Hope everyone has a nice safe Christmas or Holiday season with lots of friends and family around. We are here on New Smyrna Beach visiting with friends and camping in our Airstream. Got 2 days of riding in all around town and to the Canaveral Seashore National Park. Saw a pod of dolphins frolicking in the Indian River off the North bridge. They looked like they were having as good of a time as we were. Today, Sunday Dec. 26 has turned rainy and cold with more cold coming in the next few days. You reading this have a very happy New year.
Wow, December already! That means the Holidays are upon us and all the events that go with them. This Friday night kicks off Floral City's Heritage Days with luminaire lining Orange Ave, and tours of many historic homes, live bands, food and fun. We will be open late that night serving libations and snacks so stop by and say hello.
At this time we at Hampton's Edge Bike Shop would like to thank all our customers, many who have become friends, for your patronage over the years. It's been our pleasure to serve and know you and hope to continue in the future.
Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Trails. now go eat some turkey! Regis and Cindy
We will be doing a Gobbler Road loop ride Thanksgiving Day starting at the bike shop at 9:00 am, going south on the trail to Floral Park Rd. making a left then up the hill, then down to Istachatta Rd, to 48 then rt. for @ 800 ft, to left on Trails End, to left on Withlapopka, follow to Gobbler Rd. make a rt. and follow to the Trail again where you go south or north to where ever you want to end up. Happy Thanksgiving.
Finally the moon is going to cooperate for a ride this Saturday starting at 6:30 PM at the bike shop in Floral City and going to Inverness where we will dine at Frankie's Grill behind the K Mart/Sears off 41. Lights and flashers on the bikes and helmets on the heads, yeah even trikes. Gotta play by the rules.LLLLLLLets get ready to ride! Should be a nice night 1 night before full moon, in the high 50 s so dress appropriately.
Floral City Library will be having a "White elephant sale" with proceeds going to the library, so bring your unwanted items priced accordingly to donate. Along with this many of the businesses in town will be offering discounts or services to patrons who enter their stores. We at Hampton's Edge will be offering free safety checks on bicycles, so stop in and make sure everything is functioning properly and get a free change purse so you'll have a place to stash cash and ID on your bike. Another note: I have 2 kayaks for sale both very stable boats designed for fishing or paddling down Florida's many scenic rivers. Both come with paddles and seats with back rest. Also, I am offering my house on the trail in Istachatta for seasonal rental. E mail me at email@example.com for inquiry.
My mother, with whom we visited on our way back is now in full blown Alzheimer's and has a few words like "what day is this" or "look at all the trees" used to be the one with the sayings like, "home again home again, jigity jig", and that is where we are right now. Home again. The Florida state bird came out in numbers to help us carry things from the camper to the house while feasting on our exposed skin. Welcome home. It was a good trip although not always going as planned. The time seemed to speed by this year making us wonder how we got everything we did last year accomplished in the same amount of time. It's good to be home but I still yearn for the road and hope one day to give it a try full time. That brings me to mentioning that my house on the bike trail is for sale or for rent, seasonal. It's listed with Gottus Realty here in Floral City. I'd even rent it full time to the right person who would keep it up.
Finally made it to Goshen, IN. for the 50th Escapee RV Club Escapade, which is a large rv rally or should I say humongous, giant, gargantuan rally which in my guess would be over 1000 RVs of all sizes and types from Airstreams and travel trailers like ours, 5th wheels, class C,B, A to huge Prevost busses and huge 5th wheels pulled by commercial type tractors usually seen pulling semi trailers. There is one person with a box truck converted to an RV which has a big deck built on back, and one lady, Darrel with a very nice restored 66 Airstream 18' that in my opinion is best of show if there were to be given such an award. There also is a Canadian built Award travel trailer here too. All kinds sizes and shapes. Lots to do and be done, with seminars, happy hours, lunches, jam sessions, entertainment, and shopping at the many vendors of all types of RV accessories and gadgets. Escapees were founded by Kay and Joe Peterson back in 1970 when they decided to hit the road full time in their trailer, and now has become a huge club with their own RV parks and even a care center for older RVers that need some help staffed by mostly volunteers and funded by donations from club members. Truly something to behold. These pictures do not do it justice of the enormity or scope of this event. How are we going to get out of here!
