Ride to Cedar Key with Stop 6 Highway Couture
There was just enough of that nip in the early morning air to let you know fall isn’t too far behind. I took a deep breath in as we crossed the Dead River Canal in pre-church rush traffic early Sunday morning. I’d never been to Cedar Key, though we had talked about it a few times. The afternoon before I noticed a post in one of our Facebook groups, someone the next town over, looking for people to ride the next day. I’d been feeling like a caged animal, so I jumped on the chance to get us involved.
A thickness was already settling into the air as we pulled into the meetup spot and a small group was already gathering. Introductions were made as we loaded up on bottled water for the trip. Riding a motorcycle in optimum conditions can dehydrate you. On days where the heat index is one hundred five degrees, it will turn me into the Crypt Keeper without gallons of water.
There is no point to saying Florida weather is unpredictable. It is very predictable. It will be hot. It will gradually become intolerably hot. Then it will rain. No, then it will monsoon. See, predictable. We were prepared for the intolerable heat with our sunscreen and water bottles, but the monsoon of the day was a different story.
As we made our way northwest, through the citrus groves and cattle ranches, I noticed we were in a little pocket of sunshine. The further west we traveled, the darker the clouds surrounding what was left of our little pocket of sunshine became until our little bit of light was gone. The rain started to fall; the tiny drops not worth turning on your windshield wiper for in a cage but hurt so badly on a bike at 80 mph.
Pat, the road captain for the ride pulled over to ask if anyone wanted to put on their rain gear. I smiled and said I was already wearing mine, what were we stopping for? He asked if anyone wanted to turn back, but I think he knew what our response would be. We were all pleasantly surprised when no one wanted to turn back.
Onward we went. It was a large storm band, but it was just one and if we hauled ass, we could get through it and be dried off quickly, based on what I could see. The tiny stinging drops became mammoth crocodile tears spilling down from the sky at a sideways angle. Blinded and soaked by the fast-moving storm, you could barely see ten feet ahead of you as the wind whipped the rain into a frenzy.
Here is what I know about riding in the rain in Florida. If you can’t ride around it, the faster you ride, the faster you will be out of it. Also, the faster you ride when you are out of it, the faster your clothes will dry. This PSA is being brought to you by a very soggy biker. Follow me for more helpful tips and tricks.
Eventually, I noticed the smell of brackish water, we were close. We passed through Cedar Key Scrub Preserve State Park, surrounded by marshes and tidal pools, we rode over the short bridge to the Key. After growing up on Cape Cod, Cedar Key looked like a story book version of my old haunts. I looked at my husband and told him we must come back for a vacation, the few minutes we had to sight see were not enough for this beach bum. I was instantly captivated.
The staff at Steamer’s went above and beyond to take care of this gang of soggy, hungry, thirsty bikers. Seating us with ample room for social distancing and turning off the overhead fans helped a bunch, but by the end of the meal, we did look like a gang for Steamers with our matching long sleeves for the ride home. Lunch was delicious, I had Bacon Blue Oysters that were absolutely to die for. The hubs had a burger, he was feeling daring.
The ride back was much drier, allowing us to enjoy the scenery a little more. I am always surprised at the beauty of natural Florida; it is like no where else I have ever lived with its sheer abundance of flora and wildlife. Subconsciously, I still see Florida through the eyes of Crimson Travel Service. There are no synchronized water skiers on the Nature Coast, but lush with greenery and natural habitats, it is a writer and nature adventurers’ dream getaway.
Long rides require comfortable clothing and despite my Denim Couture jeans being completely soaked, they were perfect for a long day in the saddle. I have really been digging on the Denim Couture now that I can finally fit into them. They are a curvier cut than Platinum Plush, and the small amount of spandex blended into the wefted denim keeps the fit just right all day and all night. They are beautifully detailed with contrast stitching, fully lined back pockets and ornamentation designed not just for looks but for comfort. I opted for Chiara boots from Milwaukee Rider, and I am quite happy to report I had the driest feet and boots in the group. Initially to complete the ensemble, I wore the Gunslinger Tank from Bus Stop, Inc., but it was traded for the Steamers’ long-sleeved in pink.
Sturgis!!! Ride safe, be safe if you are going. I’m jealous, but I want you to know I fit nicely into carry on luggage so if you have room don’t be afraid to holla at your girl! I hope it is a great rally and everyone comes back safe and happy. We are hoping to get out to Pirates Pub in the tiny little town of Paisley, Florida, for their annual Too Broke for Sturgis party, then Sunday over to the west coast again for Scooter Haven for their annual Too Broke for Sturgis party. It’s going to be a busy weekend, film at eleven, ha!
I am extending our annual Too Broke for Sturgis Sale for the next week! Save up to 50% on Curve (plus size) Denim and take 25% off Tops and Accessories! We have moved to a new internet home, and we want to apologize for the glitches as we go through a growth phase. I am working on getting everything fixed, but if you see something at stop6.net that doesn’t seem right, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook and Instagram at stop6hc. Thanks for riding with us, stay safe and be happy!