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Upcoming events (5+)
Riders: I had so much fun during the last Whimsical Florida ride, I thought I would prepare another before the Bikefest season starts. This time, due to the weather, I wanted to travel south and keep it relatively close to home to prevent a freezing ride home. As you know, the theme of the Whimsical Rides includes; one, a Winery, two, a local area gem (some may call it culture) and three, something military. This ride covers the areas of Ellenton, Bradenton and Sarasota. First, we will ride to Gamble Mansion in Ellenton. Gamble Mansion is South Florida’s only antebellum mansion and is located in Gamble Plantation Historic State Park just two miles off I-75 and consists of huge house with old southern white columns and is the site of a dramatic Civil War event. Today, thanks to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, it is a museum and is furnished with authentic period items. For the tour, a guide takes visitors through all the Mansion rooms, pointing out such items as a 19th Century piano, the painted floor cloth and other spectacular Civil War items. The park where the Mansion is located, is filled with towering live oaks cloaked in Spanish moss, and near to it is the 1895 Patten House, a pioneer farmhouse also preserved and maintained by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. After we take the Mansion tour and stroll the Mansion grounds, we will gear up and head out to our next location. Next, we will ride to the Sarasota Airport, park the bikes and walk inside. We will walk to the monument dedicated to the WWII Sarasota Army Airfield. While at the monument, you will be treated to a historical narrative covering when the airport was built, who built it, why it was built, Army units it hosted, planes they flew and other bits of information. You will also be provided with photos of what the Airfield looked like then and of course today. Feel free to use the link below and watch the Youtube video of personnel training at Sarasota Army Airfield before you come along for this ride. That should cover no more than ten minutes or so, and after that will be lunch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv3Mw7khBGg For lunch we will depart the Airport and ride on over to Woody’s River Roo. They are the local area favorite for bikers. They pride themselves on saying that they provide “Old Florida Dinning.” Woody’s is located on the Manatee River, has a great view and they always have music playing. After lunch we will once again gear up and ride to our final Whimsical Florida destination, the Fiorelli Winery in Bradenton. The Fiorelli Winery is the only grape winery and vineyard on the gulf coast of Southwestern Florida. Originated in 1998, their hand-crafted wines will amaze you and they say that their wine will change your opinion about wine made in Florida! The tour I am looking at is the Standard Tour. This includes wine tasting, an informative, fun and leisurely stroll through the vineyard, and a tour inside the workings of the winery, cost is $12.50. Tours begin every hour on the hour. Let’s meet at 301 Family Restaurant for breakfast, we can eat until full, drink coffee and catch up. Once we are ready (KSU 9 am) we will ride south along Hwy 301 to Balm Riverview Rd. Take Balm Riverview Rd south to Balm Rd, then go east to Balm Wimauma Rd south to Hwy 674. We will take Hwy 674 west to Hwy 579 south and go south to Hwy 62. We will follow Hwy 62 west to Hwy 301 (Parrish) and follow that to Gamble Mansion. To the Airport we will continue on Hwy 301 south to University Pkwy and go west to the Airport. From the Airport we will tale University Pkwy east to Lorraine Rd and ride north to Hwy 64. Then take Hwy 64 east to Waterbury Rd to the Winery. Once the Winery fun is over, we will take Hwy 575 north to Hwy 301 and follow Hwy 301 back into Tampa Bay. Our return time will likely be between 4 and 5 pm. Please consider coming along with us and explore some of your community’s unique sites and experiences (Whimsical).
Riders: It has been quit a while since we attended a WWII Reenactment. I choose this one because it is not too far away, cheap to attend and the fact that the park was once a WWII Military Army Camp and will be set up exactly as the Army had it (the 622 Air Warning Signal Company was stationed there in 1944). It has been about five years since we attended this event, and I remember some aspects of it, but most of all remember I enjoyed walking through the encampments, seeing the military equipment displays, and poking around the military vehicles. These reenactors place a great deal of painstaking effort to get everything period correct, and they do it all at their own expense. One thing I do remember clearly is SPAM, and how Spam was everywhere in the US Military (even had a piece). Our route north to get there will be through some great country roads and ones that offer a wonderful “Valley Views” and hills: • Hwy 301 • Sligh St. • Morris Bridge Rd • Hwy 579 • Elland Rd • Simmons Rd • Ft. King Hwy (Hills, Valley views) • Hwy 52 • Hwy 301 • Blanton Rd (Hills, Valley views) • Trilby Rd (Hills, Valley views) • Hwy 301 Our Timeline for the day will be: 8:30am - 9:30am – Breakfast 9:30am – KSU from Restaurant 10:30am – Break (Chevron Station / 11744 Fort King Rd, Dade City, FL 33525) 11:30am – Arrive at Dade Battlefield Park 1:00pm – Depart park 1:30pm – Break (AMVETS Post 550 in Z-Hills) 2:30pm – Arrive Tampa Our lunch will be at the Dade Battlefield Park, there will be vendors there serving Burgers/Hotdogs and of course Spam. Our route will make it about a 150-mile day, from 301 Restaurant to the Battlefield park and back. So, come on along, enjoy some country roads, some hills, some breathtaking views, miles with friends, learn some more Florida & WWII history and have some Spam.
