We’re home from Florida, and I’m sitting here – after selecting, downloading and cropping a gazillion photos – trying to decide how to write about our weekend. Just exactly how does a 63-year-old, fairly sheltered-all-my-life grandma describe thousands of wildly-colored motorcycles, gleaming pipes, and bizarrely-dressed men and women whose one main goal (well, at least THIS week) is to spend time riding up and down the highway, making as much noise as possible? Hey wait! I just described it!
To say this wasn’t our normal “visit with the grandkids” is pretty much an understatement. But we sure had a ball, saw some sights I’ve never seen before – and one or two I sincerely hope I WON’T see again (Ted might argue with me on that point, but he was taking everything in from a man’s point of view).
It wasn’t all about the bikes though. We also took a tour of John D. Rockefeller’s winter home, watched Matthew’s soccer game, and checked out a couple of great beachy restaurants where we had some great seafood.
But, for tonight’s post, it all about . . . . BIKERS!
Motorcycles of all descriptions were almost as numerous as cars and trucks on the interstate as we traveled from the lake southward to Valdosta, then to Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and finally Ormond Beach. I have to admit that many of these bikes looked like pretty darn comfortable rides!
We arrived around 4 p.m. and left about an hour later to try out a seafood restaurant Julie had been hearing rave reviews on - Flager Fish Company. We knew later on it was going to be nearly impossible to get into a restaurant in the area, so we chose to go early . . .
. . . and we were glad we did! Early arriving cyclists had the same idea!
Jordan and Matt at the restaurant . . .
. . . and Matthew and Julie.
We left the grandkids at home (Jordan was the assigned babysitter) to go check out the “strip” on this first official night of Bike Week.
US Highway 1 was a blaze of lights as far as we could see . . .
. . . and the police and sheriff's departments had everything under control - including this marked passage across a very busy highway to reach . . .
. . . one of the prime hot spots of Bike Week - The Iron Horse Saloon.
Imagine acres and acres of bikes, lined up in perfect order, as close together as possible, yet not a single one touching. There were bikes in green, red, white, yellow, black, and silver. There were Suzukis, Kawasakis, Triumps, Yamahas, Hondas, and many, many, MANY Harley-Davidsons! That was both outside . . .
. . . and inside the huge space created by vendor's huts, food huts, and entertainment like . . .
. . . the Wall of Death, where riders take vintage motorcycles and ride them at high speeds around what is basically a big wooden barrel. We missed the show, but Matthew told me all about it the next day.
This is a burn-out pit. It wasn't open that night because the noise is so loud the boss of the Iron Horse didn't want it to drown out the entertainers on stage. Matt explained that in "the pit", bikers push their motorcycles up against the wall, lock the front brake, then rev the bikes up as much as possible. This causes the back tire to basically burn itself off its rim and makes a heck of a lot of noise in the process. I guess it would be fun to watch - as long as I'm not the one buying the replacement tires.
This old school bus had been reconfigured into a refreshment stand. It was doing a booming business!
Julie and I decided we liked the white bikes best. And, no thank you, we don't want to ride behind Ted and Matt. We want one of our own.
I loved this sign! The bikers have their very own attorneys - who ride bikes!
We had a blast watching all the excitement of the bikers that night, and if you want to get in on this in person, Bike Week continues through next weekend.
Come on back on Friday, and I’ll post some pics from the rest of our weekend – and whatever else we get into before then. Have a great week. God bless!