This is my third ride to Florida and one that I get to share this time. I have had dialogues with myself over the years that I can now share over our headsets or a meal that are much more meaningful. Travelling alone for so many years you develop tricks about packing, eating and sleeping that are now very useful too. I do believe that everything happens in its own time and for a very specific reason. All the experience that I have had allows me to pass it along and enjoy Laura discovering it all for herself.
The people, ocean and weather are what make Florida important and meaningful to me. I have been excited about hitting the coast and wandering down A1A for months now. This winter has been long and there is nothing like the warm smell of the ocean and sun on your face. We got off the interstate at Jacksonville and began the slow but beautiful tour down the seaside highway. Stoplights, traffic and long stretches of low lying palms and sandy beaches are what make the previous hard days ride worth while.
|A1A Ponte Vedra|
Slower travel is what this is all about. Face in the wind, sunscreen and moving less than 45 miles an hour. Laura discovered that she could even take pictures while we rode.
Over the last couple days I have been watching the wear on tyres and the rear had developed a good notch now. I had stopped in Daytona Beach a few years ago and had a full tune up at Daytona Beach Triumph. From about 4:30 am to 9:15 I slowly formulated a plan. I clicked over the headset to interrupt Laura’s morning playlist to announce my final brainstorm: “Ease our way down to Daytona for about noon and stop by the Triumph Dealer. See if they have time to put new rubber on Tigger. That would give us time to wander across the bridge and have lunch on the beach?”
Well. We have new Michelin Pilots and bellies full of lobster, crab, clams and corn! My slowly percolating plan fell into place and we got to spend a couple hours in the wonderfully weird Daytona Beach. The bike shop was great and within minutes we had dropped off our gear and headed over to the pier for a feast.
Back on the road just after two and still had a few hours of road to make it to Vero Beach for the night. I was hoping to break this part of the trip into two days so that we could spend some time on the coast and still get down to Key West as soon as possible.
Laura tapped me on the shoulder as we cruised through the Space Coast (Kennedy Space Centre, Cape Canaveral) and pointed to the ever darkening sky. Once again mother nature seemed to be toying with us as we still had an hour to make our beachside bed for the night.
The last twenty minutes of this ride was memorable. Dark thundershowers made for a dramatic entrance to the Holiday Inn here in Vero Beach. No rain gear as we thumbed our noses and prepared for sun earlier that morning. It was fine though as we only got wet. Wet and 27 degrees (80 Fahrenheit) is easy to work with. We notice a man walking across the intercoastal waterway bridge in his shorts and tee and he was enjoying the rain and so would we. Smiles on our faces as we checked in for the night.
|Dayton Beach looking North|