A massive pothole, a bent rim, and a colorful adventure in finding a hotel in Macon, GA
Leaving Daytona Bike Week we headed north towards our truck and trailer. We got a late start out of Daytona - mostly because we didn't want the sun and shenanigans to end, but also because of late nights turned into early mornings. We met the boys in town at the 'campground' they were staying at - soaking up every last ray of wonderfully warm sunshine we could before having to hit the road.
The riding in Florida is boring, at best. While there are some amazing ocean views and a handful of fun roads, the majority of Florida is kind of like Nebraska, only with nicer weather and prettier trees and flowers. No offense, Florida. Running low on energy, low on sleep, and high on adrenaline from the crazy short time spent in Florida, we were somewhat happy to get some open road ride time - versus stuck in traffic, at red lights, while holding in the clutch with the left hand, and trying to soak in all that was happening around us. Sometimes, hitting the gas and hearing the sweet sounds of pipes is what is needed to drown out reality. Miller wanted to check out a place in Macon, GA, which was a good stopping point for us, given our late start out of Daytona. It was dark when we neared the exit of Macon. Miller was in the lead, Scootertrash behind and to the right, myself in 3rd position on the left, and Stiffy at the tail in the right. We were ripping along at 80 miles an hour, slowing down as we neared the exit. Once off the freeway, we continued on for a few miles and came up to a red light. Stiffy pulled up next to me and yelled, "Hey! I think I have a flat tire." I looked down and sure enough, it was flat. Then we both laughed - deja vu in the making, only this time, we had two guys with who could take the lead on fixing it. Plus, it is not a nerve wracking to endure a flat tire once you've already had, and dealt with, the experience in the past. It's still not FUN, but it's far less stressful, in a sense. The light turned green, Stiffy pulled onto the right shoulder with her hazards on. I ripped up trying to alert the guys by flashing my high beams and throwing my hazards on, while slowly dropping back and going onto the shoulder. Miller was long gone, his taillight getting smaller and smaller, while the world around him getting darker and darker as we one-by-one dropped off. ScooterTrash went a bit up the road before noticing the darkness behind him. I swung around - now going the wrong way in a split lane highway - to circle up and park behind Stiffy for headlight help. She was already off the bike, with a disgusted look on her face. She said she hit something just before we got off the freeway that jarred her bike so hard it sent her water bottle, which is pretty securely in place for some pretty hard bumps - flying into the night air. Scootertrash hit the same 'bump', saying that he felt the shockwave go thru his spine. As I was digging my tire kit and mini air compressor out of my bags, Scootertrash walked up and immediately noticed a much larger issue - Stiffy's rim was bent. We hooked up the air compressor to see if it would hold air and took to our phones, looking for a nearby hotel where we could at least park the bikes for the night and wait until daylight to figure out what exactly the damages were. The tire was holding air so we set off to a hotel near downtown Macon GA - near where the bar that Miller wanted to check out.
Turns out Macon GA was a hoppin place - hotel rooms were either limited or very expensive. I hate to admit that I found the first one we went to check out - I am usually REALLY good about checking reviews - but the lack of sleep, the sudden halt to our otherwise flawless trip, and the desire to just get off the bikes must've fuddled my abilities, because had I read reviews, there is zero chance I would've suggested the place in which we were now parked in front of. It's 10:30pm. The place that had no website, no active/working phone number, sporadic working parking lot lights, a jacked up 'used to be' cop car with gold rims in the shadows of the parking lot, random people creepin out of the shadows to 'check out our bikes'.... Miller walked into the 'office' area - which was under the hotel itself. We watched as he walked into the shadows of darkness and was greeted by two guys who had a look of surprise as we pulled into the parking lot. While the rest of us stood guard around the bikes, we were making "I don't like this feeling" looks and shaking our heads, not wanting to stay here. Miller came back and advised us that they only took cash. No surprise. Looking around, I noticed that all of the rooms had exterior doors to the hallway. The walkways had zero lighting. The cement was crumbling off in many places, the railing missing a bunch of bars and rusted out. There were fire hose compartments on every floor, most had no glass and no hoses remaining. I was too busy waiting for (?) to happen to take a picture - but here's what I found when I googled the place....
<--- WTH is that picture and why is it 1 of 4 photos that Google has of the place?! I should mention that the hotel was conveniently located directly across from a Probation Office. Not JUST a probation office, a US Probation Office, with a County Probation Office just down from that, a Bail Bondsman office, and a job connection center. Needless to say, it was a 3-1 vote to leave and find somewhere else. Anywhere else, to stay...but needing it to be relatively close due to the bent rim issue.