Monday, December 3, 2018

Old Race Car Oyster Tour

A couple of months ago, Ken suggested we attend the vintage auto races and air gathering in Sebring.

It happened this past weekend.

I rode down on Max, the name I have given to the new Yamaha Xmax.

It is a fine scooter, fast, practical and reliable.  I bought a new windshield recently that has made it almost perfect for long rides.

Because we were staying at the Jacaranda, I headed down my usual way with a new twist of going onto 17, the Scenic Highway into Avon Park instead of the awful 27.  US17 to 15 to 33 to 17 into Avon Park.  It avoids highways and has some scenic areas.

I got there first, checked in, walked onto the balcony across from my room, looked down and saw the ugly blue MP3 parked next to Max.  Ken arrived.

He immediately said we should ride to Sebring to see what was going on, so we headed down to the race track.  We were not all that interested to see much on this day, so when it cost $20.00 to get onto the grounds, we decided to ride around the outside of the track to a place where we have watched the action previously.  It turned out to be perfect for what we were looking to see.

We then rode back to Avon Park for happy hour at 18 East, our favorite local restaurant, fortunately across the street from the Jacaranda.  Dave, the owner, Pam and Drew took care of us like they usually do.  The Tuna tacos were perfect.

On Saturday, our friend Shane said he would meet us at the track at 11:30.  We arrived earlier, watched some racing, walked around the paddock to see the cars and mechanics, then met him near the bridge to the grandstands.

Shane is an interesting person.  He ran his Vespa Sei Giorni in this year's Cannonball.  Apparently, he made a fortune starting and running several businesses when young.  Now he plays jazz trumpet with his trio in local clubs and rides his Vespa around Sarasota in the winters, Western North Carolina in the summers.  Not a bad life.

We walked around the paddock again so Shane could see the show, watched a little racing, then left for lunch and for him to head back to Sarasota for his gig that night.  Ken and I followed to Arcadia, where we found ice cream and brownies at the Oak Street Deli.

We sent Shane off and Ken and I had a beautiful ride back to Avon Park.  The sun was getting lower so the light was great for a few riding photographs.

We liked the tacos so much that we headed back to 18 East to dine and watch the Georgia vs Alabama SEC Championship game on the bar TV.  As we predicted, Georgia found a way to lose after leading most of the game. 

We stuck around on Sunday to have an early lunch at the Jacaranda before heading out.  The brunch is famous around the area.  I am not sure why.  It was ok, but next time we will head to one of the local taquerias for fresh Mexican food.

I took the same route home.  Encountered some rain in the Ocala National Forest, then as I got near home some more.  Luckily I had my rain gear, but Max is a fine rain machine with the new windshield.  I can tuck behind it and barely get wet in the light rain I encountered.

As usual, I had a very nice time riding around and dining with my great friend Ken.

We are doing it again in another weeks, this time with our friend Warren, who is coming with his wife from Kentucky.

If I can get Rocket's water pump fixed before then, I will be riding it down.

No Vespas this time.  Just Max and Ken's ugly, blue, unloved MP3

Headed to the Sebring Raceway on Friday

Parked outside the grounds, but we could watch the race.  For free.

Racing action from outside

The winner

 Indy Car and IMSA car in the same race

Saturday from the grandstands

It is very informal.  We could walk through the pits to Victory Lane.

A beautiful Austin Healy.
The dog was only for show, but the car was racing well until it threw a rod.

Ford GT40

P-51 Mustang

Shane and Ken before heading to Arcadia

Downtown Arcadia.  We got desserts in the Oak Street Deli. 

The ride back to Avon Park.

Ken threw in a few miles of dirt roads, just to get me back in the saddle.  These were easy.

Cows and orange groves are pretty much all you see in this part of Florida.

The sun kept getting lower, and the light better, as we rode. 

Another ride on Sunday morning.  Always nice to hop on the scooters.

The Grand Buffet


  1. Sorry I missed it. 2019 better be my year.

    1. We are looking forward to having you join us, as often as you want. I am sorry I didn't head south to visit. It added 700 miles to the ride and I had too much work waiting for my return. We will be back at the Jacaranda next weekend with Warren from Kentucky. Probably one night with the next in Cedar Key.