Category Archives: FJR 1300
As 2012 draws to a close, I start to reflect on the year that has been. All the crazy stories and adventures that have come out of it. Motorcycle trips, mountain biking, mountain hiking, wake boarding, 5k’s, sailing, kayaking, white water kayaking, canoeing, camping, indoor rock climbing, and many more. See the 2012 review in pictures below!
Before we look at 2012, here is a flash back to 2011.
Soooo drum roll please….2012 you sexy beast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sailing, did A LOT of sailing, both racing and play sails:
Sailed on a catamaran (for the first time):
Indoor rock climbing:
Climbed over some real rocks at Rock City in Chattanooga, TN:
Motorcycle trip from FL to GA to TN to NC and back to FL:
Motorcycle camping trip to south Florida:
Ice Skating in a tent in FL:
Wrestled an alligator:
The Color Run – The Happiest 5k on the planet:
Climbed to the top of a sailboat mast:
Visited Fontana Dam, NC:
There are many loves that I have when it comes to hobbies. Some I like more than others. However, there are three things that rank higher than anything else.
Amy’s Top 3 Favorite Things:
1. Riding my motorcycle
2. Mountain Biking
This past weekend involve 2 of the three.
Due to the lazy Saturday morning which lead to not going to Cocoa Beach, we spent Saturday doing random errands and whatnot. For dinner though, instead of driving to the local Chili’s we opted for taking the motorcycles about an hour east of us and finding some random, never been to restaurant for dinner.
Huge fan of trying new places. I do have my favorite spots but I love to venture out and see what else is out there. Most of the time the place is a hit. I have a couple of new fav places added to my list that are in towns no where you could consider “right down the street”.
Other times the place fails or is just “OK”. This place was just “OK” although I really did dig their tater tots After pigging out on more food than we should have ordered, we somehow managed to get our fat butts on our bikes. I swear I should have adjusted my suspension before riding. I was feeling quite plump!
The ride home was amazing. By the time we hit the road after dinner the sun was quickly setting. Night riding is so nice.
What isn’t nice is the stop and go traffic. The bikes were no liking that at all so hopped on the interstate to cruise home. First time taking the good ol SV on the interstate, she did great.
Funny how scared I use to be of interstate riding and now, I love it! So nice to just cruise…and NO STOP LIGHTS!!!!
Sunday was ambitious. Decided to hope on the other form of two wheels the bicycles. We cycled from our house to a quaint little island for some lunch. Round trip it was about 22 miles. Solid workout…sweated, A LOT. Florida summers,what is there not to love!
The day wrapped up with an awesome storm that rolled in. We sat out on the back porch and enjoyed it. I sipped on wine and read a book while Colin smoked a cigar and played with his phone (geekiness right there, pure geekiness).
In my future there is sailing…and lots of it! Thursday race, Saturday play sail and Sunday another race!
Tough life Hope you all have a great week!!!
Yesterday went down in history as bitter-sweet.
I decided to sell my FJR 1300 and buy a 600 or 650 bike of some sorts. I LOVE the FJR and I do mean love. If I could get her in the house she would have her own spot set up in the living room. Walk by every now and again, caress her, smack her saddle bag
As much as I love her though, there is a downside to the FJR, her weight. I’m 120, she is 640 dry. That is a lot of weight for my small frame. Mainly I just notice the weight as I come to a stop.
I had an unfortunate experience on our motorcycle trip to Tennessee (part 1 and part 2). When we arrived in Gatlinburg, TN, we pulled over into a parking lot to find a hotel via our phones. As we were going to leave said parking lot, there was a downhill turn left and I put the wrong foot down as I came to the stop sign that was in the middle of the turn and fell over (dumbass move I know). Scuffed up the bike just a hair It was then that I thought as much as I love this bike, what if it would have fallen on me?!?!
Not to mention, I couldn’t pick it back up. I had to have a knight in shining armor come rescue me (thank you my lovely Doctor). If I do lay a bike down, I want to be able to pick it up my self. The whole damsel in distress thing doesn’t work well for me.
So with that, I decided once we got back to Tampa, I was going to sell her. I listed her on Craigslist late last week (little procrastination there) and yesterday had the first guy come and look at her. Turns out, he was the magic buyer! He rode off with my baby!
Very bitter-sweet moment. Sad to see her go because I did love that bike so much. Happy because the hunt for a new toy begins!!!!
