Feeling cute. Might go ride WR250R's with friends later, IDK.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Ginger Beard, May 14, 2019.

  1. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    So I recently had a rare opportunity to ride with two of my best friends and riding buddies. I say rare because their schedules never seem to line up. Both of them are firefighters and the hectic lifestyle that they lead tends to always get in the way of getting together and going for a rip. I've known both of these bastards way too long. Ryan ( @beaterktm ) and I grew up skating together. We were sponsored by s few of the same companies and traveled all over to various skate comps until life began to get in the way of partying. I met Victor (@viclan ) about 10 years ago because of duals sport riding. He's willing to put up with me so here we are a decade later, still riding, drinking and talking shit together.


    As luck would have it, I randomly got a phone call from Ryan telling me to pack my crap and to meet him in the Ocala National Forest . This wasn't one of those calcium hydroxide and shovels needed type deals. No, we were going riding!!! Naturally I called Victor and told him the same thing that Ryan told me but with little expectation of a positive response. Shows what I know, he was in!!!

    Two days later I was loading up my truck for the trip when my wife's van decided to throw a fit. Since I'm not a complete jackhole, I told her "No worries, I'll ride there and you can use my truck." though truthfully I wasn't super thrilled to be burning down knobbies on a 350 miles slab ride aboard a 250cc thumper. Sarah saw right through my thinly veiled annoyance about having to burn down the blacktop and said "Why don't you leave a couple of days early and take your time? You wanted to get a ride in with your new bags anyway." . There's a reason that we're together. She can cure my blues like no other human on Earth.

    The next day I loaded up the old WR250r with my camping gear and kicked rocks. Now I was actually looking forward to riding Florida back roads up to the Ocala national forest. Any excuse for a road trip, right? :D

    Love you babe!

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    Waaaaaay too clean!! I'll fix that asap!

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    Maiden voyage of my final prototype bags that I've spent way too long sewing and testing!

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    #1
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  2. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    The plan was to spend the first day riding what dirt is left between here and Lake Wales Florida where I'd stay with my riding buddy and purveyor of all things brightly lit, John ( aka @sanjoh ) for the evening. I hadn't seen him in over a year and was looking forward to spending an evening catching up.

    Leaving the house, the temps were already climbing but THIS IF FLORIDA!!! so I kicked the messenger into the well, ignored the imminent "sweatening" and hauled ass to the Everglade's levee system.

    A quick aside; I have always had a fascination for reptiles and amphibians. Frogs , snakes, lizards, sirens, salamanders? I love them all!! It lead to me managing an exotic pet store in college and also caused me to major in herpetology. I currently have a darn zoo at my house with a fistful of tortoises, a couple of turtles and a lizard. A few glamour shots of the fam are now necessary!


    Meet little miss Sweat Pea. A rescued yearling Redfoot tortoise.

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    And Ludo , our 5 year old Sulcata Tortoise, aka; Shellephant , aka; The Dude.

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    I'll also make friends with the ones passing through...

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    No sooner was I on the levee than I come across a ribbon snake. 50 yards later and there was a huge softshell turtle.

    Hello lady!

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    And also to you! She was full of eggs and no doubt looking for a place to lay them.
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    #2
  3. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    I put the screws to the Wizzer while keeping an eye out for my cold blooded bretheren.

    A quick stop by the pump station and the fork in the road to take you west if you choose.

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    There was zero traffic beyond the pump station and I was cruising at 70 for most of the 50 odd miles to Clewiston.

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    One of several bridges along the route.

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    The solitude in the farmlands south of Lake Okeechobee is spectacular off season.



    .
    #3
  4. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    I was making good time and even though I had left quite a bit later than I'd planned , I was determined to make it to John's house before 5 p.m. Unfortunately that meant not stopping for very many pics.

    Soon I was traveling through the reservation that borders Lake Okeechobee and when I say traveling I mean I had the throttle to the stop... WFO baby!! The roads through this part of the res are like a dirt highway with a sight line that extends for miles and only 2 side roads. By the way, wfo on a fully loaded WR250r that's being ridden in the dirt and pointed into a headwind is about 76 mph.:lol3


    I didn't get pics of the res on this trip but heres one from last year.

