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Key West or Bust

#1
"Motodromomania: An extreme form of a psychological disorder associated with motorcycle touring, also known as two-wheel vagabond neurosis. It is classified in the catagory of impulse control disorders. Those diagnosed with this disorder have an abnormal impulse to travel by motorcycle; they often spend beyond their means and sacrifice lovers, jobs, and security in their lust for new two-wheel touring experiences. Motodromomaniacs feel more alive when traveling and no sooner return from a tour than they start planning their next tour." Dr Gregory Frazier from his book Motorcycle touring: everything you need to know

What to do when one has to take vacation and nobody else can? Go for a ride. :rider: Where can you go this time of year and minimize chance of getting stuck with bad weather? South and east. How far is it to Key West from my home? Approximately 1520 miles. :ponder: Why not? My plan is to try for an Iron Butt Bun Burner 1500. I always said I wouldn't do an Iron Butt ride unless it was on the way to somewhere I was heading anyway. So, I'll do it. I've got some folks lined up to watch the SPOT, just in case. Thanks guys. Once I get to Key West and my pace becomes much more relaxed I'll do some "from the road" updates. Big Red is prepped and ready to roll. I leave at O dark hundred tomorrow morning.

Spotwalla page is here.


 
Last edited:
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
2,775
Location
Midlothian, TX
#2
The last 4 hours of your trip will be interesting in many ways. I would recommend daylight, both for the scenery and the road surface. It has been a long time ago when I drove from Hollywood, FL to Key West and back just because. The road surface was interesting because so much of it is over water and there are many ways they can open the "bridges" to boat traffic.

If I had it to do again, I'd find a cheap motel in Key West and stay overnight just to have a little time to see what's on the "big" island.
 
#4
The last 4 hours of your trip will be interesting in many ways. I would recommend daylight, both for the scenery and the road surface. It has been a long time ago when I drove from Hollywood, FL to Key West and back just because. The road surface was interesting because so much of it is over water and there are many ways they can open the "bridges" to boat traffic.

If I had it to do again, I'd find a cheap motel in Key West and stay overnight just to have a little time to see what's on the "big" island.
I'm going to lay up in Ocala then finish the run down the keys in the daylight. So long as I get to Key West by around 6 that afternoon I'll get the Bun Burner done.
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2008
Messages
7,765
Location
Valley Mills (Just north of Wacko)
#6
Key West along a similar route is also my winter trip plan after the holidays when i am out of thus torture boot (providing that I don't beak anything else.)

I don't do iron butt, though. I'm more of a sponge butt kind of rider. I'll be looking forward to your report and highlight some if the "must do" sites as well as the sites to skip.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
856
Location
Houston
#7
Ummmmm, have you looked at the speed limits on the roads from the mainland down to Key West? There are many little townships and villages where the speed changes as much as 20 mph, and bobs up and down between 35 and 55. Very difficult to keep from getting a ticket when the sign that warns you that the speed limits will change it with the sign that informs you of said new speed limit. A good GPS saved me from tickets heading both ways a few years ago.

Having said that, have a great ride. Wave to my sister, bro-in-law and nephew on your way through Miami for me.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
11,183
Location
Far East DFW
#11
Yea, DO NOT SPEED ON THE BRIDGES! Those cops on the islands mean business and will ticket you for even the most minor amount over the limit.

Going round the bottom of Lake Okeechobee be prepared to clean off the bugs. But do not stop, the mosquitoes are the size of buzzards and can drain a human dry in 6.8 seconds.
 
#14
Ummmmm, have you looked at the speed limits on the roads from the mainland down to Key West? There are many little townships and villages where the speed changes as much as 20 mph, and bobs up and down between 35 and 55. Very difficult to keep from getting a ticket when the sign that warns you that the speed limits will change it with the sign that informs you of said new speed limit. A good GPS saved me from tickets heading both ways a few years ago.