I’m jonsing to ride!!! I’m like a crackhead that hasn’t gotten a fix in over a month. When I decided to sell her, I thought it best not to ride her for the “just in case” moment. So it has been a month and a half since I have rode, that is not counting riding on the back of the Ducati. I don’t count riding bitch as riding.
So hopefully soon I will have a new pic to post of me and my new motorcycle but for now, let me pay a little tribute to my first true love, my FJR! May the new owner love her has much as I did!
Picking up where Part I left off!
We left Gatlingburg, TN on Thursday morning and headed over the mountains to Bryson City, NC. Of course there was some nice rain to keep us nice and wet on the way over.
We got to Bryson City, found a restaurant, found a hotel and checked in! Once we were in and settled, we hopped on The Duc and cruised over to the NOC or Nantahala Outdoor Center. We wanted to check it out before Friday, ask what kind of gear we would need to bring and of course…just ride the Duc through the mountains!!
We decided to head back to the room and relax since the next day was going to be full of kayaking!!!
Friday morning we arrived at 8am to meet our private instructor for the day and get geared up!
The first part of the day would be spent at the lake to practice paddle strokes, edging and the roll over/escape!
After spending the morning at the lake, we headed over to the drop point of the Little Tennessee River for some white water kayaking. Since this was our first time white water kayaking, we were doing the part of river that went from Class 1 to Class 1 Plus. When you are just learning, this is perfect.
Back in September I did some white water rafting in some Class IV. That was awesome!! However, we had the guide in the raft helping out. With this, it was just us so starting out in some Class I plus was good!
This was amazing!!! If you ever get the chance or have been wanting to try white water kayaking, DO IT!!! You will love it. The Doc and I loved it so much we are actually planning another trip up there to do the week long white water kayaking deal they have. More details to come on that as we plan it.
Once the day on the water was complete, we headed back to the hotel to pack up the saddle bags and enjoy the storm. The next day we had a 10 and 1/2 hour drive home on the bikes so we needed our rest.
10 and 1/2 hours on the motorcycle and it was all interstate riding. I’m not going to lie, my butt was so sore and tired by the time we got home around 6:30pm. Every hour or so we would pull over and give our butts a break and stretch out.
What a trip though!!! Zip lining, ropes course, aquarium, mountain side putt putt, sky life, The Dragon and some white water kayaking! I would say Spring Break 2012 was a raging success!
Alright, I’m feeling better and ready to do some writing! I actually started feeling 99.9% better on Friday but yesterday we were out on the water kayaking (that will be in another post ) For now though, here is the trip in review!
The trip was amazing! Our original plan was Gatlinburg, TN for a couple of nights then head over to Chattanooga, TN and finish up whenever we ended up. It went kind of to plan. Although with me and The Doc, we get a base plan, then usual change it all around
We took off Sunday morning and rode up to Macon, GA when we stayed with some of The Docs college friends. It was nice to catch up with them.They were having a dinner party that night with some of their friends so we were fortune enough to get to partake in the celebration. Turns out the dinner party was to make a very special announcement to their friends…THEY WERE EXPECTING!
The next day they had to leave early for work so we had an early start on the motorcycles. So we hopped on I-75 North up to where we eventually got on to the Great Smoky Mountains Highway 441. This highway was truly beautiful. If you ever get the chance, you must take it. The road travels up, through and around the Smoky Mountains.
In a car I’d imagine it is a lot of fun but on a motorcycle, words cannot even describe the experience. The beauty of this road is it has pull offs so you can pull over and take pictures and admire the scenery There was a slight rain, very slight, and lots of fog. Made riding up in the mountains an experience.
There are a ton of pictures so this week I will be getting them up on the ole Flickr account.
Once we got into Gatlingburg we pulled into a parking lot and pulled up Expedia on the phone to find a hotel. Few minutes and 50 bucks later, our room was reserved. The Doc and I have the perfect system for finding rooms on the go (our personal favorite way to do it). Since we usually don’t know where we will end up exactly, booking hotel rooms way in advanced usually doesn’t work for us. So once we get to where we are going, we pull over, find a room online and by the time we find the hotel, the reservation is in the system and we are good to go.
The room we found was inexpensive, on the river and close to all the Gatlinburg action. We originally only got the room for one night but as we found more and more things we wanted to do, we would add another night each morning
We found some fun in Gatlinburg!!
We packed a lot of things in during our 3 days up in Gatlingburg. Aside from all the things above, we also took a day to ride the local mountain roads.