Clear blue sky, breezy, and some time to go ride the Indian Creek Trail from Olathe KS. to KC.MO. Another urban trail that twists, and curves through 25 miles KS. suburbia. Lots of little hills, bridge crossings and roller coaster like thrills. Care to stay on our side around corners and hope other riders do the same. The trail goes under I-35 three times, through lighted tunnels under city streets, and is paved all the way, and they are adding more. Thought the gopher tortoise in Fl. were big, but then we ran into a real grand daddy of a tortoise who wanted to race this hare. Glad we both had suspension since he didn't want to come out on the pavement and give me a fair shot. This thing looked like something prehistoric. Check out Larry Varney's review of the ICE B-1 he ride while we were still in Ohio on bentrideronline.com.
Had to leave Yellow Springs the day George and Sue Straley arrived as Cindy's mother ended up in the hospital back in Olathe KS. She suffers from copd and is in her later 70s so things are tenuous now. If you pray, say a prayer for Bonnie Cooper. So for a while we will be camped out in Cindy's brother's driveway again, so we'll be getting some riding in on the Mill Creek and Indian Creek trails, between visits to the hospital and helping out Cindy's dad where we can. Understandably he's in a blue funk since he and Bonnie have been married for 56 years. George and Sue will be staying at Bass Lake and Maryanne and brother will be arriving shortly, so they'll have some Yellow Springs fun. Mosquitoes shouldn't be a problem with the bats hanging around.
Still hanging out and riding around in Ohio, mostly on the Little Miami trail. My sister, brother in law and nephew visited and camped with us last weekend and did a few rides in the heat. It has finally cooled off for a few days but heating back up says the weather channel web site although not as oppressive we hope. Yesterday we rode from the campground to Springfield and on the way back stopped at the must see Hartman Rock Garden in a small neighborhood on McCain Ave. What started in 1932 during the depression as a small do it yourself stone fish pond by the unemployed Ben Hartman, became a labor of love extravaganza of buildings, religious figures and forts, of historic significance and whimsy. He quit building in 1939 leaving this legacy taking up most of his yard. Ben has since died in 2007. google Hartman Rock Garden Springfield Oh for more info. Larry Varney will probably be back at the campground when we return from our daily morning sojourn to The Emporium in Yellow Springs. This morning I did the 10 mile trip on the Street Strider. Most likely do it again with Larry and Walt on a bike or trike this afternoon.
Picked up Cindy's long time best friend Rhonda on Friday at the nice little Dayton International Airport, easy in and out and free 30 minute parking while waiting for someone to come out of baggage claim. Now parked in the Yellow Springs Motel parking lot for 4 days while Rhonda is here making it easy to get to the trail and town. Love this funky, artsy town. Today we rode from Xenia Station to Corwin Station only 30 miles round trip on a nice shady part of the trail. Many people on the trail enjoying the nice weather and weekend. Will be going back to Bass Lake Tuesday evening after taking Rhonda back to the airport, then on Thursday my sister Joan and brother in law Bo and nephew Steve will be joining us for a few days. Steve just finished riding the Great Allegheny Passage between Pittsburgh Pa. and Washington DC. Can't wait to hear of his adventures.
The expansion joints in the pavement on Old Mill road on the way to the Little Miami Trail to Yellow Springs, OH all but disappeared under the suspension of the ICE Adventure. Sitting here at The Underdog Cafe' and Wine Emporium with morning coffee and a cinnamon roll hoping the rain holds off for the ride back to Bass Lake camp ground. Forgot to ask if the camp ground had wi fi but we'll be here every day any way since we like this town so well. Still the same vibrant town with it's no sprawl attitude, just the way we like it. The grocery store is busy, as is the hardware store, drug store, and the movie theater is still showing movies, along with many restaurants, art shops, book store, music store, and all locally owned. Bicycles are common transportation for shopping and the like. Saturday is the weekly farmers market and next weekend is art in the park. So you see there is a lot going on. Then there is the 72 mile long Little Miami Trail, paved bliss where the ICE suspension only comes into play at bridge junctions. We'll have plenty of time to ride all of it we want since we'll be here for about a month.
