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PAIN AND RAIN. Complements of the Wrenchman.

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pain and rain


Complements of the Wrenchman


  I enjoy writing articles about our trips! They usually contain somewhat interesting stories of great roads,sceanic pictures, and adventures with my friends. Unfortunatly this isn't going to be one of those articles. The god of motorcycling can be a spiteful god, and i guess it was my turn to pay for having way too much fun in the past. Some of you may have seen me take a few risks in the past for the sake of fun, but falling over in a parking lot not even moving sorta took the wind outta my sails. At least i have the first nomination of the year for a faux paus award!! Someone please do something more ridiculous this year!!


   Starting about 5 months ago i began hypeing this trip to Daytona,we've done this trip every year since the late 80's and have done everything there is to do in Daytona before, during ,and after bike week. Trying to get my friends over the been there done that attitude i promised new and exciting rides, reminding them of fun in the sun, beachside rides, races, and an after bikeweek ride west to at least New Orleans,maybe Texas, and if the weather holds, stopping by the Dragons Tale on the way home. Well the weather held all right, 25 degrees at night, every night!  and 65 degrees during the day, which was just a tease because in a few days we would consider these days more than acceptable.For 3 days we did our usual Daytona activities,the auction in Deland,the Expo's at the track, the Harley dealer,and the Ocean Center, the Rats Hole chopper show,went to the Superbike race, even had a set of tires put on the FZ-1. Campfires at night with new and old friends we've met at the B3 BMW clubs' campout at the Holiday Travel Park is always a great way to end the day.


  I even bought another bike just in case we were able to make it to Deals Gap,not that the GS is bad but i thought something a little more sporty would be in order. At the time i wasn't aware that a set of crutches was about as sporty as i was going to get!

  Besides Craiglist, where new toys come from, Facebook has become one of my new hobbies where i talk to a lot of old friends and like to post pictures of our adventures. Well i wanted one picture from the beach for my FB page, and we were leaving Daytona the next day,Mikey didn't want to go to the beach, and John and Elaine wanted to shop  some more, so we split up agreeing to meet back at the campsight shortly. A quik trip to the end of Main St. and across A1A and you enter the beach, under a hotel to   little booth and for 3$ it's hard packed sand for 4 miles, hard enough for the kickstand to hold.


  Windy and cool at the beach, i was the only vehicle except for a car load of girls who tried to drive over the dunes in a rental car and got stuck, they had quite the laugh when i stopped and took their picture,one even got out and took my picture for me sitting on the bike. The exit was only a short ride up the beach, as i turned up the ramp there were a couple of guys on bikes backing out to leave, so i stopped and put my foot down, as you all know loose sand on pavement can be slippery so i put my foot down to the rear, it slid under my new Jesse bag(found on craigslist)the bike tilted ever so slightly and crack my leg bone was no longer connected to my knee bone, unable to hold the bike up over i went and crack my ankle bone was no longer connected to my leg bone,OH SHIT, fortunately a guy and his family were walking by and helped me pick up the bike and steady it while i got on. I was only about 10 miles from the campsite with no stops  in between, and what the hell was i going to do when i got there? Riding along A1A not feeling so hot trying not to throw up in my helmet was not what i had in mind for my vacation!


  As usual my friends came to the rescue and took me to the ER where a nice cast was installed faster than a set of tires on my GS and it was back to the campground where Elaine had dinner ready and Mikey had the campfire going waiting to hear all the details of my exciting highside or being taken out by some minivan but it wasn't to be, I fell in a parking lot!! The next days plan was to travel west to the panhandle, when i was younger i would have thought nothing of taking the cast off and strapping my leg to the bike but riding shotgun with Elaine in the truck sounded like a good idea also the leg was a mess. Never having been to this part of Florida was the purpose of going this way and it's beautifal, nice roads along snow white beaches and not a lot of the usual Florida sprawl.We headed west to the Gulf of Mexico stayed at a little campground in Cedar Key, right on the water,it was already getting dark so we had our campfire and dinner posted some pictures on facebook and hit the sack. One word of advice, don't post pictures of yourself with a broken leg on vacation if all the people you work with will see them.Had an interesting e-mail from my boss the next day!! Oh no it's just a sprain!!!


  The road along the gulf coast to our next stop,Indian Pass, was impressive, insight of the water and nice homes, i assume because the last hurricane took out everything that wasn't concrete.The campground at Indian Pass is on a penninsula with water on three sides, very nice spot, but it was late so we took a ride to Port St. Joe for dinner. One word describes the food along the gulf,OYSTERS, and they are some tasty little buggers,nice resturaunts on the water front and the last decent sunset for the rest of the trip.Next stop Pensacola,another nice days ride,altho i was in the truck,we found an RV park, across the street from the beach.As we pulled in ominus clouds where forming and it started to rain! Thunder and lightnng for the rest of the night with five inches of rain and at least three more days of bad weather forcasted. That night we all decided to cancel New Orleans and load up the trailer and head to Barber Museum in Birmingham instead, it was a good idea too because the rain was torrential,we tried the local state park to camp but it was under water, literally, a 60$ hotel sounded pretty good,so it was cable, wifi,and a nice shower.


  I've seen a lot of bike stuff in my time but the Barber Motorsports Museum is truly amazing,1400 bikes, about 400 cars, all in almost perfect condition, and displayed on 4 floors, with a complete restoration shop on the lower level. So much it's hard to explain, every brand, model, color, street bikes, dirt bikes, race bikes, and a state of the art road course. It was tough to leave, the forcast was for more rain for the rest of the week so we decided to bag it and head home. Sixteen hours in the truck gives you a lot of time to rethink the whole vacation thing, I had this whole thing figured out months in advance, in the very beginning i remember saying "as long as the weather holds out", well we rolled the dice and it just didn't happen. I enjoy going away with my friends more than anything but after i broke my leg i was just an anchor, and the damn weather just wouldn't give us a break. Thanks to John, Elaine, and Mike, for dragging my sorry ass around for a week!!