speedway. We went to the bike races, and we had lunch with Jim Paterson and his wife Jodi. Jim was the president of Harley-Davidson, and we had met him in 1988 on a ride to Milwaukee.
All that was 20 years and several lives ago.
Later that same year we moved permanently from Maine to Florida, and over the years we have ridden across the state to Bike Week countless times.It’s usually fun, but there is a sameness to it that has kept us from attending for the past several years.
Until this year. Dick Pritchard took note of our long absence and decided that the club should put on an old-fashioned Bike Week trip once again. At first, about 10 couples signed up for the trip, but by the time March rolled around about half of them had dropped out for one reason or another. So when we gathered at McDonald’s on Roosevelt last Thursday morning for the ride to Daytona, only four couples were on hand.
Dick and Judy Pritchard, Rick and Annette Mardis, Rick and Nil Beveridge, and Beth and me. Dave DiFiore and Nicole Cornelius got a late start and promised to come along a bit later in the day.
One one of our trips 10 or 12 years ago, we stayed in a room in a Daytona hotel that was right on the beach. We were in a first-floor room, and some of our fellow lodgers amused themselves by doing burnouts in the parking lot until around 4 a.m. No one got a lot of sleep that night, and we vowed never to stay right in Daytona ever again. In later years, we either stayed in Mount Dora, about 50 miles west of Daytona, or in St. Augustine, about the same distance north.
|The Edgewater Motel in St. Augustine|
|Hari Krishna. Hari Krishna. Krishna Krishna. Hari Hari.|
All of the front doors fronted right on the parking lot so we could keep an eye on the motorcycles. The back doors opened onto a long patio area that fronted on the Matanzas River. Very scenic, with the historic St. Augustine buildings situated on the other bank. And no burnouts in the parking lot.
The bridge has a drawbridge, and we found that it got raised pretty frequently to let boat traffic through. On the first evening, we walked across to have dinner at the A1A Ale House and, sure enough, we got caught for about 10 minutes when the drawbridge went up to let three or four pass through.
A couple of days later, we walked across again and got caught once more. This time turned out to be pretty funny, thought; when the drawbridge went up, and small crowd of young people hopped out of their cars, cranked up their stereos, and started dancing to very loud south-of-the-border music. Nilufer was so taken by it that she joined in. It was great and we got a few pictures.
|Nil dancing to the drawbridge music|
On Saturday we toured downtown St. Augustine, but then some of us went back to the Edgewater for naps while others ride up the coast for a look at some of the beaches.
On Sunday we rode back through the Ocala National Forest and had breakfast in Polatka at the oldest diner in Florida (Angel’s) before making a stop at a little candy shop/bakery, most to fulfill Beth’s need for an occasional whoopie pie.
All in all, a great time with a great group of friends. Maybe we’ll recover enough to be ready for Biketoberfest.