Well, I survived the Jones family reunion in Olathe, KS where there were about 150 to 200 people in attendance all related to Cindy in some way or the other. I've got to say she has a very nice, loving, tight knit extended family, one anyone would be proud to be a part of. We had breakfast with her parents, and aunt Irene who came from Pahrump NV. There was a couple Chris and Christy and daughter Brooklyn all the way from Temecula, CA. so you see how far people come to be part of the reverie. Now we're in Effingham, IL. at a very nice campground, Camp Lakewood, yes overlooking a lake, a Good Sam park and very, very neat and clean. Will head out for Ohio tomorrow and our favorite town. Seems the only person making any comments on the blog is Chinese, but thank you anyway, even though I don't read Chinese and you probably don't write or speak English either. I do like your food and tiny little trees! (Monty Python) "I like Chinese" Sorry I didn't take any pics.
For two weeks we'll be camping out in Mike Cooper's, ( Cindy's brother) driveway. He was nice enough to install a 30 amp service to plug our airstream into. It is in Olathe, Kansas which I'd call the train capital of the USA. A train goes by about every 10 minutes or so, sometimes in both directions at one time, of course on different tracks. Been very hot last week and today was only in the high 80 s so we figured we better get in a ride. So this morning we headed for the Indian Creek trail with all intentions of crossing into Missouri which we could not do last year because of road construction. This is an urban trail with ways to get off and go to restaurants, shopping and the like. The trail runs along a flood plain and you can see the results of recent flooding with big logs jammed into bridge rails and detritus 6 to 8 feet up in trees along side the trail. Indian Creek trail is paved and resembles a roller coaster with sharp turns and steep assents and descents, up and over road ways and down to the trail again cornering. I was missing the quick turning ability of the Kettwiesel but loving the suspension of the ICE Adventure on the many bumps and transitions from bridge to trail. Some of the under passes were muddy and slick which made 3 wheels much better than 2 allowing drifting through greasy sharp turns. However, on some of the steep greasy up hill sections the one rear wheel drive tadpole broke traction with the Schwalbe marathon racer tires making for an interesting leg burning climb. Again, wishing for the Hase Kettwiesel with its 2 wheel drive differential. All in all we had a perfect day with a stop at Panera Bread in Missouri for lunch after going to the very end of the trail. This making the second state border crossing on our trikes with last year's Montana/Idaho crossing on the Route of the Hiawatha being the first. There would be pics but I forgot the camera so no shots of my spinning feet.
Finally able to get on line now that we reached KS. and are sitting in Cindy's brother's driveway using his connection. We left home around 8:30 am on the 14th, with heavy hearts as Tanus hadn't come home yet, and drove to Clanton Al. and stayed at Dandy RV park where we found our air conditioner not operating properly and it was hot and humid but not too bad sleeping that night. The next day was hotter yet and we found ourselves in a loooooong traffic jam on I-57 because of a 3 big truck and pick up accident where 3 people died and closed the interstate for around 7 hours. We creeped along until we could get off at an exit, hit some back roads and ended up at Cherokee Lakes campground, on a flood plain because it plain floods and spent another hot night. The next morning we saw an Airstream dealer and decided to stop and get the AC looked at along with the refrigerator which wouldn't stay on gas while not plugged in. I thought the evaporator switch was bad or maybe a start capassator but what they found was a mud dobber nest on the squirrel cage fan keeping it from spinning. They also cleaned out the coils and re directed the air flow for the fridge and now it works fine. All that for 167. and friendly service. Next we stopped in Hermann MO. a small town settled by Germans in the 1800s, with lots of interesting houses and buildings and many wineries. Lots of short steep hills to ride up and down on our way to the Katy Trail. Street striding up the hills was a real workout especially in the 90 degree heat. We did some wine tasting and took in a 60s and 70s rock n roll concert by the Bufftones Saturday night at the Adam Puchta winery proceeds going to a local food bank. Now in Olathe KS. in the cold AC thanks to Bill Thomas Camper Sales, where we will be for the remainder of this month camped in Mike Cooper's driveway.