We checked out beautiful scenery:
The Appalachian Trail:
We found Fontana Dam.
After the dam we hopped on “The Dragon”. This section of road has 318 turns crunched into an 11 mile stretch.
There is a lot of information about The Dragon. It was an experience! This is a small 2 lane mountain road that runs from Tennessee to North Carolina (or vice versa depending on which way you are coming ) The horrible part about this road is on the Tennessee side semi’s are allowed to access it but from the north Carolina side it is illegal. So as a motorcycle rider, you have to be very careful and aware as you come around those narrow mountain roads.
We were fortunate as we did not encounter any semi’s on our trek. Not to mention, they have photo companies that set up their camera and take shots as people go around. A couple days later they post them. Here is our favorite shot courtesy of 129 Slayer:
While in Gatlingburg, we came across a company that does white water kayaking. We made some calls and booked a white water kayaking adventure for Friday down in Bryson City, NC. Check out part 2 of the Spring Break 2012!
7 days, over 1,600 miles on the motorcycles, almost an 11 hour trek home on the bikes today (oh my poor butt), zip lining and a rope course high up in the Tennessee Mountains, white water kayaking down the river and some tourist exploring. Spring Break 2012, AMAZING!!!!!
After the long push on the bike today I am exhausted but I’ll start posted about the trip tomorrow along with some stellar pictures!!!
Until then, enjoy the rest of your Saturday
This time next week The Doc and I will be half way through our motorcycle road trip! Actually, it is depressing to think about it that way, the trip hasn’t even begun and here I worded it as “half way through”.
Take 2 – This time next week The Doc and I will be somewhere up in the mountains relaxing in a jacuzzi after a long ride on the bikes!! There, second time was much better
The forecast is calling for rain the entire week now. So our West Side North Carolina/East Side Tennessee trip is becoming less of that and more of East North Carolina/ Outer Backs trip. I love rain but I would prefer it stay to the way side during out motorcycle trip!
To be honest though, since we have no set plans for anything, aside from being in Macon, GA Sunday we are very flexible and ready for anything! Just another perk of not have hotel rooms books, you are mobile and can change plans on the drop of a dime.
Just have to make it through the next two days of work!!! Words can’t express how happy I am about an entire week off of work!! Time to work on the packing list for the trip!
Oh and I do love a good surprise but then again, who doesn’t?!
With our spring break 2012 trip less than 10 days away, we are in planning mode. Well kind of in planning mode. Ok, ok, total lack of planning mode. The only set place we have is to be in Macon, GA the first night of the trip to stay with some friends of ours. Other than that, we have no set plans. We have an idea of where we want to go, East Tennessee/ West North Carolina region.
7 days on my FJR and The Doc on his Duc touring the mountains, rivers and everything else we can find. I’m so excited for this trip. Mainly, it is a week off from work and it will be my first REAL trip of distance on the FJR.
Not my first long distance trip though on a bike. Back in 2010, we did an 8 day Enduro motorcycle tour on/off-road in Costa Rica. Most epic trip of all time. That trip was done 6 months after I started riding motorcycles and got my license. Nothing like throwing a rookie in a bull pin. Best way to learn, and let me tell you, I learned a lot. By the end of the tour, I thought our guide was Yoda
So back to our upcoming non-Costa Rica trip. In our non-existence of planning, The Doc has spent the last couple days teasing me with having a surprise for me while on the trip. Oh, the anticipation!!!
The Doc is like me though, good surprises are hard to keep. And tonight while we were out to dinner he spilled the beans! So for our trip, he said that I had two choices. I can decide now or think about it.
Choice One was to go on a sail plane. There is an airport about an hour from our house that has where you can go up in a sail plane. We have been talking about it for the last two months and it is on our “To Do” list, just haven’t done it yet. He will be doing this one on the trip.
Choice Two I could choose to do instead of the sail plane……HANG GLIDING!!!!!!!!!!
Easy answer, I am going with the hang gliding. I would love to do and will do the sail plane but hanging gliding has been on my bucket list for years now so its about time to cross it off the list. Perfect time to do it as well since we will be up in the mountains.
The only thing that may hinder our plans is the weather. Forecast was showing partly cloudy skies but now it is forecasting rain. If the rain is heavy/stormy, we may have to revise our route. Think sunny thoughts, think sunny thoughts. Nice thing is, we have no hotels booked so we don’t “have” to be anything by any time.
