04-21-13 – I packed up at my leisure on Sunday. I only had a few hours to go and it was a long weekend. I had the last of my food, cleaned up my dishes and packed the bike. I had a most pleasant morning as about 7 or 8 bikers stopped by my campsite to wish me well, tell me safe travels, and exchange information in case I ever needed help in their part of the country. Once I hit the gas station up the road, the story was the same… I ended up standing there nearly 25 minutes talking to people about the journey… this is the gas station / truck stop a lot of us had been using for showers and snacks over the weekend. I really was full of myself that Sunday morning. I had made a lot of good contacts, received 2 jobs out of the weekend, and was really able to talk to folks about my journey and my sponsors: Rider’s Claw and Nailmaille. Like I said before, sometimes I’m just happier being by myself.
I was now on a mission to help a friend. As you may recall from several weeks ago, my friend’s truck broke down going from FL to IL. He had to unload his bike and drive back to IL on 2 wheels while leaving his truck in FL for repairs. The truck was finally done so I was to collect it and take it to his Dad’s in Webster, FL where I would stay to do some work and attend the Leesburg Bike Fest.
The ride to Marianna, FL was lovely. Just cool enough for leathers but not at all hot or humid. The sun was out and the bike was running great despite being covered in mud. Once I arrived in Marianna, I checked in to the same hotel as before and went to the same Chinese restaurant as before. I ended up falling asleep around 6:30pm and didn’t get up until 7:00am. I guess I really needed that rest!!
04-22-13 So… I got to the dealership and was preparing to load my bike onto the trailer. Now, my friend said to me early on, “Pull up slowly and be sure you have enough clearance for your windshield.” Ok, great! I did that. I had enough clearance, so I roll down the ramp and prepare to accelerate into the trailer. Well… what he didn’t say, and what my brain failed to comprehend was, just because you have clearance for the windshield, you still need to make sure you have clearance for YOUR HEAD!!! OUCH!!! Not only did I instantly become a ‘knot head’ but in an effort to not let go of the bike, I really jerked the hell out of my right shoulder. I didn’t think too much of it at first, I just wanted to get loaded and get rolling before the rain started. (Yes, more rain…)
I made my way to Webster and I wasn’t even there long enough to distribute the hugs I was told to give when the retirees were already asking if I was playing cards that night. I tell ya, those sharks are just after my laundry money. HeHeHe – I played cards that night and actually won the final big pot; YAY for me. The next day I made the shoulder and chest a little worse trying to get my bike out of the trailer. I had to rock it back and forth a bit to get it out of the Condor wheel lock; maybe I was just not at full strength so I guess that’s my excuse.
I just had to take the bike to get it washed because she was still covered in mud from Angel City. As I made my way to the neighboring town my phone rang and since it sits right in front of me in my Rider’s Claw, I could see it was my boy Nathan calling. Never wanting to miss a moment of his voice and a chance to catch up, I slid the bar on the iPhone and he knows that if he hears the motorcycle, then I am pulling over. Well, I couldn’t have pulled over at a more perfect spot. I walked around for nearly 45 minutes while talking to my son on the phone. We had a good catch up session on all the goings-on to that point. I always love hear from my son, he’s got his own life going but it’s so hard to be this far from him. In our entire lives together, we’ve only been apart 6 weeks before (that was his first time at summer camp – and last).
Throughout the week I was able to get started on the Cool Rider Gear proposal and business plan. I was able to catch up some writing and other personal tasks. I setup the RV I’m staying in with some food and beverages. I enjoyed a few good meals with my adopted Rider’s Claw family. And I was able to rest for the most part and get that torn muscle back into shape. Frenchy and Ms. Janice have been moving from the old house to the new house, so I helped with boxes and furniture when they would let me. I’ve been able to relax a bit and enjoy the warm Florida evenings on the swing with my new concoction: Vodka, Tonic, and Real Fruit Popsicles – yum yum!
04-26-13 My friend Mike flew in from IL on Friday as he had to drive his truck and trailer home. He was only here a weekend so we spent Friday with the folks having dinner and then relaxed a bit with some beverages. On Saturday, we were headed to Leesburg Bike Fest. I was there 7 years ago but my goodness how it’s grown. Since Mike flew in, clearly he had no bike and there was no point in renting one for just a day to a bike fest. I most definitely was not going to a bike fest without my bike. So… the quandary was, does Mike ride on the back with me or does he take his truck. Well, in true biker shenanigan fashion, he saddled up on the back and we went to town… Leesburg that is!! We got some funny looks on the way there but when you’re moving pretty quick, I guess it’s not so noticeable. However, from the moment we hit the slow roll into Leesburg the double takes and pictures were non-stop. We already figured we’d make people laugh, but what we didn’t figure was ending up on the cover photo for the Leesburg Bike Fest video and album on Bikerspost.com FB page. What a hoot!! The majority of the FB comments were positive and funny, but of course, there are always negative Nelly types running amuck. Simple minded folks that can’t see the fun and laughs through the egos and stereotypes should really just stay home.
