Five weeks in Florida with the Wandering Sparrow

//Five weeks in Florida with the Wandering Sparrow

Five weeks in Florida with the Wandering Sparrow

The 75th running of Daytona, Florida’s Bike Week was rumored to be the biggest one to date with upwards of a half million attendees and rightfully so. Sturgis, South Dakota just had their 75th Bike Week Rally a mere seven months earlier and experienced record numbers in attendance (anniversary years tend to do that).

The weather could not have been better for the 75th running of Daytona's Bike Week.

The weather could not have been better for the 75th running of Daytona’s Bike Week.

The rally officially runs for 10 days during the beginning of March each spring so most people have had all winter to prepare their bikes be it for show or go. The long winter wait for the first major bike rally of the year comes a pent-up excitement that is similar to a kid on Christmas morning, only in a grownup way. Excitement is high to say the least as enthusiasts gather from all over the globe both young and old alike. Many are first timers that don’t know what to expect and are looking for adventure in whatever comes their way.

Whether you came from across town or across the country Bike Week has something for everyone.

Whether you came from across town or across the country Bike Week has something for everyone.

Women who ride are becoming more and more prevalent at Daytona but it's refreshing to see ladies like Krystal that customize the bikes they ride.

Women who ride are becoming more and more prevalent at Daytona but it’s refreshing to see ladies like Krystal that customize the bikes they ride.

There is never a shortage of motorcycle related things to do or see while in the area. As a matter of fact, 10 days isn’t enough time to do the rally justice. This is why people keep coming back year after year. A few things I suggest is to take in some of the motorcycle races such as the high-speed Daytona 200, the oval Flat Track or the highly attended Supercross. To further overload your senses just swing by any one of the numerous bike shows that take place everyday. If you think that a new bike might be in your future then you’ve come to the right place. All of the major manufactures are on hand providing demo rides so you can satisfy your wants and needs. If you’re looking for new or used parts for the bike I suggest attending any one of the numerous swap meets in and around Daytona or head over to Destination Daytona in Ormond Beach, Main Street, Beach Street or the International Speedway to name a few.

There's a certain excitement that's contagious during Daytona's Bike Week.

There’s a certain excitement that’s contagious during Daytona’s Bike Week.

There is nothing more fulfilling than sharing your passion and making a positive impact on your children.There is nothing more fulfilling than sharing your passion and making a positive impact on your children.

There is nothing more fulfilling than sharing your passion and making a positive impact on your children.

Family time with this unique two-wheeled sidecar.

Family time with this unique two-wheeled sidecar.

First stop in Florida was the Gulf Shores National Seashores (park).

First stop in Florida was the Gulf Shores National Seashores (park).

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Florida’s abundant supply of Live Oak trees provides a perfect canopy to keep the sun at bay for those midday rides.

Wild fires are a constant threat in Florida and this day was no exception.

Wild fires are a constant threat in Florida and this day was no exception.

If live music is on your agenda then Daytona will not disappoint. Top-name biker bands play at every venue possible.  As far as food goes, Daytona has everything from simple sidewalk food to mouth-watering seafood and everything in between.

As I pulled up to the oldest diner car in Florida I spotted this tribute bike. Angel's Diner Car was built in 1932 and is like stepping back in time. They still have curb service also.

As I pulled up to the oldest diner car in Florida I spotted this tribute bike. Angel’s Diner Car was built in 1932 and is like stepping back in time. They still have curb service also.

Dinner rides are a great way to meet up with old friends and make new ones. I went on several during my weeks before and after BikeWeek.

Dinner rides are a great way to meet up with old friends and make new ones. I went on several during my weeks before and after BikeWeek.

Accommodations include whatever you’re looking for from tent camping, RV spots, low dollar motel dives to high dollar high rises.

The Ocala forest is my favorite camping spot in Florida.

The Ocala forest is my favorite camping spot in Florida.

I started coming to bike week in 1981 and times have certainly changed for me. I used to frequent saloons like the Boot Hill, Cabbage Patch, Iron Horse and Pub 44 to name a few. Now I attend the rally to provide myself an income and that’s alright because although my mind still thinks I’m 21 years old my body begs to differ if you get my drift.

I'm thrilled to do long-term high mileage product testing especially when it makes such a huge improvement in wind management. Here's Brian Klock the inventor and patent holder of the "Klock Werks" Flare Windshield showing my current mileage on this bike.

I’m thrilled to do long-term high mileage product testing especially when it makes such a huge improvement in wind management. Here’s Brian Klock the inventor and patent holder of the “Klock Werks” Flare Windshield showing my current mileage on this bike.

This trip through Florida for me took 5 weeks with 2 of them being work related. My only form of transportation is my motorcycle which turned 490,000 miles as I left the state. The maintenance I preformed on my workhorse while in Florida included a new rear tire and brake pads, two light bulbs and an oil & filter change. Stay tuned for when it turns a half a million miles, I’m going get a cupcake with 5 lit candles and let the exhaust blow them out.

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As the 75th annual Daytona Bike Week comes to a close my only hope is that next years event will rival this years.

Note: 2017 Daytona Bike Week will run from March 10th through the 19th. See you there.

My breadcrumb trail while in Florida.

My breadcrumb trail while in Florida.

By |2016-04-27T13:45:04+00:00April 25th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|2 Comments

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2 Comments

  1. Roger Hayes April 27, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Thanks Joe!!! You painted a really nice picture of Daytona Bike Week for me. Never been to it before. Maybe one of these days. See Ya on the road!!

  2. Don Carlo April 25, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks Joe for the overview of bike week!

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