We woke up not overly enthused about getting back on the bikes for another day of cold riding. Granted, it was in the 20's already, but.... Off we went determined to get to FL today! We didn't see another motorcycle until south of Nashville - weird! Of course that whole area of the country was under 'colder than normal' weather. We made it to Daytona Beach around noon on Friday, having left on Wednesday morning. We made a stop at the Ironhorse Saloon to catch up with my Daytona friends - over the years of attending bike week, I have made some pretty great friends there! David Allen Coe was playing on stage, the sun was shining, the beer was cold, and life was GOOD! It *almost* made the trip worth it ;)
NExt stop - We met up with The Boy's brother and cousin at the Speedway -to check out some vendors, see some bikes, and the boys toured the Speedway museum while I tried to find us somewhere to sleep for the night. Yep, we rode 30 hours to Daytona Beach during Bike Week, sans reservations. Crazy, I know. Seems to be my motto lately! Managed to find a hotel a block off of Main Street for 'dirt cheap' (for bike week anyways) and on the ocean, which we really didnt care about as much as stumbling proximity to main street. After riding around the area and sitting in traffic for longer than our total ride time, we were ready for a beer and people watching! We partied late into the night on Friday - people watching was a hoot, the bikes were non-stop up and down main street, and it was great to hang with Bike Week friends again! Saturday The Boy's brother and cousin had to head back to MN. The Boy and I spent the morning riding around and met up with a few other friends that lived in Flagler Beach - hung out rooftop at Finn's Pub, watching the bikes go by, with the ocean in the background.
It was a super chill, mellow, and relaxing day! Saturday evening it was time to head to St. Augustine to meet up with The Boy's friend and his wife from back in the day. They were putting us up for the night as we had to head back to MN Sunday morning.
The Boy had fun reminiscing with his friend and we enjoyed a campfire and more relaxation before a return to GO time. Sunday morning rolled around and we headed north at the crack of dawn - back towards MN. Thats right, we spent 30 hours GETTING to Daytona, only to spend about the same amount of time IN Daytona. The ride home was uneventful, the weather cooperated with us, and we rode from the crack of dawn Sunday morning until well past dark, woke up Monday morning to do it all over again. We made it back to MN late Monday evening - worn out, yet relaxed, and shaking our heads at the crazy trip we just made. To find someone just as nuts as I am is pretty awesome :)
In all, we rode 3,317 miles, across 9 states, in 5.75 days, with riding temps ranging from 8 degrees to 76 degrees.
Part One: How to pack a lot of gear on a motorcycle... and keep it there for the duration of the trip!! How the heck do I get ALL the gear I need on the bike to ride long distance and/or camp?? Where there is a will, there is a way! I started riding and camping with my Suzuki Boulevard M50 - Love that bike, still own it. I had two gallon size saddlebags on her and the rest was pure strategy. I bought a Saddleman luggage pack and a bunch of bungees - which quickly got traded in for LOTS of straps and then a net on top. I first went long distance riding and motorcycle camping with a good friend, nickname HD, years ago. Let me tell you, she was a GREAT teacher in the art of packing a motorcycle. I would make the effort, get to the meeting point, have to retighten every since strap, ride, and repeat. She probably felt both sorry for me and annoyed by me for the extra time I took at stops to make sure my gear wasn't going to wind up on someone's windshield. So between her expertise…
Remember when you first started learning how to ride a
bike? It’s a struggle to keep your balance and if you start to tip over your
first instinct is to jump off the bike, hands first, planting your wrists
against the ground with force, while your skin is soaking up the gravel, one
tiny pebble at a time... and then you run crying the whole way home? Well, when
you’re on a motorcycle do NOT do that. Nothing will go well if you try to jump
off a 700-pound metal beast with flammable liquids between your legs and think
that you’re going to be able superman your body farther than your bike will
land. You can’t fly. Your bike can. You won’t win. The best thing to do is
opposite of what your instinct might be – when you start to tip over, think of
the bus lady yelling the rules at you on the first day of school. “Keep your
hands and legs IN the bus (aka on the handlebars and foot pegs) while in motion”.
And motion includes that of tipping over. At least on my Suzuki and my Victory,
the bike …
A lot of people hang up their motorcycle keys once temps get into the 40's. Those people are kind of smart. I, however, choose to ride until Mother Nature makes it physically impassable to do so, aka snow falls and stays on the ground. In order to ride when its in the teens, 20's, 30's, or even 40's, there is some gear that is a necessity to try to keep remotely warm while riding. And thanks to this gear, I have only gotten frostbite once while riding motorcycle. And to be honest, I doubt ANY cold riding gear would have spared my fingers from riding 70mph in temps of NINE (9) degrees. Yeah, that was stupid. But I was on a mission..... I WAS going to ride to Daytona!! And naturally, it had been in the 50's the week prior, aka when I decided I was going to ride there. Anyways - here is my GO TO cold riding gear!
<--- In Iowa, on way to Daytona. It warmed up to 24 degrees!!! There is no solution for frozen eyeballs.
Tour Master Synergy 2.0 Electrically Heated Leath…
Ah, the annual fall trek to the Bikes, Blues, and BBQ Rally - in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Northwest Arkansas is my ALL time favorite place to ride in the USA. Four of us girls took off after work to get a head start on the (easy) 11 hour ride. The more daylight we could arrive in, the better, since 3 of us were going to need to set up camp when we arrived to Arkansas.
Sporting my Nomadic Gear thanks to @NomadicMichigan
We all look so bad-ass in our leathers!!!
We stopped for the night just outside of Des Moines - get a few hours of sleep, and back on the road in the morning!
After an easy 7 hour ride to Eureka Springs, we debated between heading straight to camp to set up, or heading straight to the Cat House bar to park and walk over to Aquarius for THE BEST TACOS in the entire region. In the end, Tacos clearly won! Aquarius is a cute little place on Main Street in Eureka Springs, AR. I don't even think the name of the place is on the outside - they get straight to the point …