Two days and a wake up and hopefully we'll be hitting the road. One fly in the ointment though. While walking Tanus our Lab mix, Friday night, he decided to take a foray into the woods off the side of the trail and hasn't been seen since. I'm hoping he is just interested in a female in heat and will come home before we leave. We've been cruising the neighborhood every day and night and have posted some signs on telephone poles and on the trail but so far to no avail. We'll put and ad in the paper tomorrow and maybe the Floral City veterinary hospital will get a call because that's where I got his license and shots. We are staying two days later in order to receive a shipment of Street Striders as it is, and won't be leaving till Wednesday. I'm ready to amscray! Here is a photo of the dog in case anyone reading this happens to see him. Call me 352-585-6926.
A little over 2 weeks now and we'll be heading west to our first stop in Olathe KS, where just like the Fred Eaglesmith song "I Like Trains" you better. There is a train going through there about every 15 minutes or so. There is also a couple of nice urban trails, the Mill Creek and the Indian Creek that goes through and around the city where access to stores and restaurants is possible by bike or in our case trike. From there it's on to The Little Miami Trail where we'll base out of the Bass Lake Camp Ground in Springfield, just a short ride on scenic back roads to the trail and the Town of Yellow Springs which is our hang out. After about a month there, we want to see if we tire of it, we head to Goshen IN. for the Escapee RV club Escapade. We'll try to keep those of you who ( Bill & Ruth) reads this blog up to date of our trials and trails.
Seems summer is upon us here in sunny FL. with heat and humidity followed by afternoon thunder showers. Business has been good for the off snowbird season so far with lots of people on the trail stopping in to browse and shop. Sold a Street Strider to a nice couple from Panama Beach today which means more will be on order soon as they get in. Got to pick blue berries last week and got about 20 lbs in less than 2 hours, so we'll be stocked up for summer. While in the blue vein, the blue birds have returned for the second heat in the raising of another clutch this time with the help of the first youngsters. The solar panels and solar water heater and attic fan have been installed and are now producing clean, green power which we hope will build up credit with the power company and provide us with low electric bills. Looking forward to this year's RV trip to the mid west starting mid July with visits to Kansas, Ohio, and Indiana. Will try to keep anyone who reads these blogs updated.
Looking out over a foggy Atlantic Ocean with a glass of red and a stomach full of spaghetti, after a day on the Street Striders going into town for a few groceries and a coffee. Emarald Isle is a South facing Island near the Marine Base, Camp Lejune were I was stationed back in 1974 before I was discharged. My niece is getting married Friday on the beach. Lots of empty houses here as is in Fl. Good deals to be had, we got a big one, 5 bed rooms 4 1/2 baths on the ocean. Riding trikes tomorrow. There will not be a moonlight ride in May since the moon doesn't fall right.
We will be doing the Full Moon Ride on Sat. April 24th. Meet at the Bike Shop at 6:30p and we will ride North to Frankies in Inverness. Hope to see lots of folks out for this ride. Please call us and let us know if you can join us.
The new Ice Trikes are finally here. We have also gotten in our first shipment of Trident folding trikes. Come on in and check them out. Test rides are Free! We already sold our first Musashi and are waiting for more to arrive. The good weather is here so it's time to get out and ride.
