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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Distingished Gentlemans Ride - Tampa 2016

152 bikes.

Over $20 thousand dollars raised for a good and worthy charity.

Over 170 miles (including the ride itself, getting to the ride and making my way home) ridden through some of the prettiest country in all of America.  It's easy to forget that I live in paradise at times, and I took a moment or two to glance over my shoulder at some of the calmest and bluest water in the world just to remind myself of that fact.

It was worth riding in 90+ degree (32.2 C) heat just to see the smiling faces and bemused looks of wonders of pedestrians and cagers alike.  More than a few filmed us going by, in our dresses and suits.  Sometimes I just needed to look ahead and see nothing by bikes.  Sometimes I needed to glance in the mirror and smile at all the bikes that were behind me.  Bikes of all shapes, sizes and color.  BUT only one scooter and it's happy though very hot rider.

Kimmie held her own against various Trimuph's, Harleys, Ural's Honda's, Moto Guzi's and at least three or four Royal Endfields, Vincent's and even a Norton.  Let's not forget the BMW's, Suzuki's and an odd Kawasaki's or two.  Both new and classic bikes were represented.

The ride itself wove its way through downtown St Petersburg, where more than one person pulled out a camera and filmed us going by.  We zipped through this town and again I feel the need to spend the day just looking for, and taking photo's of the various murals.  I actually was able to take more than a few photo's of nearby murals as we stopped en mass at Green Bench Brewing for a hour long beer and food stop.  I have to be honest, I'm not sure what beer I had but it was quenching!

We worked our way down the city and across the Gandy Bridge, where people enjoying a day out on the sand waved and pointed.  Then up and on to the bridge itself, the dark blue water looking so refreshing well a light ocean breeze cooled us down.

Into Tampa proper now, around the bend and onto Bayshore Blvd.  This is one of my favorite rides in the city as we cruise along the Bay moving effortlessly towards the city, then into the downtown itself were a cute little girl of no more than two or three bounced up and down and waved by closing her fingers as only little kids do.  More than one biker waved back to her, which only made her more excited to see us go by.

Onto the highway now, opening Kimmie up a bit to stretch her legs as we head towards Ybor City and the last stop, Coppertail Brewing.  Although I did make a brief stop after the ride at my favorite watering hole, Cigar City Cider and Mead since I told them I would.

This ride was a first in a lot of ways for me.  It's also the biggest group of riders I've ever had the pleasure to ride with.  It was my first charity run, and I raised just about 625 dollars for fighting prostate cancer.  Thank you all who donated.  I am rather proud that I finished in the top 10 fundraisers  If you have yet, and would still like to give something you can donate here.  Just be sure to do so before October 3rd.  That's the last day donations can be accepted and it is tax free.

Sadly a friend of mine that was going to ride with us had last minute bike problems and was unable to make it, meaning that I don't have any Go-Pro footage to share.   However at times we had a jeep with what I assume was a professional photographer following us, and even a drone above us at time.  Once I have access to that footage, I'll be sure to share.  I'll also share more on my Facebook page

In the meantime:

How's that for vintage, an exposed belt drive with chain linkage shifting.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A wash, a wax, a haircut and shave....dapper is as dapper does

The "honey do" list is rather extensive today.  I'm going to be gone most of the day tomorrow if not the whole day participating in the the 2016 Distinguished Gentleman's ride for prostate cancer research and men's health in general.  I have my outfit ready, although I decided against the bright orange 1970's tux for several reasons.

Their are, currently at last count, approximately 150 riders taking part in the ride.  Out of all those riders I finished in 6th place with nearly $625 dollars raised.  Thank you to everyone that supported me.  I'm honored and happy to call each and everyone of you my friend. 

Today I try to complete the "honey do" list.  My beloved Kimmy is going to get a wash and wax.  I might as well do the cars as well right?  I need a haircut and a shave.

Sadly I don't think I'll be able to post any pics or do a write up till Monday morning or later.  A friend of mine who's also riding in the event will be shooting Go-Pro video as well and we should have that posted soon as well.

 Overall I'm excited about the whole thing.  With only one day left I feel it's ok to share the route.