Monday, January 4, 2016

Riding High

My recent foray (link) into the roads around Orlando on a rented Indian Chief have not quite had the intended effect of damping my desire for a longer motorcycle ride. It's a desire I have been suppressing for a while as I have been getting involved in more longer term projects, and the banked fires of traveling are finding their way out from under the ashes piled up around them.
Indian Chief Vintage, Okeechobee, Florida
The three day trip to AIMExpo last Fall was excellent and I got some good riding in, darkness through the South Florida sugar cane fields was fun, flying through the warm Florida night...Twisting up Highway 17, a surprisingly fun motorcycle highway through the orange groves, getting up in the morning to a motorcycle not a car in the hotel parking lot all added up to "a trip."
Florida Orange Groves
These reminiscences were dredged up by a photo I found in my files from May 2008, my year-old Bonneville on a side road near Alva, Florida on my meandering way home from a conference trip to Clearwater north of Tampa. I like central Florida, a land of small towns, long straight roads unfortunately, but also woods, fields and unlikely back roads. It's a place that gives you space to think. 
Triumph Bonneville, Florida
Besides. it's nice to come home to the Keys and water and sky and familiar curves and passing zones and bridges and views and mangroves and even if it is a commute it is a good place to ride if you have done a lot of twisted mountain riding in your life.
Florida Sunset
An 80 degree evening in January in the Northern Hemisphere is not to be sniffed at if you dislike the cold. The road goes straight forward and straight back. Long may the road go, and long may I be on it.
Triumph Bonneville, US 1
I have been gearing up for the post-holiday busyness of being busy and Key West is busy. Lots of cars and people and sunshine shortly to be replaced by a couple of cool nights. I passed  a Tennessee- tagged SUV filled with eager faces looking forward to a  tropical vacation...and I hoped they felt a 63 degree night might qualify.  
Overseas Highway Mile Marker 14, Florida Keys
It has been a long time since the Lower Keys say a 50 degree day,a very long time indeed. I actually wouldn't mind a cold snap if only to remind me how much I enjoy the heat. I might sing a different tune if it got so cold I couldn't enjoy the ride.