Just a few tidbits while I've got a minute. Guess we'll have to get internet at the house if I am going to try and blog regularly. There is a moonlight ride this Saturday March 27 at 6:30 starting at the bike shop in Floral City and going to Frankie's Grill in Inverness. Around 16 miles total out and back. There is a small portion of the ride on streets so lights are a must and helmets. Was thinking about the Riverside but will take some more investigation on food they have. We know Frankie's is good. We'll proceed North up the trail to Apopka and wait at the BIG RED CABOOSE. Then I'll lead everyone to the restaurant on the street and behind Publix and K Mart. The Catrike Rally was a success with nice weather this year and 63 people attending the Withlacoochee portion of the event with a ride to Frankie's Grill, the proprietor being a Expedition owner, who's restaurant did an admiral job with the influx of 63 cats pouncing all at the same time. With spring comes bird nesting, and we have a pair of blue birds nesting in a non blue bird house in our back yard. There is a blue bird trail up and down the Withlacoochee trail with Peterson style boxes but these two picked our little bird house. Now we must be vigilant in chasing away sparrows and other birds who show interest in the box. The female has been bringing nest material to the box as the male stands guard near by. Hope soon to have chicks to watch.
We will be closed on Sunday so we can Host the Catrike Rally! The Cat's will be meeting here at the shop around 11am and leaving around 11:30. Then we will ride to Frankies Grill and have lunch. After lunch you can ride more or visit the Floral City Strawberry Festival.
Just a reminder of the full moon ride at 6:30 on Feb. 27 meeting at the shop and either going to Pizza Cafe or Frankie's Grill depending on how many show up, and of coarse this will depend on the weather. As always lights and or flashers please and helmets.
We are waiting anxiously for the arrival of the new ICE trikes and the Catbike Musashi. Hope to be picking up the Musashi this Friday.
Coming soon to Hampton's Edge will be Reverse Gear Recumbent specific clothing. Finally someone who gets it! This is very high quality clothing that is designed by actual bent riders. Look at the whole line at www.reversegearinc.com Judi & Len from Reverse Gear will be here at the bike shop on Sunday March 7th for the Catrike Rally. Come and get a sneak peek of their great line of bent clothing.
The annual Catrike Rally this year is taking place on March 6, in Winter Garden, Fl. for the factory tour and rides on the West Orange Trail and March 7, here at Hampton's Edge in Floral City for a ride on the Withlacoochee Trail to Frankie's Grill. More info can be found on the Catrike site under General Discussion on the message board. Would like to have an approximate head count for lunch at Frankie's. call 352-419-4809 to reserve. Sunday's ride meets at 11:00 am. at the shop in Floral City.
Nice ride with the withlacoochee group yesterday which I don't get to do very often. Was nice seeing everyone. Oh by the way I sold the Big Green Egg.
Was doing a bit of thinking the other day about how back in the 30s when the hard depression hit, men of the road or bums, or hobo's traveled the railroad tracks jumping trains to search out work or a warmer place to crash. There was a code of the road that they would not steal from someone who had done a good turn and offered a place to sleep or a meal. By bums marking a tree or house would identify these benevolent folks. These days I don't know if now called homeless people have any such code, but they still follow the railroads many which have been converted to rail trails, but unlike the 30s they travel on bicycles. Many can be seen on our Withlacoochee Trail.
My lack luster computer skills enabled me to erase the first part of this blog so I'll do it again. Wow, it's mid January already finally warming up a bit from the bitter cold the last few weeks. Saw 16 degrees at our place and the proof is in the poor plants. That kind of cold made me want to stand under the hot water in the shower like a teenager, turning it hotter and hotter till I couldn't stand it anymore, but then I worried that I would be depleting the aquafer with my wasteful behavior so I had to stop. Yes, the cold slowed the business at the shop a bit, people stopping to warm up and browse but not a lot of buying going on. Warmed up nicely now after some nice rain last night to replenish the water I used standing under the hot water on those cold mornings. AHHH, catholic guilt rearing it's ugly head. For the backyard grill kings out there, I am selling my Big Green Egg smoker/grill. Since we're not big meat eaters it hasn't been used much so may as well go to someone who will use this fine appliance to it's potential. It with all the stuff and the cart was over 1000. new but I'll let it go for 650. Here is a pic of what it is. Also look on their web site for more info, Big green egg.com. Makes one hell of a Thanksgiving turkey, or Pittsburgh steaks.