Monday, November 22, 2021

St. Pete (Florida) Bikefest: November 2021

 Rode over to St. Petersburg with some friends yesterday.  Not a lot of people, not too many vendors.  I’d say there were more law enforcement officers there than there were vendors.  

This was the first year of having this event at Bert’s Barracuda HD and not at the beach resort   

Looked inside OC Choppers but it was really more of a restaurant than a OCC museum. We all had burgers.

The weather was nice though it threatened to sprinkle.  The band (Phoenix) rocked.  Only 4 event t shirts for sale…only 4 total.  One rack.  None in XL.  Just weird.  

Walked across the street to Quaker Steak and Lube.  Also a good live band.  About the same number of vendors.  

I guess the best news is that there was no $10 charge to enter because that would’ve sucked.

Since there’s not a lot happening this time of year, we’re riding to all of the bike shows, big or small.  And as my buddy Joe reminded me, it’s about riding with your friends, not so much the show itself.  

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Arcadia BikeFest November 2021

If you’re in Florida, you know we have year round riding.  And this is the time of the year when the bike fests are happening: Daytona, Arcadia, Leesburg, St. Pete, etc.

So when one of the regulars in our group mentioned Arcadia—a 70-mile ride through some pretty East Tampa backcountry—we all saddled up.  

I met Patrick in Wimauma where a bunch of motorcycle enthusiasts were gathering. After sharing possible routes to Arcadia, Patrick and I rode down the 301 to Bradenton and met the rest of our group—Paul, Ralph and Joe.  

We discussed the half dozen or so route options before agreeing to just play it by ear and skip any traffic.  Done.

We rode east on the 64 to the Ona cutoff, passing by Herb’s Limestone Club, a classic motorcycle hangout.  It looked a bit empty as most of us were heading to Arcadia.  

We passed quite a few bikes, either solo or in groups, on the way.  The weather was brisk when we started (low 60’s) and finally warmed up to 70. The sun was shining and it was a great ride.  

Arriving to Arcadia, we paid $5 to park right off Main Street even through parking was free almost everywhere.  We wanted the convenience of being close by and safety of having someone watch our bikes.  

There were quite a few people up and down the street but not a lot of vendors.  We grabbed beers and walked along admiring the many cool bikes.  Talking with fellow motorcycle enthusiasts is one of my favorite things at these bike fests, and that’s what I did.  

Since Arcadia is known as an antique town, we poked our heads into a few shops, too.

When we reached one end of the street, we popped into the old saloon for more beers.  It was crowded and crazy—music blaring and people laughing.  What a great time.  

We headed down the other side of the street admiring the bikes and chatting with the other riders. A couple of us picked up the obligatory bike show t-shirt but that’s really all we bought   

By the time we’d seen it all, we agreed on a Mexican place for lunch so we hopped on our bikes and headed to Blue Tequila about a mile away.  

Full of good chow, we took a different way back, heading west, then north on Verna-Bethany Road.   Patrick and I cut off on the 675/Rutland Road to Parrish and the 301 as the others took the 64 back home.

Maybe 150 miles round trip.  A fine time was had by everyone.