It was a very hot day Saturday at Leesburg Bike Fest, but the misters on the tents and the shady spots were ever so helpful. I first ran into this dude James; he’s a friend of a friend and member of my ULRB group. James had lost his Sue somewhere and was on a mission to find her, hoping we could catch up again shortly. Then going to get food, I ran into Tom; another friend of a friend and member of ULRB. In Illinois, it’s almost natural for me to hear my name somewhere in a crowd, but here, in Florida 1000 miles from home?? ODD!! But cool! We walked around a while with Tom to check out some of the bikes and vendors. After a while, we headed over to the Ratz Hole to watch the Ms. RatMate contest. Being on town streets the shenanigans in Leesburg are kept fairly classy. We enjoyed swim suit contests from local area ladies that won their spots in the FINALS via their local sponsors and their activities here.
After a fair amount of walking and heat, the day progressed on and we needed a snack. We sat under a tent at the Magnolia’s Oyster Bar. We ordered up 2 dozen oysters, swilled back a few cold beers, and waited an hour for our food. In the meantime, some cool folks sat at our table and started a game called Put – N – Take. This is a cool game and I have already purchased my spinner (should be at Dad’s when I get back). For those not familiar, it’s a simple game played with quarters. The spinner (or Dreidel) says T1, T2, AP, TA, P1, P2 – These mean Pay 1, Take 1, All Pay, etc… There are a few little rules but mainly you spin and follow the directions. So easy even a biker can play it. We finally got our food and played about 5 rounds of Put – N – Take. It was getting to be time for folks to wander around again, so we snapped a picture, shared some hugs, and off we went. Leesburg Bike Fest is for sure growing by leaps and bounds and has some amazing music.
On the ride back to Webster my passenger lost his bandanna so we had to turn around and go back a mile or so. And in all the chatter along the ride, we missed our turn. So the ride back was longer than anticipated but a really cool ride all the same. I’m not so sure Mike’s rear-end would agree, but he did a fine job as a passenger.
BikersPost.com – The BROAD and her good friend Mike…
04-28-13 Sunday was spent moving some of the larger items for Frenchy and Ms. Janice. We went to brunch and unfortunately there was a stillness in the air and the conversations. Sadly, the move from the old house to the new house landed just on the anniversary of Ms. Bonnie’s birth and death. Ms. Bonnie is Frenchy’s first wife and love. I tried to give him a couple hugs during the day without being overly pushy. I could tell he was not having a great day and despite his current love, you simply cannot forget your past; it makes you who you are today. My heart went out to him. In the days since he has come back around for the most part. I have so truly enjoyed my visits here with the Conro family that I can’t help but to care. They have been more than kind to me, more than generous, and much more like a family than friends.
I spent the better part of this week, doing more client work and catching up this blog. I’ve had a lot of quiet time since Frenchy and Ms. Janice are in the new house now. Sort of lonely around here and I look forward to cards at 5:30 most nights. I did make it to Gator Harley Davidson where I picked up my fork seal kits (which I’m hoping my Uncle Archie will help me with when I return to Dad’s). My buddy there hooked me up and I think the old girl will be fine for a few hundred more miles. Returning from Gator HD in Leesburg to Webster, I found yet another lovely place to stop for pictures. I tell ya, I just love the trees and moss in the SE.
It has rained here in FL a couple days which they really need; so I have been able to get a lot of work done for clients and myself. I have made a couple good meals here in the RV and I have plotted out my next couple of months. I have lost a few more quarters to the retirees and I have rested well.
This journey didn’t start out being about promoting others and their products, but I do believe that God has a plan. I do believe that Rider’s Claw and their support of The BROAD has been more of a Godsend than I could ever have imagined.
I am now looking forward to Thunder on the Beach in Panama City Beach. There I will stay with Vic and Vicky whom I met at the Angel City Spring Rally. From there, I’m hoping to go up through Alabama and over to Dad’s to meet my son Nathan when he visits next week. What a fantastic treat that will be!
SPONSORS that give 10% of Purchases back to The BROAD when you enter “BROAD” in the coupon code.
Rider’s Claw – Hold your Tunes & GPS on your Harley or Metric Cruiser in high quality style & craftsmanship; custom for your device.
Nailmaille – Gorgeous, Unique, and Heavy Duty Jewelry made with Stainless Steel Nails.
Fox Creek Leather – Fine American made leather products for riding horses (furry or steel) and much more.