Sunday, January 25, 2015

Winter doldrums: Key West!!

January and February are deader than dead, riding-wise.

I think I've found a way to get a riding fix in late February that will keep my spirits up until the 2015 riding season kicks in.


Susan and I are planning to devote a week or so to the Sunshine State.  I'm planning to steal a couple of days, rent a bike at Eagle Rider, and teach myself (with a little tutoring and written encouragement from Dar in her brand-spanking-new moto instructor role) to ride a cruiser.

Dar suggested a 600cc'ish cruiser (Honda Shadow, Yamaha XV S650, or similar).

My plan is to drop in on Conchscooter for a beer and maybe a burger or something.  I'm also hoping to entice some fellow riders to join in.  The thing is that they're all up around Jacksonville or Tampa St-Pete, and it's a lot to ask for folks to take three days or so and put all those extra miles on just for a lark.

Stay tuned my winter-bound friends.  We'll see how this goes.


My Florida plans have been scaled back.  Too little time to get all the bases covered.  Key West has taken a back seat, at least in terms of our upcoming trip.

There will be other occasions, I am quite sure.  Perhaps occasions when the stars will align more auspiciously.  Occasions where a band of riders will be able to join in and ride with abandon to the southernmost point.

I will still rent a bike, but I'll confine the ride to an afternoon.  The A1A in Fort Lauderdale beckons.  Its siren call is no match for Key West, but it has the allure of being doable, and there's a lot to be said for that.

I hope to be able to report in the near-ish future that I have will have expanded my repertoire from Vespas to include shifty cruisers.


Bill Leuthold said...

David, I live to find rides "just for a lark". If I can make it work, I'll be in South Florida for the start. ?

SonjaM said...

David, you rock! Love to hear you getting your feet wet in the cruiser department. If it weren't for the pond between our continents, I'd join you right away. Please say hi to Michael and the other bloggers you hope to meet.
So looking forward to your adventures and encounters, and your first experience with a "real" bike.

VStar Lady said...

Have fun 'cruising'

The City Mouse in the Country said...

If you can arrange to be in town over a weekend, I think we can arrange something. I'm interested in meeting the famed lab that hangs out with Conchscooter.

David Masse said...

Bill that's a really generous offer. It looks like Saturday / Sunday might work best.

I still need to hear from Michael in Key West.

David Masse said...

Sonja you and Roland rock too. We'll surely get to ride again.

The nice thing about blogging is that it shrinks the globe in the most amazing way.

I will convey your wishes to bloggers and others without fail.

I'm a little apprehensive about the motorcycle, but I'm confident I'll pick it up quickly.

David Masse said...

Rest assured I will Karen. It will probably be a Yamaha. I'll be thinking of you and your V-Star for sure.

David Masse said...

Oh... and there will be no filtering and lane splitting ;)

David Masse said...

Cheyenne is one cool laid back pooch.

I think I can swing the weekend. I'll keep you posted.

I could turn out to be quite a blogger get together.

Conchscooter said...

I sent you an e-mail. I am off work the 7th and 21st of february. I could ride up and meet you at the Eagle rider shop and lead you back to my place. relieve you of the stress of navigating.

ADK Jim said...

David as long as you leave the snow and cold behind you're welcome to our Sunshine State. Hoping to make the ride - Jim

Canajun said...

You'll have no problem handling a small'ish cruiser, so don't worry, just go and enjoy. And if the Eagle Rider folks there are as good as their Vegas people are you'll have a great experience which we still-frozen folks will be able to enjoy vicariously.

David Masse said...

Michael you are a gentleman and a scholar.

We'll see how this goes. There is still some planning to do.

Looking forward to taking a walk with you in Key West.

David Masse said...

Jim nothing would make me happier than sharing the road with you down to the Keys. I'm down to counting days rather than weeks.

David Masse said...

Dave thanks for that vote of confidence.

I have also heard kind words expressed for Eagle Riders by a family member who rented from them in Miami.

You know, in my mind, a 650cc cruiser is in no way small. That's because in my teens when I was around motorcycle guys, a 650 was a big bike.

Displacement trends have indeed made 650cc bikes into good 'beginner' rides. I see that all the time in bike reviews, and on the Eagle Rider site by the way.

Moving up in weight and displacement remains initially daunting. I can tell you that moving from a 50cc, to a 150cc, to a 300cc was, for me at least, more or less as challenging as I expected, and in some ways there were challenges that I didn't know I would face.

Still, it's more than anything a question of taking it as it comes, slow, steady and deliberate.

Deb said...

Wow! Sounds like fun! Looking forward to reading about your new experiences. Sometimes I think about going back to a motorcycle too. Keep us posted!

GF said...

You had asked to be added to my list of motorcycle blogs a while back. I only saw it now but you in it now. Here's the link:

David Masse said...

Stay tuned Deb to see how this goes!

David Masse said...

Thanks George, much appreciated.

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