Riders: As you all know, Star and I are avid Antique Motorcycle fans. I/we are inviting you to ride along with us to this Antique Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet. The Swap Meet will have many Antique bikes, this event has a fair amount of Japanese Antique motorcycles for sale or you can buy that hard to find part. There will be many vendors and you will find not just motorcycles and parts for sale, but food, displays (like super oil, etc..), Clothing, music and fun. We have never ridden/attended this event before, so this is a first for us. The route there will be very much a country ride along some familiar roads but some new roads as well. It will be a very scenic ride both ways, with many beautiful views of hills and valleys. Route north will be: Hwy 301 north MLK east Williams Road North Joe Ebert Road East Mango Road South Pruit Rd East Kingsway Rd north Thonossasa Rd West Fort King Hwy North Knights Griffin Rd East McIntosh Rd North Hwy 301 North Chancy Rd/Hwy 535 NE Hwy 301 North Hwy 575 NE Hwy 50 East Hwy 478A North Hwy 471 North Hwy 478A NE Hwy 48 East Hwy 702 East Hwy 33 North Hwy 48 East Hwy 19 North Lake Eustis Dr NE (Along the Lake) Hwy 19 North Hwy 452 to the event Southern Bound Route: Hwy 452 South Hwy 19 South Lake Eustis Dr SW Hwy 19 South Hwy 561 South (Sugarloaf Mountain) Howey Cross Rd West Hwy 19 North Central Ave/Number 2 Rd NW Hwy 48 SW (American Legion Post stop) Hwy 471 South Hwy 50 West Hwy 301 South (Gas Stop) Trilby Rd South Blanton Rd East Ft. King Hwy South Elland Rd West Morris Bridge Rd South Our stops will be: Northbound. 1. Hwy 50/Hwy 471 Gas Station in Terrytown 2. Yahala Bakery in Yahala (German food and awesome pastries) Southbound. 1. Sugarloaf Mountain 2. American Legion Post in Center Hill 3. Hwy 301/Hwy 50 (Gas) Let’s meet at 301 Diner at 8:30am where we will have breakfast and catch up. Our KSU from the Diner will be at 9:30am. We should get to the Swap Meet around 12:00pm. I plan to stay until around 2:00pm and then ride back south (maybe leave earlier if the event is lame). We should get back into Tampa Bay around 5:00pm. Star will be staying home for this ride, so you will just have me to lead you around. Even if you are not an Antique bike fan, the route and ride will be very much worth the time.
Day trip to Daytona for bike week! We will meet at Wa-Wa at 60 and Lakewood in Brandon. Please show up with a full belly, and fill your tank there, as we are going to make a straight shot across the state to Daytona. Route will be I-4 East to Hwy 33 North (Lakeland). Then east on Hwy 44 to Hwy 92 (Deland). Hwy 92 to Daytona. KSU for us is 8:00am from WaWa Gas Station. We should get to Daytona around 10:30am (+/-) Main street opens at 10:00am. Once in Daytona, I plan on riding the loop while it is still early, I will do a stop at the Eagles Club on Hwy A1A before we hit Main Street. Then there are many areas for bikers to browse through vendors, and see what bike week is offering in 2019; including Main street, the Speedway and Destination Daytona. From years past we know it is impossible to gain a group consensus on which to do, and it is even harder to hit a moving target, so understand once we get to Daytona, you are free to do what you want. If you choose to ride back with us we will be departing no later than 4 pm. You will have about 5x hours to explore. We will meet riders who want to ride back with us at Bob Evans at 2000 W International Speedway (across from the Speedway) in Daytona for ease of meeting, and we aren't far from the interstate. I will give you my cell number if you want to stay in touch.