out. We ran into a wall of rain so hard we were blinded – it was all we could do to get off the highway to catch a meal and let the hard stuff pass over.
Back home, 1,200 miles behind us – we miss our old Venture friends and the new ones we just made. Till next year ya’ll – when we’ll be up to Slay the Dragon once again. Pictures start on page 9 in the top photo album.
It’s school time and there are kids out there that need school supplies, but can’t afford them. Being a teacher, Thumper has a true understanding of this situation. Kids can be cruel. When one shows up without the proper materials for class the other children can be unkind.
The New Tampa Kiwanis Club was holding a poker run to benefit local school kids. Bringing money and backpacks filled with supplies the bikers arrived for a day of riding and camaraderie.
The ride began at the Beef’s on Cross Creek in New Tampa, continued on into Pasco county with stops at a weight loss clinic, The Bloated Goat, San Antonio Lounge, Osceola Tavern, Sky Dive City and ending back at Beef’s.
Mags thought she had the winning hand…a full house with 8’s and Jacks.
However, it was Beth who nabbed the coveted prize. With 4 9’s she won a Sky Dive package! This is where the real fun began. See Beth really did not want to jump out of an airplane. Don’t blame her. She is about 90 pounds and the wind would most likely just carry her away. It wasn’t long before the event planners were at our tableside. The winner of some Beef’s gift certificates were willing to trade off. Now she was ready to take advantage of this turn of events. However Rick, her husband was not quite so eager. See, it did appear as though he did want to jump out of that airplane. After discussion and debate, Beth decided to keep the
Then it got even better. The event planner returned to the table yet again. This time the offer had gone up. Now someone was willing to pay $100 for that envelope. Kind of like “Deal – No Deal”. Rick was a little more open to the $100 and a deal was struck.
Rick and Beth – it was great to ride with you. Hope you enjoy many more miles in the saddle. See you in the wind…
Pictures are in the photo album.
We survived the “Revenge of the Killer Turtles”.
This is Old
The outdoor stage still plays host to musicians while patrons dance under the canopy of 300 year old oaks.
The killer turtles? Oh yeah, they were here once. Back in the 1940’s Tarzan (Johnny Weismuller) filmed “Revenge of the Killer Turtles” at this very spot. Locals will try to convince you they are still out there. Huge turtles, killer turtles. Tourists still come to look for them.
5000 E. Venice Avenue
Aside from the threat of "killer turtles," this is the most relaxing, back country place you can find to guzzle good ole’ southern sweet tea or down a cold beer and dine on inexpensive, down-home Florida favorites and fish as fresh as the Myakka River out back. Work off lunch with a canoe paddle upriver. Come Sunday, live country music, barbecue & bikers shatters the peace, filling the picnic tables inside and out with locals. Pretty soon they’ll start telling you about those dangerous shelled reptiles…
Back at the Hog Pen we reunited with Glenn & Kelly and a few locals we hadn’t seen since setting out for
Saturday night found us checking out the
Photos loaded to photo album...
It was Easter weekend and the weather in
Friday found us stopping into The Hog Pen to say hello to Glenn, Kelly and Tammy. Glenn was nice enough to buy Thumper a Birthday Cuban sandwich. Thanks Glenn! It was then off to the Yamaha dealership to, as Thumper put it “just have a look”. He had been waiting for them to take delivery on a 2006 FJR 1300 and it was finally here.
It is an incredible sight to see a new bike for the first time, even more so when your first glimpse is while it is being carefully lifted fresh from the crate. For a motorcyclist, it is like watching the birth of a child. And Thumper just witnessed his FJR being born.
Needless to say the wonderful sales and management crew at Barney’s Yamaha in
Our maiden voyage took us through
I have a problem with animals. OK OK just a minute. Before I get any animal activist out there all up in a tizzy – I want to make it perfectly clear – I love animals. All animals. But my bike is anther story. My Buell Blast “Sundown” has this knack for finding roaming four legged friends while I am at the controls.
There was this poor unfortunate dog in Brooksville back last October. It was the weekend before Biketoberfest in Daytona and I was looking forward to the long ride over. Out for a little pre-bike-week fun, we were riding down those curvy
I was correct. Not only did I hit him, but I somehow managed to kind of bounce right over him. Poor dog. But good for Mags, as I managed to keep Sundown upright, recover the fishtailing back tire and move on down the road. I was pretty shaken, but unharmed and glad of it.
On April 8 we had the pleasure of meeting some of Thumper’s fellow Venture Rider friends. Mike and his buddy McBull hail from near our neck of the woods,
Anyway – here we are moving very slowly down this dirt road praying for pavement when we come across a cow. It wasn’t huge, but it was as big as my bike, if not a little bigger, and it was on the wrong side of the fence. Thumper made it past OK – I was close to getting by when all of a sudden he sort of came at me. Now I wouldn’t say he charged me, but in my mind I thought he was gonna get me. It was actually just enough to set my heart beating just a bit faster. I think I scared him more than he scared me.
As for Al, Diane, Mike & McBull – thanks for joining us on our little adventure. Hope to ride with ya’ll again real soon.
Sunday March 19, 2006
OK, so souloless is not really a word, but today it certainly had meaning.
At the alarm sounded and I knew that I had one hour left to enjoy my husbands company. He was setting off on his Yamaha Venture to visit Mya & Jon, his daughter and son-in-law and hold his granddaughter Amara in his arms. In the cool morning air I watched as he throttled the bike to motion and rolled down the road. I was instantly very lonely. Oh how I wish I could be sitting behind him, or riding beside him as he made his way north to
Hours later as the sun began to appear I pondered over riding plans for the day. My best friend and riding partner were by now somewhere in
Riding among the green pastureland with cows lazily grazing in the warm sun was very cathartic. Focusing on maneuvering my bike back and forth down the curvy road was invigorating. Yet something was missing. When we stopped at the one lane wooden bridge to take a brake, snap a couple photographs and catch up on sisterly chat we both had the same thing on our minds; we missed our husbands. The heart was in it, the soul was missing.
Tonia – thanks for a great day. I truly enjoyed spending a day in the saddle, 145 miles of motorcycling therapy, but I think we both would agree that today we were not only solo riders, but riders without the soul and spirit of our better halves.
Today we were souloless riders - Guys, we truly missed you!
Dedicated to Thumper McKenzie
& Kevin Ketchum
Bike Week 2006 –
March 3 & 4 found us making our annual pilgrimage towards
for Bike Week. We prefer to seek accommodations away from the high priced,
minimum stay Daytona area and found a great location in
Roughly 60 miles north of Daytona,
a great ride along the ocean on A1A.
I highly recommend The Edgewater Inn. Located at the foot of the
After three days & 600+ miles, we headed for home.
March 11 & 12, 2006 –
The last weekend of Daytona Bike Week and the weather was beautiful. City officials were calling for even larger crowds than usual, so we headed for
This is one of my favorite rides.
beautifully situated at the southern end of
The Palms Resort Island Resort & Marina offers a clean, quiet place to rest your weary head. Located directly on
Bikes are welcome, shopping and entertainment is close by.