Even a Failed Bike Ride Can Be Good

I haven’t gone for a bike ride in a while (New Orleans was a short one due to my dead battery), so I decided to take one yesterday afternoon. It was time to give REVER a try, which is an app where you can find interesting routes to follow or make up your own. It supports Apple CarPlay, so it’ll work on my bike navigation thingamajig. I found a relatively short one that would take me all around the Tampa/St. Pete area, crossing a lot of bridges and seeing a lot of water. After a winter in the desert, I liked the sound of it. I plugged in the route, and off I went.

First, it sent me straight into terrible traffic on I-4. I wished I was in California so I could lane-split my way through it, but that’s not legal in Florida, so I behaved myself. Finally, I got to the Wawa where the route began, and it took me right back across the I-275 bridge I’d just crossed to get there. And then the app crashed in the middle of the bridge, leaving me with absolutely no idea where I was supposed to go. Due to another bug in the app, I couldn’t restart it through my CarPlay unit and had to log in on my phone, stashed away in my tank bag. I gave up on following the route at this point and chalked this up as a huge fail for the REVER app.

I still had to pull over on the bridge to plug in a new route (in the reliable Google Maps this time) to get me… somewhere. I didn’t want to be stopped any longer than absolutely necessary, so the Stein and Vine looked good. It wasn’t too far away, and Shadetree Surgeon has raved about it in quite a few of his videos, so it was on my list of local haunts to check out anyway. Traffic remained terrible on the interstate, so I switched Google to avoid highways. This had me stuck in city traffic, but at least people expect to stop at red lights instead of the middle of an interstate, so I felt a bit safer.

Eventually, I got there and recognized the unassuming “Pub” sign in a strip mall from the videos. I went inside and it’s exactly the kind of place I enjoy discovering in my travels. I had an early dinner of the Chicago hot dog special (which I’m told is nothing like a Chicago hot dog) and washed it down with a Dark Messenger porter. It was probably the best hot dogs I’ve ever had in my life, despite not being genuine Chicago style.

I took my time there, waited out the afternoon commute, then enjoyed the ride “home.” The V-Strom ran absolutely perfectly, proving that my electrical problems are fixed with a new battery. Although REVER utterly failed me, I still managed to salvage a good time out of the ride. I still say that any day on a motorcycle is better than a day when I’m not.


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