My sister is still around the house for another week until she goes back to college, so she enjoys taking my car, which I happened to need for some business shipping. I have strapped boxes with bungee cord to the back of the SV, but these were just too big.
So I decided to take the day off and go to Boca Grande. BG lies on Gasparilla Island, about 25 miles to the south of me. It has a laidback Florida Keys feeling about it, without the traffic, but with high real estate prices. This is where the Bush family takes vacation when W is in town. The ride is a fairly easy route with a few turns and over a toll bridge. This has been, so far, my longest ride on the SV, as it has only 1000 miles on it and most of that were break-in miles. It was here that I encountered city vs rural riding, and how comfortable the bike is over periods of half-hour riding.
One thing I have noticed around town is the use of the "wave". All sport bikers give each other the one hand salute, as do most cruisers. Harley guys don't seem too into it, and I have no problem with that. I find that Harley riders either love or hate sportbikes, and life goes on. I almost never get the wave from guys on Road Kings and they seem to hate the sport bikers the most. Oh well.
I have also noticed a few other habits I have taken for second nature. One is that if I am at a stoplight and in front, I take off from the pack of cages once it turns green. I also should work on my speed consistency when not in traffic - I tend to be turning the throttle, then letting off, and repeat.
Once I finally make it over the toll bridge and onto the island, I find myself in a different environment. As a winter resort town, this place has been deserted, and the only noticable residents seem to be the wild iguanas, coconut palms, and migrant workers tending to the lawns of multimillion dollar homes. The road is constantly sandy and in town, golf carts tend to be the method of transportation. The residents who are in town (those who can't afford 2nd, 3rd, 4th homes) tend to give me the look of an outsider who has lost his way. I realize this is not a place for bikes, so I take a few pictures, and head back on my way. I decide to concentrate on keeping weight on my lower body when I lean over the bike to turn and accelerate.
Anyway, here are a few pictures of the island. Out of Time featuring Denzel Washington was filmed here as a Florida Keys lookalike town.
So anyways, that was a first small adventure of mine. On the way home, I am keeping speed in the fast lane, and a early 90s Honda Civic with an airplane wing and coffee can muffler comes up beside me and gives me the "lets race" look. I opt not to take the visual offer, and he zooms off weaving through traffic. I think to myself, "I pay higher car insurance because of that guy".