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    I stopped and filled up myself and the bike in Lake Placid. Wendy's for me and Shell for the Wizzleberry. I was averaging just under 47 mpg just in case you're wondering how well these bikes do when you're cranking on em' for hours on end... Poor little bike!

    Getting closer to my stop for the night. This area is being paved at an alarming rate. Pics like this won't be possible for much longer...

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    #4
  5. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    And just like that I was at John's place with a cold one in hand, catching up with a friend. His house is bordered by protected forest and we went for a quick walk through the woods and then down to the horse paddock where we met up with Sharon ( @FL Pepper ). I do miss country living. What it lacks in convenience it more then makes up for that with tranquility and sense that you can tell the world to piss off at will.


    Watching the sun set over the treeline. Savor these, they're finite.

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    #5
  6. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    John and Sharon made us all dinner and we spent meal time catching up on the past year. Time sure does fly by and the older I get , it seems that they increase velocity. I hit the sack shortly after dinner.

    Sunrise was as spectacular as the sunset and I was greeted by temperatures in the low 50's. What a difference a day and a couple hundred miles makes, eh?

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    I took my time eating breakfast before loading up the bike, waiting for it to warm up just a tad. This 6th gen Florida boy doesn't do cold weather well and since this is Florida, it will be in the mid 60's soon enough. I said my goodbyes and thanked John for his hospitality. I need to make it a point to visit my friends more often. The first couple of months in 2019 have really forced me to face the mortality of myself and those around me which is a really strange experience for someone that's been bulletproof for so long. Time is kryptonite to each and every one of us.


    Blue skies and cool temps. Good morning!

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    #6
  7. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    I had a route through the FL highlands , unsure if what I had seen on google was still viable...ADVENTURE!! What I found was a bit of a surprise. Most areas like this have been shutdown long ago so finding this hidden gem was a real treat. It's an old farming track that leads under I-4 and then up and over a ridge line.
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    With face slapping branches on one side, barbed wire on the other and deep rutted sugar sand in between, you need to be mindful of line choice. An unexpected bit of fast paced fun right in the heart of a burgeoning metro area.


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    I decided to point the front wheel towards the west side of Orlando. There were some great roads here years ago and I wanted to see what was left. Unfortunately the rapid population growth in Florida is taking it's toll in the form of repulsive pink hued cookie cutter apartment complexes and town-home communities. They're more akin to overpriced prisons than they are "homes". I actually feel as bad for the people that assume a need to live in such soul sucking accommodations as I do for the environment that these developers shit on , scaring the landscape with clear-cuts and concrete monstrosities.

    Luckily a little bit remains and for a moment you feel like you're back in Florida, however fleeting....

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    Disney World is about 7 miles over my right shoulder. Quite a contrast.

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    #7
  8. danh600

    danh600 Long timer

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    Dave you know your reports would be better if you quit sitting on the fence and expressed a strong opinion!

    Preach on Brother.
    #8
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  9. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    I'm shy and reserved :lol3
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  10. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    I made it to the campground in Salt Springs around 1 and Ryan was already set up. Van life is easy.

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    We ate some lunch and waited for Victor to show up. Well, lunch came and went so we unloaded Victor's bike for him and sat around bullshitting. By 2 o'clock we were both starting to worry because he's not one to be late. I checled my phone and had a text from him at 1:15 that read "I'm here" but where? He certainly wasn't at this campground and it's after 2. Ryan rode to the office to use the phone since our cellphones don't have service here.


    Ryan rolls back into the campsite laughing. It turns out that Victor had gone to another campground about 25 miles south of us and had completely setup camp already! :lol3 Since we had time while waiting for Victor to repack and get here, I threw a tankbag on Ryans bike. He'd been asking for one so I surprised him with it.

