Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of October's Bike of the Month Challenge!
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
2006 Triumph Scrambler
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I waited in line for a haircut I thought to myself “what’s the point of not having a job if you can’t take off on the bike?” I called a friend in Florida and asked what he had planned over the weekend. With nothing on the agenda I said I’ll see you tomorrow night for dinner. I got my trim and headed home and packed three days of clothes, rain gear, and atlas. I left the next morning about 0700 and headed south. My starting destination was Oak Grove, Kentucky and my goal was to make it outside Jacksonville, Florida by dark but more importantly to enjoy the ride. On the way down the wild flowers were in bloom around Chattanooga, TN as well as road construction. After a fuel and food stop I had a trouble merging into traffic but two truckers blocked the lanes and honked me in. A pretty good feeling when the biggest beasts on the road are looking out for the smallest. There was tornado damage in Georgia and traffic in Atlanta was fairly mild but it was the first place I found gas over $4. I made it to my friend’s house at 7:30 eastern time with 666 miles added to the odometer. I spent the next day catching up with my friend, his wife, and their family over pancakes and someone suggested that I’m only 500 miles away from Key West. Brilliant! The next day, Monday morning, I packed back up and continued south. I was warned that the “love bugs” around Orlando would be thick and that they can ruin paint. Sure enough when I got to the greater Orlando area I was pulling over every 20 minutes to wash my visor and tank. I left the jacket a mess as every splatter was a badge of honor. I pulled into Key West as the sun was setting and was able to find the lowest point of the US and get a picture and shoot a couple block up the street to find End Highway 1/mile marker 0. With a fear of blocking traffic for the shot I pulled up on the sidewalk to let the bike pose. I backtracked up the Keys to get a hotel within price range and the next morning went back to Key West, I forgot to get a sticker for my helmet so naturally I had to go back. I wondered around and grabbed some lunch. I talked to some people at the fishing shops and boat captains about doing some fishing but after I did some math I learned that I’d better spend my money on fuel to get home. Riding the scrambler over the seven mile bridge in the Key’s in shorts and a t-shirt was a great feeling and as the bridge climbed high above it water it looked like you were riding the bike into the sky. I touched base with my friends back up towards Jacksonville and they said that there wasn’t any rush to get back to them and that I should take US 1/A1A back north and avoid the interstate. Brilliant! I got to Miami after sunset and rode past the art deco district where a very nice barefoot fellow in daisy duke shorts and leather cowboy hat came up and asked about my bike. The Triumph modern classic family will attract all kinds of attention but this was a first. I would learn that this middle aged man had never owned anything other than a motorcycle up until the previous year and had a vintage bonnie that he was restoring. I kept riding through the night to Ft. Lauderdale and found a motel around midnight. As I approached I noticed the multiple “no bikes” signs that were plastered around the office. Unphased and tired I thought I’d at least ask. With a language barrier and a policy between me and a place to sleep I was able to put together that ‘no bicicleta; motocicleta es muy bueno.’ The next day I got to Cocoa Beach and pulled next to a car that also had Kentucky plates and talked to the elderly couple for about half an hour. I was able to make it to St. Augustine before sundown and find the lighthouse for a photo. The best part was that I was within 45 min of my friend’s house. I stayed through the weekend and headed back north. As I got deeper into Georgia I could feel it getting colder, never got above 60 degrees and was planning to ride through the night to get back home. I found a leather store off the interstate and pulled in to look at a pair of chaps. I’ve never been a fan but my father swears by them. After an hour and a half conversation with the store owner about everything from war to gumbo recipes I found a pair of chaps for $260 and he sold them to me for $40. Can’t pass something like that up no matter how silly I look. I say that because they nearly match my Triumph Romero jacket. But they showed their worth after I rode through a couple of isolated showers and the 50 degree temperature in Tennessee that evening. Outside Nashville I overran my headlights and came across a deer carcass in my lane. I didn’t have the reaction time to avoid it and went through the doe at the waist. With a pucker factor of %100 the bike stayed true, largely because of the hits the deer had taken before I got to her and tendered her up. I pulled off at the next gas station and double checked everything and found that my home made luggage rack had a broken weld. I made it out of conduit so I knew this was coming and I was able to shift my bag on the seat and strap everything down for the last leg home. I pulled into my driveway late that evening with a total of 2,510 miles logged in the trip. My weekend trip turned out to last a week and twice the miles that I had planned for. Nearly every other fuel stop someone was coming up to ask about the bike or at least trying to figure out what it was. I met people that spent most of their life on motorcycles, a trucker that was a motorcycle mechanic in the 70’s that gave me a history lesson about the Triumph oil pans, Vietnam veterans that had Triumph bobbers that they wish they’d never gotten rid of. And it shocked me how much the homeless around Miami knew about Triumphs. I guess the thing I picked up from this trip is that if I didn’t have any desire to meet people along the way I could get rid of my scrambler and get a Harley and be satisfied with “nice bike” from the passer by’s. As for the next trip I think I might change out the rear sprocket for something more highway-friendly. I’m going to rebuild the luggage rack with proper materials. Now that I’ve had some time to recover and I’ve got some good weather it’s time for a chain adjustment, clean the carbs, and flush the tank to get the moth out that flew in at the gas station in Key Largo.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Incredible trip. Thanks for sharing. I never get sick of the people I meet on the road with a Triumph connection.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,326 Posts
Great post, nice story. I'm hoping to make a FLA run from NY to visit family in the fall when the weather cools off a bit.
 

·
Premium Member
2004 Daytona 955i, 2018 Indian Roadmaster, 2014 Triumph Scrambler, 1980 CB650C in resto
Joined
·
18,309 Posts
There are a lot of great guys out there driving big trucks. One of them saved me from a HELL of a ticket one time, to give one example.

Nice report! I really like your photos; exactly the sort I'd take!
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top