|I had a very nice trip to Florida in January
2010 that included a couple of days riding a rental
Harley Davidson 883 Sportster.
I was staying
at Kissimmee and rented my bike from Eaglerider (see
links at end) near Orlando International Airport. You
can collect from them or they can get you from your
hotel or deliver to you... You can even do one way
rentals to say pick up a bike in Florida and drop off
in New Orleans, etc. It was not cheap but something
I've had on my mind to do for ages. You can rent or
buy a helmet and jacket from them at extra cost but I
took my own gear.
"My" bike is the nearest in this photo and cheapest they had.
On left I took this picture at a rest stop somewhere along I4 between Orlando and Daytona Beach. I like the shadows of the handlebars in this photo. The sun was out as you can see but it was surprisingly cold in the morning. After riding from Orlando to Daytona Beach on the I4 I stayed off the highways to see a bit more of small town America up close.
|Here's Daytona International Speedway. They have a visitor centre but I've seen it before and there was no event on that day as it was mid-week so I went to the beach which is about 5 miles away.|
|You can drive or ride on Daytona Beach but
the rental guy told me "no riding on the beach"
amongst many other rules they gave me. So I took only
pictures and left only footprints but it was very
tempting! Next I turned North on the old coast road A1A and had lunch at a
I needed fuel and had some fun with that. It was pay at pump or inside in advance. I tried my credit card but that asked for my 5 digit zip code which I don't have. Tried my debit card and that asked for my PIN so I was OK that time but the next time I tried it my debit card didn't work either so I had to go in and pay cash, then come out and pump the gas then go back in for my change.
|Here I've stopped whilst riding North on the
A1A but you can blast by on the I95 if you prefer? I
have done this trip before but in a hire car so I knew
what to expect but it was nice chugging along on the
right side of the road often with the beach all that
was between me and the Atlantic. I rode up to
Jacksonville Beach (just past entrance to Sawgrass for
the golfers amongst you) then cut inland to visit my
chums Rob and Jen in Orange Park where the photo at
the top was taken. I stayed with them for the night.
Make them prisoners work I say!
|The second day I rode South but this time on
the 17. I stopped to take this picture which maybe was
not wise when you are riding a motorcycle? I didn't
see any black bears but I've been told there are still
a few about. I would have loved to see a wild bear
although I may have wet myself if one came rushing out
in front of me!
You can see this sign in the distance in the photo below.
|I was in no rush and by the time I got back
to Orlando Eaglerider was shut so I rode to my hotel
and dropped the bike off the next morning. Riding on
the freeway and in town during the morning rush was
"interesting" and not ideal as I wanted to go to Tampa
in the other direction but never mind.
The bike was 100% other than one of the two straps for the left bag came off in my hand which they didn't charge me for. The bike was fine for me as a cruiser virgin and my first time riding in the USA but a regular rider or somebody wanting to carry a pillion or do big miles quickly would want a 1200cc or bigger? Also the tank was tiny and I had to refuel every 2 hours even though I was just chugging along mind you even on 93 octane it only took $7 (say £4.50) to fill the tank.
I think I did about 380 miles in total at a low average speed as I rode through rather than round a number of towns and stayed off the I95 and I4 most of the time. I also took a few wrong turns. If you want to see the rest of my trip click here.
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