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    Victor got to Salt Springs an hour later and we busted his balls for a solid 20 minutes. I'll definitely be bringing it up on the next trip!:D

    We hit the woods soon after and enjoyed our first ride together in over a year or more. I'm rusty and now Ryan's faster than me. You'll note my dirty face and his sparkling clean face. :dirtdog

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    #10
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  11. Fireman1000

    Fireman1000 Long timer

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    Very cool to see a RR from Florida. What road is this? I jut like to get a visual on Google Maps of areas I read about
    #11
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  12. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    Thanks! The road in the above pic is NF88 in the Ocala National Forest.
    #12
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  13. Fireman1000

    Fireman1000 Long timer

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    This one?
    [​IMG]
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  14. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    ^ That's the road that goes to the Mickey Mouse Forest. Not sure of the name but it should pop up if you google it.
    #14
  15. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Geez. That looks more like Saskatchewan or Kansas. Amazing.
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  16. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    Views like this were commonplace in south central Florida when I was a kid. The landscape in much of the state is unrecognizable as Florida anymore.
    #16
  17. Sandspit

    Sandspit Been here awhile

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    Great report ! I didn't know you were a Skater back in the day, we most likely know some of the the same crew, I was a Tampa skater, friends with Brian (owner of S.P.O.T) spent many days at the Bro Bowl then off to Ybor to sketchy music venues. I've travelled the SE and hit so many backyard ramps and met great people, wonder if our paths crossed?...Hank's bowl in John's island SC is still the best outdoor private structure.

    ^^^Back to the RR, As expected, the more you show the back roads of FL, the more "interest" in traversing FL is asked about...I fully understand not calling out specific road names...keep it going, looking forward to the next update.
    #17
  18. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    Thanks Sandspit!

    Yeah started skateboarding when I was 9 or 10. Skated all over FL but was into street. Wasn't much of a park or transition guy but still hit up a lot of spots. Did the Am Jam in Tampa , hit Kona , Stone Edge and Badlands. I rotated several vertebrae and lost feeling in my left leg for a bit after trying to fakie big spin to board slide an 18 stair. That kind of ended skateboarding for me.

    I started inline skating for rehabilitation , started messing around on those and wound up sponsored which is how I met Ryan.

    That's me on the bottom right and Ryan just above me. First time I was ever paid to skate. This was a demo at the Barrett auction in West Palm.
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    Life was a big mess back then. I had a daughter at 20. Crawford (Ryan) and I lost a few friends to ODs, prison and accidents. Crawford went into the military and I wound up turning down a pro sponsorship and a free pad in Venice, Cali in order to raise my daughter. I quit skating after that and started fighting MMA.

    In my late 20s I actually decided to start skating again , got picked up by a local skate shop and then Rollerblade. It Was all pretty crazy. Next thing I know I'm right back in the scene. Rockstar type hotel parties, traveling up and down the east coast, pros staying with me and right back to losing friends to drugs, prison and other dumb shit. All this while running a business and trying to maintain a relationship with my girl and my daughter.

    On a trip to visit my dad in Alaska I went for a solo hike the night after I had gotten into a bar fight over something I should have walked away from. I had an epiphany on that hike and realized that I was in no place mentally to handle the lifestyle I was living and that I was at a breaking point. I got back from AK , called my sponsors and quit just like that.

    I lost the girl, sold my half of the business I ran and moved. I started freeriding riding mountain bikes and got back into dirt biking and dual sports and well, here I am. I'm certain that bikes and focussing on raising my daughter are the only reason that I'm still around.



    Sorry for the long winded History of Ginger but now you know. :lol3
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  19. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    Back to your regularly scheduled RR...


    *Spoiler Alert!!


    The next two days were an absolute blast! Victor and Ryan are like family and it was a great feeling to have us all in one place doing something that we're all so passionate about.

    The three Amigos and their three WR250r's.

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    Don't let my sexy thigh distract you.

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    #19
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  20. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    We rode for a couple of hours and ended day 1 with a few brews , some gas station snacks (because none of the local restaurants are open on Mondays) and some grub that Ryan cooked up. We had neglected to get any firewood so we sat around the picnic table talking smack and catching up on daily life. I'll never quite get how vacation time to many people is loading up the mini van , going to a high priced hotel and then fighting crowds for days on end in order to stand in line fo4r hours at a time only to be rewarded with 5 minutes of an entertaining rush for your trouble. It reminds me of rats waiting their turn on a stationary spinning wheel, not noticing that real fun and freedom is but a chew through a plastic lid away. To me, this is what living is about. Of course I was asleep before 9 p.m. so what do I know?

    Day 2 of ONF started early and we were welcomed to a new day by perfect weather.

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    We ate breakfast at the campground and then headed straight for the trails. The cool weather and bright sunshine perfectly matched the mood. Don't let Crawford's "resting dick face" fool you, we were having a great time .





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    #20
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