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Friday, March 14, 2014

Jacksonville, Fl, bike week and Susie's Side Door Cafe

This past week I've spent in Jacksonville, FL.  The company I work for put me up for a week in a Candlewood Suites motel, rented me a car and offered me a nice per diam.  I was up there to do some additional training and generally help bring on of our satellite office up to snuff.  I've spent a few days in St Augustine before but never Jacksonville, so I was looking forward to getting away some.


Well I certainly enjoy business travel, I had a job a few years ago that sent me away for weeks at a time, I always feel like I'm in a old Steve Martin movie when I go out to eat.

I've wanted to take a ride to the East Coast of Florida for some time, but with the company buying the gas and with me still not being released to ride, the rental option was the best option.  The route On Star picked for me to Jacksonville was boring...there is a whole lot of nothing on route 301.  Good to know if I ever head that way again.

In the past when I've gone on business trips; I've been able to get away for a few hours at night and explore the area around me.  I might have a beer at the local watering hole or just drive around.  I also knew that roughly an hour down the road from me was Daytona's (in)famous Bike Week and it be damn silly for me to let that chance pass me by.

So one night after work I decided to jump in the rental and head on down the road a bit to see what I could see.  I felt really out of place...for a couple of reasons.  One, I was in a bright yellow Hawaiian shirt.  Two, I was not on a bike.  I'm a scooterist gosh darn it...and I didn't even have that.  Three, no leather on me at all.  Four, no tats man.  Nope, not a one.

So here I am at one of the Dealerships - J and P - astonished and amazed at the variety and color and shear freaking number of motorcycles about.  I'm wondering about, mouth agape, along classic Harley's, more than a few BMW's.  One or two Indian's...even a cafe racer Royal Enfield!  Is that a Vincent!  My God it is!

Sadly since I was there to work and was not really expecting to go to bike week, it never occurred to me to bring a camera.  Nor did I ever think to pull out my phone and point and shoot with it.  As the French say:  "La Sigh!"

I have a beer and then two, talking to a nice Belgium couple from New England about everything but bikes and then head back to the hotel about an hour away.  Well, at least I can say I attended something at bike week.  It was also nice to see so many bikers actually wearing helmets as well.

Coming back home was uneventful.  Just in time in fact for the annual community wide Garage sale.  For the second year in a row we will be serving hot dogs and other light meal time things.  Last year we made over $200 bucks.  Today we spent most of the day doing set up and buying the good food that we need to make it a success.  We actually started preparing about two weeks ago.

I bring this up only because for the last few weekends the desire to ride really has not been there - not that I could anyway.  Now, after a long beautiful mostly free weekend and seeing Daytona...my desire to ride has been reborn.  I'm still not free to ride, as the doctors want my ankle to strengthen....but the desire to ride is starting to stir again, and that is not a bad thing.

So lets see what happens next...but first lets get the one day only "Susie's Side Door Cafe" going and off the ground.  After that...we will see what happens.

2 comments:

Trobairitz said...

It is cool you were able to go to Bike Week. I think I'd feel out of place there, even if I was on a bike. I am not good with crowds of people.

Hope your ankle is healing up it isn't long before you are released to ride on two wheels. It may take a ride or two for you to determine how much, or if any, riding you want to do in the future.

Robert Wilson said...

It is not the crowds that bother me. I guess I have this concept in my head of what a biker is...and that concept does not mesh with how I see myself.

Thank you for the well wishes. :)