Having said that, have a great ride. Wave to my sister, bro-in-law and nephew on your way through Miami for me.
Thanks for the tip. I'll leave plenty of time for that leg. Mapping software says about 8 hours and I'm allowing 12. I'm pretty conscious of speed limits most of the time.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
856
Location
Houston
#17
Oh, if you go eat at the Conch Republic Seafood Company (great food and a great view) watch the bar stools outside! I had the tip of my index finger almost chopped off by one there.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
1,428
Location
Marquez, Tx.
#18
Conch fritters, conch salad and key lime pie, watch out, here comes Bruce. If you have a few extra minutes when you get into Marathon,(which is about half-way down the keys, take the bridge over boot key harbor, and look at all the cruisers (boaters) that Winter there. If you drive in the keys at night, be very careful and don't hit any of those tiny "keys" deer. The fine is unbelievably high. HB
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Messages
919
Location
Fort Worth
#19
Completed an IBA ride ,plus one failed attempt at a BBG1500 (27 hours... dang it!). Will attack that ride again in the spring....

Eat light, stay hydrated, ride at night when you are the freshest, don't dally at gas stops... splash and go.... stop and rest before you are TO TIRED to ride any longer. Yada Yada Yada.....

Ride safe and good luck... it's an experience!!!
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
11,183
Location
Far East DFW
#26
Did you stop in at the Cafe Risque? No wonder you are wore out! :mrgreen: Good luck, keep going. The ride should get a little more interesting from here on out. I10 across the panhandle of Florida is super boring and seems to take forever!!!
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
4,609
Location
Jennings,La.
#27
Safe journeys to you. Take time to smell the roses on the way back. My favorites in Florida this summer were the Space Center, Eglin AFB museum and the back roads though the nurserys in Southern Florida out of Florida City.
 
#29
I made it, with a couple hours to spare.



It really nice and warm right now but the front is approaching, should be here soon. They are posting wind chill for tomorrow morning. The temps will be all the way down into the 50's. :lol2: But the wind will be gusting to 40, maybe. I'l hunker down tonight and try to do a better update. Good internet connection here at the B&B. :thumb:
 
R

Red Brown

#40
Congratulations on the accomplishments!

Now...go eat some real Key Lime pie and listen to Jimmy Buffett.

RB
 
#42
Here we go!

I was sort of awake already when the alarm went of at 0430, Saturday morning. The bike was loaded and ready to go so it was just a matter of getting dressed, grabbing a couple items from the kitchen and heading down the road. First stop was at the closest HEB for fuel top off and the all important receipt that verifies my start time of 0455 Central time. My target time to reach Key West would be 1755 Eastern; allowing for the change of time zone. Weather was warm with a pretty good SW breeze. Also patchy fog but light enough so that I did not need to slow down any. The first leg took me south to Luling where I would head east on IH10. The trip to Luling was done for insurance mileage; just in case the IBA's calculators come up with slightly different mileage than what I had. The direct route from Pflugerville was just over 1500 and I wanted to make sure. With the trip to Luling I should end up with around 1570. That should do. I ha d to stop again at the IH10 intersection to get another receipt to document the route and change in direction. Soon I was greeted by the morning sun.



Some cool stuff out on the road. Mach 1 1969 I think.



This was a day to cover lots of miles. I needed to get to Ocala which would log 1070 miles on the one day. I chose to do that so if something happened and I didn't make Key West I would at least qualify for the Saddle Sore 1000. So, no tourism, just riding. Stop every once in a while for fuel, drink of water and a handful of trail mix. I also brought one of those huge Honey Crisp apples that I would split over a couple of stops. I had to remember to get fuel receipts each time and log mileage for each leg; Iron Butt rules.

I had a good audio book loaded into the Zumo gps so the mile clicked away pretty fast, at first. Soon I was at Lake Charles, LA.



If you traveled east on IH10 you will recognize this series of bridges. Notice the water between the divided highway.

I managed a couple of videos. First, crossing the mighty Mississippi.


