The 800 Mile Weekend
February in Florida provides one of the better months for riding our bikes. The beautiful weather coupled with a rally being held by FL1-2A , in the rolling hills west of Tallahassee, provides us with a perfect excuse for a weekend ride.
The riders meeting shortly after 8 am provided us with enough daylight to start off safely and get a good jump on making our destination during the daylight hours. There were seven bikes/tikes and eleven members making this trip.
The cool morning scrummed to a warming lunch time and a reason to shed some of our heavy attire. We headed up US 19 through the the many small gulf coast towns, stopping occasionally to stretch our legs, purchase a few gallons of fuel and get some liquids to keep from becoming dehydrated..
We departed the stretch of four lane highway at Perry, Florida and headed northwest ward up SR 98, SR 20 /267. Traffic was very light and riding through the rural countryside was very enjoyable. As we proceeded closer to our destination, Lake Talquin, just west of Tallahassee, we enjoyed riding the rolling hills and national forests.
The rally site was located in a beautiful park which overlooked Lake Talquin. The vendors had already set up by the time we arrived, so we took a leisurely stroll to see what new merchandise they had to offer. It appeared that most of the rally participants would be coming in on Saturday, as we were the only chapter that arrived that Friday afternoon.
The afternoon turned the early evening and we headed to our motel accommodations to check in. The location of the rally site was in a very rural location so for our evening meal we descended on a local fish camp restaurant. By the time we had finished our meal and headed back to our bikes the sun had set and the night had become very black. It was almost 10 miles back to the motel through the forest on the rural road. On our ride back we encountered 3 to 4 groups of deer feeding along the roadway. It was enjoyable to watch them , but stressful in knowing how dangerous they could become. We were glad to safely return to the motel were we got together for a few card games and then headed to our rooms for some rest.
Saturday was once again a beautiful day. The winds had picked up, as a cold front was heading our way, but hopefully it wouldn't arrive until later tomorrow. At 10 AM we headed out on a 2 1/2 hour escorted ride through the rolling hills of northern Florida and southern Georgia. It was a very relaxing ride and we saw some beautiful countryside. Occasionally we stopped along the way to take pictures and participate in some of the games our hosts had set up.
Returning to the rally site we had plenty of time to revisit the vendors and mix with the other folks that attend the rally. Our chapter members won many nice prizes at the rally. By the time the closing ceremonies had conclude the winds coming across the lake had really cooled things down. There was still a few hours of daylight remaining so some of our members headed out for home and the remaining ones decided to enjoy the countryside by heading up to the north Florida, Georgia state lines then over into Alabama. Again we enjoyed the rural countryside and small towns that we passed through. The Florida sand turned into the red Georgia clay before we decided to head back to our motel and get a good nights rest before heading back home.
Sunday morning we arose to gloomy clouds and a threat of rain. The radar showed lots of rain was coming our way and would soon be upon us. Fortunately, we headed eastward on I-10 and even though we had dawned our rain attire we missed getting wet. As we headed southward down US 19 we missed the rolling hills and curves that we had drive earlier this weekend.
As we went our separate ways, we commented on having such a great weekend. Good friends and a nice ride. You just can't beat that.