Choppers aren’t my style of bike to ride, but I appreciate the amazing craftsmanship that goes into them. I saw that OCC Road House was hosting a bike show this weekend and figured I’d go check it out. When Shadetree Surgeon posted a reel inviting people to meet up and ride there with him, I decided to join them. I was already going anyway, so I might as well go with the group.
To avoid a 20 minute backup on I-4, I took Route 60, and ended up in a 20 minute backup behind a car crash in Brandon. You just can’t win in this area, even on a Saturday morning. Anyway, I met the crew behind the Dirty Shame, the usual meeting spot for rides like this. I recognized some people from the Forgotten Angels campout. Others were new. I was one of only three people not on a Harley-Davidson, but that was okay. Shadetree and Cheyleesi arrived half an hour late, which is actually early for them. Shadetree was on his borrowed Harley Pan America, which made me not the only adventure bike in the entire group. Soon after they got there, we hit the road.
It was a right lane slow roll all the way to the show, as a group ride should be. We got a few appreciative waves and honks from passers by, as well as a few people changing lanes into the middle of our group. Welcome to Florida. We got to the show unscathed, though, and went exploring. Bert’s Barracuda Harley-Davidson was hopping, of course, and it’s always fun to check out bikes I can’t afford. (I’d totally rock a Pan America of my own if I could.)
I could’ve practiced my photography skills by taking many pictures of every single bike there all day. Instead, I kicked back and enjoyed the show. I kept randomly running across other “Shadetree Army” members as I wandered around, which was fun. It was also fun to see so many signatures of people I know on one of Blockhead’s bikes. I didn’t get to meet Blockhead himself, but he’s another popular Florida motorcycle YouTuber.
Weems Motor Co. was there with a couple of his amazing custom jobs. I had a couple of beers with him by chance at the Dirty Shame during my last Florida visit. While he had one of his bikes on display, he was here to show off this creation that his daughter made. Yes, it’s definitely a girl’s bike, but the craftsmanship (craftswomanship?) is there, on par with anything else on display there. She had a good teacher.
I grabbed lunch at OCC Road House, had more good conversation with people I knew, and eventually headed out. Not only was the show fun, it was also kind of neat to end my two month Florida visit the same way it began, with motorcycles and even some of the same people.
Because yes, it’s the beginning of the end of my stay in Florida. I’d been waiting for a check to arrive from one of my freelance clients, which my Arizona mail forwarder sent to me on Thursday. I expected it to take about a week to cross the country, but no — it arrived here yesterday. It was important for me to receive and deposit this particular check, because it’s the first one, and they won’t process or send more until the first one is successfully deposited. That’s done, so I should soon get paid for the past couple of months of work for them that have piled up. The only thing stopping me from getting back on the road now is my own lack of preparation for it, since I didn’t expect this check to arrive as early as it did. I’ll be working on that over the next couple of days, and should be back on the road this week.