Biker Lifestyle

A Hardtail Missed- Reflection on a good old fashion Florida Ride

Well, I am back and this was a great ride. Shorter but man was it relaxing. By the early part of the new decade (00), I was spending 10 days a month in Florida so the hardtail I had bought and finished in 98 was put to great use. I had bought it cheap with the intention to sell it off when done, that idea took a detour when a guy I knew well in Mulberry Fl said I could leave it there in one of his buildings. He wasn’t a biker (more of a 70s muscle car guy) so I brought it down and dropped it off at the end of 99.
So I had a reason to head to Florida in Nov, Biketoberfest was over by weeks, Thanksgiving was two weeks away. Slow time in the bikini. To me, the best times in that state are the slowest times. Anyway, I grab the bike and start on a couple days of fucking off and riding. Now some of you may have visited some of these places and will remember or know them.

I pulled out of Mulberry after filling my throw over leather mini bags with socks, tees, and a pair of jeans I strapped the leather on the back filled up with gas and headed south and east. First stop was the Desert Inn in Yeehaw Junction. If you have never been there, man it is old school as fuck in the middle of the afternoon.

I actually heard that back in the day it was a whore house upstairs, but anyway, this place is like a hundred fucking years old, all old shit inside and people had written all over the ceiling and shit. It had a couple outside tables. The perfect place for my first stop. I had a drink or three and thought I had better keep going.

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I left Yeehaw after filling up, the shovel had a peanut tank and was only good for about 100 miles no gas gauge either, and headed up the old road out of town. It’s almost a deserted road because all the traffic jumps on the FLTP there, but when you are on an old school bobber that super slab shit sucks.

Anyway, I headed north until the road ends up on hwy 50 and then turned in towards the Ocean. As I got over to hwy 1 and started to head north I remembered a great spot to stop for late lunch. Goodrich Bar and Grill. I gotta tell you, I love a bucket of shrimp and a cold drink and that place was fucking awesome back then. Great view off the back deck of the Indian River and great shrimp.

It was almost dusk and I thought a ride through the swamp on the way out to the Cabbage would be great. Those of you that haven’t ridden out of New Smyrna on the back roads towards Samsula should do some time. I got to the Cabbage and there were like three guy’s in there. We shot the shit for long enough to have a drink and I saddled up to head towards Daytona.

If you’ve never been to Daytona in the offseason you really have no idea how dead that town is. I rode into town and headed down I.S.B. past Beach Street and over the Intercoastal back to hwy 1. I really wasn’t in a Shark Lounge mood, plus it was really early yet, so down to Main Street. I stopped at the Boothill and there were about a dozen people hanging out, I thought for a minute about a local broad but then common sense took over.

I had learned years before to stay away from the easy play. After the Boothill, I headed out towards the Iron Horse but decided to pass it up and went to get a room out by the hwy. The offseason it’s slow, rooms were cheap, I had a couple hundred miles on the bike and all was great in the world.

The next morning after getting everything tightened up on the bike I went down the road and stopped at the Waffle House. I was sitting there after breakfast thinking I really should get a drink, Iron Horse opened at like 10 or something and I thought it was a good day to start early. I was there when they opened and after a couple I started off towards Palatka, home of another great place The Cheyenne Saloon.

By 2 that afternoon I kind of thought I should be heading out so I headed south. I grabbed some gas and thought Sanford would be great. After making a couple of stops I ended up at a joint called Johnny Rotten Bar Out Back. It was cool and the owner was in there. We shot the shit for an hour or so and he told me some bad shit to watch out for in town so I decided to head the other way. I still had some time until it was dark so I headed west towards Leesburg but when I got over that way it was still fucking warm and I wanted to keep in the wind. I headed south for a little ride and ended up in Groveland. I got a room and walked around town for awhile.

They must have a fucking juice plant there or something cause man it really smelled like rotten fruit but I found a place for a burger and walked back to my room. Next morning I started to head back to Mulberry. No drinking day but what a great ride. I headed south on Hwy 33 into Polk City and then jumped over to head down thru Auburndale it was less than a tank of gas, maybe 80 miles or so, but it was a fucking great run down there. I stopped for a Coke and headed back south to Lake Wales and then West to Mulberry.

I went in to visit my friend for a bit and decided I had to go to work. No great revelations just solid old-school ride time. Thinking back on it probably the worst decision I ever made was selling my hardtail. Old school, open primary, kicker. Man, I miss that bike, the ride was awesome too.

Ghost

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