Saturday, July 15, 2006

Day 1: Miami to Tampa

The rough start had to get better. After an all-nighter to get ready, I headed to the Baltimore airport for the flight to Miami. On the way, Loriann asked if it was safe to ride all day after being up all night. No problem, I said, but I wasn't so sure. I carried the heavy chain link scooter lock through security ... or so I thought. Nope, I'd done it before, but this time they made me race back out, check the thing in a bag, and go back through security. After that, everything went well and we got to Miami on time. My scooter was waiting for me in the free motorcycle parking garage.

After a delicious cafe con leche to perk up, I packed the scooter and zipped over to Casa Lambretta so Alex could ride to the beach with me for the start. Alex is a great guy; he was busy but graciously jury-rigged a mount on the scooter for my GPS navigation device. We rode over the Venetian Causeway to the beach, snapped some photos, bottled some sand and sea water to carry west, returned to Miami and said goodbye. Thanks Alex!

I wolfed down some delicious Cuban food and headed west down Calle Ocho and Tamiami Trail through the Everglades. Usually you don't see many alligators in the summer, and I didn't. I pulled over often to rest because I fatigued from being up all night.

As I readied myself for this trip, I wondered how long it would take to get wet. The answer: two hours. It was a quick three minutes of hard rain, and it felt good in the heat. I did not bother to put on my rainsuit. As I reached Naples and turned north toward Tampa, I was able to dodge the rest of the showers.

I got to Tampa at dusk and found Kieran and the Tampa Two-Stroke scooterists hanging out in a cool neighborhood gelato store quaffing Peroni beers, and getting ready for a midnight ride. It was a blast! I met a nice couple of Lambretta owners who are moving to Baltimore. They will make a great addition to the local scooter scene.

Earlier post: Hi, I'll publish more later but I want everyone to know I made it OK from Tampa to Miami yesterday. Today it's on to Atlanta. Thanks Kieran and Amy for hosting me in Tampa. We had a great midnight ride with the Tampa Two-Stroke Scooter Club.

The score:
Miles today: 330.
Miles total: 330.
Times I got wet: 1


At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Ginger said...

Your journey has began! We will all miss you up here in Baltimore.


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