Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Ride of the Missed Flight

This past weekend, fellow blogger David Masse, planned a visit to Jacksonville to ride with me and others around the area.  It started as a ride to Key West, then got smaller, then flight schedules moved home base from Jacksonville to Ken Wilson's house in St. Petersburg.

So David was flying into Tampa where I would ride down on Friday afternoon.  I would have dinner with Ken and his wife Vicki, then Ken and I would pick up David at 9:00 at Tampa Airport.

But upon my arrival at Ken's, word was out that David was having problems with his flight.  Hurricane force winds in his layover city of Chicago had delayed all flights there by at least three hours. David's scheduled arrival was looking like after midnight. So after a fine dinner, Ken and I were were sitting around wondering how we would stay awake until then.

Vicki checked emails before she headed to bed at around 10:00 and let us know that she had read David's email that let us know that his trip was scrapped.

David went into much better detail on his blog.  You can find it here.

I had found a route from St. Petersburg to Cedar Key for Saturday.  The route included dropping ScooterBob at Robert Wilson's house in Zephyrhills, then lunch with Jim Mandle at Peck's Old Port in Ozello.  I decided to make the ride solo, have lunch with Jim, then scrap Cedar Key and head home.

Big Red and Vanessa in Ken;s garage.

Breakfast with Ken at Munch's.  Ken knows everyone.

The Hand Off of ScooterBob to Robert Wilson

The route between Zephyrhills and Brooksville was hilly and quite nice.

Marshes on the Ozello Trail

Two scooters at Peck's Old Port.  I was on Vanessa, the blue one.

Lunch view at Peck's Old Port

It turned out well as I had a great visit with Ken, got ScooterBob to Rob, then had an easy ride down the Ozello Trail to Peck's, where I had a tasty seafood lunch with Jim.  The weather was spectacular, and I got in a long test for Vanessa.  She was fast and smooth, but disappointed me by spewing coolant on the floor in Ken's garage and mine upon returning.  More scooter research upcoming.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine Oyster Tour

This past weekend found me riding with my friends Ken, Jim and Gary again.  This was the fourth Oyster Tour ride, third to Apalachicola area.    I rode Vanessa on a long test ride.

It started with me leaving home at 8:00 Saturday morning.  From there I rode around 130 miles to Perry, where I met up with Jim for the ride to Eastpoint, where we met with Ken and Gary at Lynn;s Quality Oysters, the unofficial Oyster Restaurant for the tours.

After oysters and shrimp, all excellent, we rode over to Port St. Joe, where we got settled into the Tiki Palms Inn, a small house converted to an Inn.  I drove by it and couldn't believe my GPS, but someone saw the sign and parking lot, so we moved in.

Jim, Ken and I then rode up to Mexico Beach, just so I could see it, and back to the inn.  Then a fine dinner at Provisions in the heart of a nice little town.

Saturday morning had us embarking on a long ride to Cedar Key.  Shortly after the start, Gary had us stopping by an old lighthouse that had been converted to a house.  Then Jim had us divert twenty miles to the St. Joseph's Peninsula State Park.

We continued around through Apalachicola and Carrabelle, then to a stop at a Shell station in Medart. Then the long ride to Perry, where we turned south to a turn off on Beach Road to Steinhatchee.  We rode through that fishing town to a gas station just south, where I noticed my exhaust gasket was leaking.  Rather than risk burning out the rear brake line, I opted to repair it there.  That took thirty minutes but quiet returned.

Then to the turn off at Chiefland, where Gary said he was too tired to continue. Ken stayed behind with him while Jim and I continued to Cedar Key.  The two arrived a few minutes after us and we went to Tony's for a nice seafood dinner.

Sunday, we all headed home separately.

It was an adventure by four very different riders.  I believed that I have now learned how to lead these three.  Go slower and stop more.  I can do it.

Vanessa performed admirably, running well the entire way.  After heading out on my own after leaving Ken and Jim near Cedar Key, I could see what she could do.  It ran 65 to 70 mph on the country roads where possible, then 73 to 79 on I-10 the last 25 miles into Jacksonville.  But then she was hard to start and spit some gasoline while putting her away for the night.  I think I can fix that, so she might become my go to scooter.

Heading out just south of Macclenny

A typical scene on a North Florida ride

Vanessa at Lake Butler

Me arriving at Lynn's on Vanessa

Showing off my Hi Viz gear





Three riders in Port St. Joe

Ken and Scooter Bob

Close up of the two again

Scooter Bob at Mexico Beach

Me and the little wooden scooter

Sunset at Port St. Joe

Hearty breakfast at the Tiki Palms Inn

The Light House House

St Joseph's Peninsula State Park

Replacing the exhaust gasket on Vanessa.

The beautiful water and marsh heading into Cedar Key.

More water 

Cedar Key

Gary and our nice server at Tony's

Vanessa at an old house in Brooker on the return home.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Last Ride Out

As a follow up to the last post, last night was the last Tuesday ride out from the Scooter Warehouse.

We had a large group gather for the ride, maybe ten or twelve.

While waiting for the 7:00 leaving time, several gathered around Skip's Stella to make necessary repairs so he could make it to the Loop and get home from there.  They were successful.

Gathering in the parking lot.

The warehouse in the background.

Solving a problem.