Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dixie Dual Sport crosses FL, Spring 2013

When in FL taverns, don’t discuss terrain.  You can only loose.   They think they are the 4th mountain state...   right up there behind Indiana.   This conversation will FAIL.   

If you haven’t ridden the east end of the King’s Highway then you have NO idea how sand sucks.   Imagine coming around the corner at 45mph+ and thinking you are on a roll... before you lays $200,000 in Beemers looking like Darth Vader took them out without missing a heart beat.   You think for a moment that you might want to slow down.   That was one moment too long.  Do a faceplant in the warm Florida sand and start paddling...   it’s almost a mile to terra firma.  You could be sipping Pina whatevers back at Flaggler beach, but NO...   you are above that...   (ya. so was I, This year...  )

Eventually things settle down to powder dust, gravel and occassional rocks.   You keep the throttle open because you are fairly certain that white spec is the helmet of the rider in front of you...   but maybe it’s a speck stuck on your face shield.  Flip your screen up to get a clear view and realize that the dust is as thick as 99% humidity and it doesn’t inhale well...   Just drive.  Keep the speed up and if anything important happens up front, you will be Johnny-on-the-spot.   The forgiving thing about dropping it in sand is that you are dropping it in sand.  Sorta self fulfilling.

Eventually your group exits the dust miles and regroups at a stop...   You suggest, “Wow, that was great.  Where’s the lunch stiop?”  The leader tells you that after two hour of riding out of Daytona we are three hours off schedule.   Isn’t this a fun sport?

Two hours of gravel, houses with zebras zoos in the front yard and rednecks in pickups yelling, “You don’t want to go there”  a tree lined lane opens peacefully in front of you.   the two tracks narrow to a tire width and the sand turns to brown sugar...  Lean back and add throttle, right?   Ya...   rear wheel spits out a rooster tail that sholda been seen on the speed channel.  (BMW sells this as a Dual Sport... sand isn't one of them)  Front wheel is doing ‘Waltz Across Texas” ( we’ll teach that next month) and you pass something that looks like a face with two wheels.  Not to worry... He’ll be there when you come back next year.

Next checkpoint, the ferry!   Will be a moment to relax.  Only 7 miles down that road...   SOLID SAND...  oh well.   Occupancy limited to 6 bikes.   You roll aboard and the gate closes... You hand the pilot a $5. He puts his tooth back in his mouth and stuffs currency into a high flotation canister.   At least if the boat goes down the family will find the proceeds.   

Go for a stroll across the deck and discover that there is no yellow line marked, “Deck stops here.”   This rig predates handrails...  Flotation device can be found under your... never mind.

On the west shore the gentle crunch of metal on metal signals landing.  We power up and blow kisses to the ground heading to destination...  

‘How far do we have yet to go and when is lunch?”    OK... rub it’s 90 minutes past lunch time and we have gone 83 of 245 mile journey.   The group of 4 agrees to abandon the track.   
Two guys  are heading home and two of us head toward Cedar Key following GPS.   Little do I know that I am following a highway speed-demon with no social conscious.    He Un-named but his initials are Tim) wants a checkpoint photo at the firehouse and will then headed 225 miles to home.   At warp speeds (compared to my life) we drive west and hit the end-zone without mishap.  Tim hits his “Home, Silver” GPS button and vanishes.  I find a beverage replenishment facility, wire-tie the cold-ones to my overstuffed duffel and backtrack to the Rainbow Campground.  Their admission policy is pretty lenient.   

Unroll the tent.  Unroll the bedroll on the tent and pop a brew.  Life is good. Dear mom, send food.

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