Monday, October 5, 2015

7BSC Apalachicola Ride

This past weekend had the 7 Bridges Scooter Club take a group ride to Apalachicola, a ride I have taken twice already this year.  It has proven to me to be one of the best motorcycle/scooter rides you can take from Jacksonville as the route is easy while being picturesque, and the destination a beautiful, restored town on the gulf.  The oysters aren't bad either.

We left our typical meeting place when heading west, the McDonalds on Chaffee Road and went towards Macclenny on US90.

Then took my back roads route to Lake Butler where we stopped for a break.

A place where we stop often.  40 miles from drinking coffee.

From there the route took us to Fort White via 18, then Branford and Mayo, where we stopped for gas, to Perry.

We went through there and chose Ouzts Too in Newport for lunch.  Ouzts is a colorful oyster house, typical of this part of the state.  It felt like we were dining fifty years ago.

Old Florida dining at Ouzts Too.

Where they keep money on the walls

Continuing west, 98 hits the inland waterways of the gulf just south of Panacea, where the views become even better as the road runs right along the water for the last 40 miles of the ride.  A final gas stop in Carrabelle got us filled and we made it to the Gibson Inn in Apalachicola at around 3:00.

Carrabelle gas stop

98 along the gulf

We didn't make it to Lynn's this time, but I got this photo as we passed.

Once we set up, Jami rides up to visit.  She had ridden by herself from Pensacola and I can now add another friend met through the scooter community.  She is going to be a great scooter friend as she is a true enthusiast.  Several of us wanted to go for a ride so she led me, brother David, 83 year old Howard and Kevin to the wonderful Indian Point Raw Bar, where we had appetizers of oysters, shrimp and a burger for Kevin.  After we arrived there, Shane and Mark showed up too as he had seen us riding past his hotel and decided to try to catch us.

The usual shot of scooters in front of the Gibson

Jami leading the ride to Indian Point.


Indian Point Raw Bar.  We will be back!

Excellent oysters, to go along with shrimp and beer.  What could be better?

After eating she took us down a long road to Indian Point, where we enjoyed the view and a minute to soak it in.

Group at Indian Point boat landing

On the ride back, I could see that Jami was testing the top speed of her Vespa Sprint, a beautiful 150 cc scooter.  The fastest she got to was a true 63 mph.  Not bad for a 150, but I think the saddle bags cost her 1 mph in aerodynamic drag.

We came back to find social hour in full swing on the porch of the Gibson.  This place has an old bar and wrap around porch that makes it almost perfect for our type of gathering.  Alcohol was flowing, a little too much for a couple, but we all survived.

Social Hour at the Gibson.  Perfect place for a small gathering.

The entire group got back together and walked to dinner at Up The Creek, a waterfront restaurant a few blocks away.  Food and service were ok, but we all had fun being together.

A short walk to our dinner destination

We ate on the porch

Once back at the Gibson, several of us watched Florida beat Ole Miss in a very important football game and off to bed.

I shared a room with Kevin, a massive snorer.  At 2:30 AM I got up, walked downstairs to Razzo parked out front to retrieve ear plugs.  It was amazing how well they worked as I slept to 7:30.

We had breakfast at the hotel, some went to a restaurant for something better.

I then took the opportunity to ride around the beautiful town.  As an architect, I appreciate the old Florida houses and businesses.  Old preserved buildings abound.

That says it all!

Old Florida house. 

Nice bookstore too.

Then we pointed east for the 250 mile ride home.  It was uneventful except for trying to find a restaurant open on Sunday in Perry.  Elaina and I chose Mexican.

Heading out.

Along the gulf on 98.  Sunny this time.

Final shot of the ride.


  1. You've got some nice looking Vespa's there.

    Sorry, I'm partial. ;o)

    1. I am partial to Vespas too. After riding mine, I can't ride anything else. I have a soft spot for the original big frame, the Granturismo.