Sometimes I love having an idea of where we will be staying, but most of the time, I like figuring it out as we go along. Not having to be anywhere specific at a certain time goes well with my inner gypsy soul. If living out of a suitcase while traveling the world is a job that was offered to me, I would tell The Doc to pack up our suitcases because we have places to see and things to jump off of!
Now just to survive Friday then a weekend of camping by the river and playing on the kayaks with friends!!! This weekend is suppose to be a high of 82 (perfect for playing in the water) and a low of 67 (perfect for a camp fire). There is a 20% chance of rain but it is Florida, there is always a chance of rain here!
Saturday The Doc and I took the girls out for a ride around town. We had a couple of errands and lunch on our minds! We found a random road that took us to the city dump (romantic right?!), a fire station and a small beautiful park.
Guess you have to balance the smell of the dump with the beauty of a park. There was a new bicycle path that recently opened at the park so we are going to take our mountain bikes one day and explore around, and also bring nose plugs! I kid, I kid, kind of. The smell wasn’t too bad. You would catch a whiff now and again of some not so pleasant smells but nothing too bad.
Down this random road we also came across this outlook. I have to admit, this outlook was totally random and no idea why it was there but we parked the bikes and walked up to see the view. It was a straight on view of downtown.
Sunday was race day at the yacht club and we were already to sail but with The Doc and I both being sick and the radar looking like rain we decided to stay home and get some things done. Think we made a good call though, The Daytona 500 was canceled for the first time in 54 years, we are only 2 hours away from there. I do miss sailing though, can’t wait to get back out there again
This upcoming weekend we heading camping and kayaking with some friends so our week this week involves planning for that. Then we have the following week to plan and pack up the motorcycles for SPRING BREAK 2012!!! WOOOOO!!!
The Doc and I are packing up the bikes and heading north for a week. Our plan is North Carolina/ Tennessee area! More about that later though!
Have a great Tuesday!
No bike riding for me this weekend. I somehow managed to ride over a nail so the FJR is down for the count. Today The Doc taught me how to get a nail out of a tire and repair it. Way easier than I thought it would be!
The rest of our weekend was pretty low-key as well. Saturday morning I spent with my friend Samantha celebrating her birthday with some pampering and brunch. By pampering, I mean pedicures!!! Usually I do them myself but sometimes you have to treat yourself and let the professionals do it!
After pedi’s we ate brunch at my favorite local joint, The Pink Flamingo Cafe. The place is located on Davis Islands in Tampa. I spent seven years working on the island and would eat at the Flamingo about 3 times a week, love them there (and they love me). This is also where the yacht club is located that we race sailboats.
After our delicious brunch, I met back up with The Doctor where we headed to the USF gym to work on our fitness. USF as in The University of South Florida (GO BULLS)!! Both of us receive our undergrads here. The Doc is currently working on his Ph.D and teaching/TA-ing there while I am taking 3 classes (and working full-time, busy is me!!!!).
We worked out for 2 stellar hours then had to hurry home for the continuing festivities that were Sam’s birthday. Sam loves to shake her booty in dance classes and out on the dance floor so she wanted to go take a Salsa Class at one of the local bars/clubs in South Tampa.
The SOHO district in South Tampa is one of the most popular spots in Tampa. SOHO is home to many bars and restaurants. There is a very big crowd of young (early 20s young) and older. Popular during the day time with lots of little shops. Night time brings out the party and SOHO’s Howard Ave does not disappoint.
Back in my early/mid 20s I lived on Howard Ave. This was the place to be and the drinks were pretty much free, always make friends with your bartenders!!!
Good trip down memory lane but now back to our Saturday. Dinner was at a restaurant called Cheap. Don’t let the name fool you, this place was anything but cheap. Nice atmosphere and fun music. Heard Nine Inch Nails and Live followed by some music from today like Lady Gaga. I like it when places mix up the music, playing, 80s, 90s and today.
It was almost time for salsa so we hurried over to the class. This was my first time going to a dance class. So much fun. The teacher spent 30 minutes doing New York style Salsa then spent the last 30 minutes doing Bachata.
It was so much fun!! After the class, The Doc and I salsa’d away. He used to take classes back in the day so he showed me some moves. We danced our cares away (Giving a shot out there to my fav show as a kid, Fraggle Rock) and laughed our hearts out.
What a fun, low key kind of weekend!!!