Just in case you thought we’d completely given up on motorcycling — given my last blog entry back on April 12th still had more to do with cycling, home renovation and cooking than it did with motorcycles — we’re now counting down the hours to our Thursday morning departure for Thunder Beach at Panama City Beach, Florida.
While we enjoy Bike Week at Daytona Beach, our trips to the spring and fall bike weeks in Panama City Beach are just a bit more relaxing for some reason. Perhaps it’s the somewhat shorter trip — 320 miles vs. 450 miles — the smaller crowds — 50,000 vs. 500,000 — the more relaxed pace or it may have something to do with being on the Gulf of Mexico instead of the Atlantic Ocean. Regardless of why, we’re just about 36 hours away from pulling out of the driveway and heading south on Blue.
Now, this is not to say things have quieted down here on the home front. All of that other stuff that was covered in the April 12th blog is still on-going:
- We’re still in the throws of Debbie Fest ’16: It began with a shopping spree at Skips Western Wear down in Daytona during Bike Week, followed by two more shopping sprees closer to home over the past couple of weeks, special mid-week dinner’s out at one of our favorite local restaurants, a fantastic gathering of friends at Loco Willy’s on this past Friday evening followed by something of a small party at SuBourbon’s Oyster & Raw Bar / Live Music Club later that night.
- She’ had a lovely arrangement of roses at her desk since last Tuesday, we returned to our favorite place for dinner on her actual birthday and, as noted, we’re about to head down to Panama City Beach.
- While all of this was going-on I was still working on my flooring project at the house. With another 150 square feet down, I’ve got another 270 to go before Phase I is finished. That will have to wait until we return from PCB.
- The hardwood flooring installation hiatus was needed to ensure we’d have sufficient bandwidth to allow a quick 3-hour drive over to Huntsville, Alabama this past weekend for the “Alabama Tandem Weekend,” a get-together with 60 other tandem cycling enthusiasts.
- Back at the house on Sunday, we had to knock out some yard work and take care of a few other household chores ahead of our upcoming weekend get-away.
One of the more important things I had to do was to shuffle the motorcycles around so I could move our accessory that shall remain nameless (ATSRM) from it storage place in the garden shed to the garage. Even though it’s spring, the ATSRM really comes in handy when you realize that it’s still cold enough to warrant an extra layer or two of gear for the sometimes cool mornings and wet conditions we encounter when making the trip to and from the Gulf. With the ATSRM I can pretty much take everything along, i.e., full face helmets, heated jackets & gloves, extra sets of rain gear and of course a wide variety of outfits for Miss Debbie so that she’ll be able to adjust for whatever the weather will be IN PCB.
Speaking of the weather, while the once beautiful and then bleak long-range outlook for PCB was once again looking quite promising, the weather on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning for Georgia and Alabama was headed the other way. As I sit here making this update the models are still predicting that we’ll be running through scattered thunderstorms for nearly four of the five hours that we’ll be on the road. Oh well, we’ve done it before… we’ll just enjoy the ride and dress for the mess. Oh, and coming home on Sunday, more of the same… assuming the forecast is accurate (yeah, right).
So, as it stands now, tonight I’ll get all of our gear organized and ready to be either put on or packed where it will be easy to pull from the ATSRM as the weather dictates. Tomorrow night I’ll give Blue a final once-over to check tire pressure, lights, fluid levels and then back her in for the final load-out on Thursday morning at 5:00am.
The plan was to meet up with friends at Mulligan’s Food & Spirts at 5:45am for the ride down on Thursday. However, in an effort to miss the potential thunderstorms, our friends will now be heading part-way down to PCB on Wednesday afternoon so we’ll do as we’ve done in the past and head out via the backway at 6:00am and enjoy a somewhat more scenic and relaxing ride on secondary roads that adds about 30 minutes to the ride. Our first of two stops will be in Phenix City, Alabama, where we’ll check in and see where are friends are and perhaps we’ll catch up with them in Eufaula or Dothan. If not, we’re all headed to the same place and can meet up for lunch at Sharky’s… on the beach!
Looking forward to a great time!!! More to follow…