Today another post on one of my favorite experiences in Florida. It is something I get to do each time I'm visiting my dear friend Gary down there and he is the one that makes it all happen. I'm talking about motorcycling. It is a huge part of his life and I was lucky enough to tag along on some of the adventures with him. Before I met him, I drove on the scooter maybe once in my life, which is a totally different experience anyway. That being said, I didn't exactly know what to expect, but I was excited. I still remember my first ride and I always tell my friends all about it. I like to think I was not scared, but really I was holding on for my dear life. Soon after I got more comfortable and was able to sit there all relaxed and without holding on to anything (or anybody). In fact, I got so used to it that one time in Miami you could find me sitting on a motorcycle in a dress with a hot cup of coffee in one hand and a camera in another. Taking pictures. Yeah, not really responsible of me, but I survived. And I have pictures to prove it.
On the left: right after I put on my full gear for a our trip back in 2012. It was my first time on a motorcycle and as you can see in the picture, none of those clothes were mine. I did not come prepared for what was supposed to happen at all (hours on the road coming from Tampa, through Everglades and then towards Miami). I actually wanted to wear flip flops and shorts without taking into consideration going on a motorcycle somewhere between 70 and 80 (maybe even more) miles per hour on highways... I guess it's safe to say that I didn't really think this through.
On the right: picture from my latest trip to Florida. That time my friend was generous and let me wear leggings instead of pants. We did last around 7 hours on that particular motorcycle trip, but I felt comfortable and weather conditions didn't bother me at all.
The Dali Museum, Saint Petersburg, FL
Spending hours on a motorcycle is also quite a workout! It seems funny when I say it, but believe me when I do. At first, you want to look cool, so you arch your back as hard as you can. All of that while basically leaning and holding on to another person. After a while, you realize you need to relax, so you let go and forget about arching and just begin to sit like a normal person. Then comes stretching your legs, hunching over, trying to stand up for a moment to release that pain in your a$$. Overall you look like you have ants in your pants, cause you're just trying to find a comfortable position. Anyways, I did not mean to make it sound horrible, because that happens only on longer rides and even if it does, the whole experience is still too enjoyable to be bothered by the sitting arrangements.
Me and my therapist Gary
When I go back to the time I had to put on a moto gear I've never worn before for the first time, it felt weird. I did not feel comfortable wearing a heavy, (too) big and thick clothes, but I understood it's all for safety. Within time, I got used to it and actually learn to appreciate it, as for those few moments I got to hide under the helmet and all that gear and become almost another person. Nobody really knew or could see who's under all those layers of clothing.
Whenever I need to unwind and I happen to be in Florida, my friend always takes me on a ride. We like to call it a motorcycle therapy, because it really works like a charm. For the time being you get into to so called zen mode and it is something special that the car won't give you. You feel the speed on your body trying to fight the wind that pushes you away and you experience the ride on a whole different level, because all of your senses are involved. You smell the air, you feel the power of the wind, you hear the lively city and somehow, you feel so powerful that you can get to places the car simply couldn't take you.
Yes, that was an ultimate experience wearing my faux leather pants and pretending I'm a rockstar.
I love the thrill of the motorcycle ride and I'm not scared of spending hours on it. The only time I get anxious is when we go over rail tracks so fast that it makes me jump... yeah, not my favorite thing.
Getting around and parking situation is always best when you're on a motorcycle.
I'd say I had my best times on a motorcycle at night. The views, the atmosphere, it's simply magic.
Probably the only thing that bothers me when riding on a motorcycle is a messy helmet hair situation. No matter how hard I try, I always seem to end up like this. I guess I should just embrace that and hope everybody else thinks that it is exactly how it's supposed to be.