Steve Behrens

Steve Behrens

Steve Behrens, Founder of RidingAmerican.com

Saturday, 12 January 2019 12:41

Savannah / Mt Dora Indian Vacation 2018

Our 2018 vacation didn't go quite as nice as the 2017 vacation did. We pulled out early Saturday morning 6/2/18. The plan was to ride to Savannah, Georgia. It's a little over 5 hours if we would have taken all highway but we planned a route with back roads and A1A (the road that runs right next to the coast north & south in Florida...you can see the ocean through most of it) as much as possible so it would be 8 - 9 hours and we'd be arriving some time mid to late afternoon in Savannah...enough time to take showers and hit River Street and all the bars as our hotel was 1 block from it.

 

We were staying in Savannah until Wednesday afternoon, then heading down to Mount Dora, Florida. Mount Dora is home to Sugarloaf Mountain...which is a great motorcycle ride. Mt Dora has lots of good riding as it's in the middle of the state (away from both coasts) so it's not too crowded and it has lots of hills and (small) mountains pretty much everywhere...a bit of a rarity in Florida and literally non-existent in my part of Florida. Sugarloaf Mountain is a nice curvy road with plenty of inclines and declines...so it's gotten somewhat popular down here with motorcycle riders. Mt Dora is also home to the historic Lakeside Inn. It was built in 1883 and has a lot of history. Nice place, in a great area, and we were staying there for our 3 days in Mt Dora.

 

We had just gotten the Indian 6 weeks before this so we were pretty anxious to get going and off we went on our first long trip on the Indian. We were taking the Turnpike for the first 2 hours, getting off in Daytona as we knew the Tpk would not be too bad early Saturday morning and figured we'd knock out the first 2 hours at highway speed, then kick back on the rest. Made it to Daytona just fine. Got off the turnpike and headed towards A1A. We were stopped at a light with backed up traffic, we could seed A1A and the ocean from where we were at, and then this happened...

 

 

Doesn't look as bad in the pic as it was but the damage was over $7,000.00...and the bike was back at the dealer for 6 weeks before we got it back. We had it for 6 weeks, then lost it for 6 weeks. Bummer. The only reason the tail light wasn't smashed is because the kid had a lowered car and it hit right at the license plate.

 

 

Couldn't ride it off the bridge as the fender was pushed into the tire. It already had a groove down the middle of the tire from pulling it off to the side of the road. Kid came flying over the bridge, we were stopped not far below the top as traffic was backed up at the light, and he didn't see us until the last second. He even said that he lives close to the bottom of the bridge and that he knows better as traffic is always backed up there.

 

So, both saddle bags were cracked and had to be replaced, along with trunk mounting brackets, rear fender, and other obvious parts. After a long wait, we got it towed to the Indian Dealer in Daytona who didn't want us to leave it there, so we waited on another tow truck for over 2 1/2 hours and finally got it towed home to take it to the local Indian dealer I bought it from to work on. We had decided on the long, very slow ride home in the tow truck (the guy refused to go over 60 for whatever reason) that we weren't going to let it ruin our vacation so we hopped in the SUV and shot back up to Savannah Saturday night. So we did the whole thing as planned...but without the bike and obviously no riding. Made the best of it and ended up having a great time in spite of a bad start.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 01 January 2019 22:53

Florida Panhandle Harley Vacation 2017

Each year we take 1 of our vacations on the bike. August 2017 bike vacation was 9 days through the Florida Panhandle on the Harley we had then. It was a great trip! We planned a route that involved the highway as little as possible and stuck to the scenic back roads as much as we could. So it was going to be an 11 - 12 hour ride to our 1st destination, which was Destin, Florida. We were going to a wedding there and decided we'd stick around for a week afterwards and make a vacation out of it. 

 

We headed out on 8/4 Friday after work and rode to Ocala to spend the night...only for the reason to make the drive to Destin on Saturday a little shorter. This is the only time we took the highway as we took I-75 to Ocala. We knew there was rain coming that night but we thought we'd beat it by a couple hours. We didn't and got drenched for the last half of that 3 hour ride. Been wet plenty of times on bikes, but only a couple times getting that wet. So would have preferred that not happening, but was a nice ride nonetheless.

 

Cindy in Ocala

 

Above, we're packed back up again and ready to ride Saturday morning. Leaving the hotel in Ocala and riding to Destin.  We stayed off the highway from here on out. Rode through the Apalachicola National Forest on the way, which was a real nice ride itself. Not much traffic either. 

 

Apaplachicola Forest

 

We stayed in Destin a few days and had a nice time. The traffic there is pretty heavy. Not super bad, but I had been through there several times in 2006 through 2007 and was surprised at just how much it had grown since then. Plenty of stop and go traffic now. But it's a beautiful place to see and a nice ride to the place, just that Destin itself is pretty packed. In any case, we then headed to Navarre. This is a great spot. Small and cozy. Great beaches too...just like all along the entire Panhandle. Traffic is not bad here and it's nice riding all through Navarre. There are plenty of country scenic roads with very little traffic off the main drag too, so lots of good riding. Friendly place too.

 

Navarre and Navarre

 

Spent 3 days in Navarre. While we were there, we went back and forth to Pensacola Beach several times as it was a short ride. Navarre was small, cozy, quiet, and relaxing. Pensacola Beach (versus Pensacola itself) was great with great bars/restaurants and lots of friendly people. A bit more activity than Navarre but not too much. We rode through this "park" going from Navarre to Pensacola Beach. Several miles of white sand beaches with hardly any people on it at all. After spending a couple days in Navarre / Pensacola Beach we really wish we would have planned more time there. It's a great area. If we were to do it again, we'd drive through Destin...maybe stop for lunch...and spend the majority of our time here.

 Santa Rosa Beach

 

Went to Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island (in Pensacola Beach). A few miles down that road, was the Fort itself. The U.S. Military used this Fort from 1834 - 1947...the 1st of 4 forts built to protect Pensacola Bay, at the time. It was a real nice ride from Navarre to Fort Pickens and then especially in the Fort Pickens area itself. Several miles of road just like you see here with not many vehicles at all on it. Certainly no traffic in any way. Nice Riding!

 

Fort Pickins

 

Left Navarre and then hit Apalachicola for a couple days on the way back home. Rode through Apalachicola National Forest on the way up, so we rode the coast on the way back.  Apalachicola is a small old town with a lot of history. It's another great spot that we liked a lot. Lots of bikes there too! A lot of the bars and restaurants are located in a 2 block area so you can easily bar hop by walking from one to another and leave the bike at the hotel.

 

Apalachicola

 

Apalachicola2

 

 Sunrise in Apalachicola on the day we left heading back home. On the road at 7 am to get an early start.

 

Home bound from Apalachicola

Tuesday, 01 January 2019 19:35

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The purpose of this first Blog is simply to show all the Tags currently available. If you'd like to add a Tag, please email me and I'll add it right in. We have to do it by email or else the spammers will get in here and load us up with porn tags and sales pitches...if I were to let users add their own tags. The spammers would soon find they could add porn tags and that's all we'd get! I've covered a lot of topics but I'll gladly add in any suggestions you have.