And the tunnel in downtown Mobile, AL.



I want to go back some time and see the Alabama. This time I could even get a good photo. Just this ghostly image.



By now it was pretty gloomy and getting cooler.



I rode east without incident except for on gps glitch. South of Lake City, FL the route exited from IH75 so I followed. Then I lost the route as it took off across country. Some how the programmed route had picked up off road routing properties. So, I went back to IH75 and reselected the route. I was off the route so she asked if I wanted to recalculate. I always make it ask for the recalculation so it doesn't automatically mess up what I have planned. This time the recalc worked for what I needed and the route was fixed. I only lost about 5 minutes messing with that. I arrived at the hotel in Ocala around 2300 and made a beeline for the Chili's next door. Only actual meal I ate that day. Some beef fajitas, checked in at the La Quinta, hot shower and crashed. No problem getting to sleep.
 
#43
Finish the challenge

I was really whooped from the first day's ride. I actually felt a little loopy. I slept real well. A little too well. I slept right though my 0530 alarm. :doh: I woke up on my own at 0630, slapped myself a couple of times and got going. I wasn't worried since I still had 11 hours to make the approx. 8 hour trip to Key West. It was still cold, mid 40's, but there was no rain. In fact the skies were totally clear. Perfect.



I chose to take the route down the middle of the state on Hwy 27. Yeah there were more towns to slow me down, but I would rather travel that way if I have the time, and I had time. I was not disappointed. I rode the Turnpike for a while then paid the troll $1.25 and turned off onto the free road. Several small towns for the first 100 miles then open country with a town every 30 miles or so. Saw oranges...



and sugar cane harvesting.





27 took me to 997 which goes south towards the Overseas Hwy and completely avoids the greater Miami mess. Also along this road and many tree farms and nurseries that supply tropical plants to Miami and who knows where else. Lots of scenery to look at and traffic was flowing along at around 60. Lots of Sunday drivers/riders out just cruising around.

I thought US 1 would be boring but it was quite enjoyable. I kept changing from overland through brush....



Several towns such as Marathon....



and of course the bridges.



And lookey hear. This odometer reading made me smile a little bigger.



The old bridge...



And finally the money shot; Key West, FL.



I found my B&B with no trouble. I had been told when I made the reservation that I would be able to park in the driveway. That's a huge perk in Key West as there is almost no parking available except in the city garage. One of the reasons I chose this place. Bad new was that they planned on tearing up and replacing the driveway Monday morning. But the guy at the desk told me I could park on the front patio without me even having to ask. :thumb:



My home for three nights...Westwinds. That's my room in the upper left corner.



Looks nice after dark too.



On recommendation of the manager I walked a couple blocks over the Conch Republic for supper. I started with tempura conch with horseradish marmalade and finished with blackened catch of the day (mahi mahi) sandwich. Washed it all down with a couple of Key West Ales. :eat:





I got back to find my bike right where I left it. Always a good thing.



I'll wake up with the jackhammers in the morning and walk around this end of the island to see what I can see.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
205
Location
Allen, TX
#48
Lived in Key West for two years while I was stationed there. It was funny seeing people break out the heavy winter costs when it dipped below 50*.

If you are into nightlife, we use to always hit Ricks down on lower Dival. If you like adult entertainment, check out Red Garter. :thumb: <-- at least thats what I've heard. :angel:

Odd fact (assuming it has changed): Key West has never recorded a temperature above 100*, nor below 32*.
 
#49
Lived in Key West for two years while I was stationed there. It was funny seeing people break out the heavy winter costs when it dipped below 50*.

Odd fact (assuming it has changed): Key West has never recorded a temperature above 100*, nor below 32*.
Navy? Yeah, I was noticing the folks from Canada walking around in shorts and tees. It really was pretty nice today when you could get out of the wind. Some clouds rolled in and with the 20+ winds it got pretty chilly. I had to put on the windbreaker but shorts were still just fine. Time to report on today's wandering.
 
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