Hurt my pride

but not the bike.

Today I did my first road trip on my new bike. The morning started out chilly but as the sun warmed the sky the day became pleasant.

I had a quasi route laid out but it was subject to change. I didn’t make my ultimate goal but that’s fine it was still a nice ride.
Ozello was my goal, about 50 miles north of me. If I took the main road it would have been an hour and 30 minute trip one way.
That wasn’t how I wanted to go. I took side roads, back roads, roads less traveled.
IT was wonderful, hardly any traffic, quiet, I could go as fast as I wanted or as slow as I wanted.

About 2 hours in I stopped for a cup of coffee and to stretch my legs. I had an idea of where I was but not specific.
I’m glad I had my GPS with me and my Kindle as I was able to pull up Google maps where I was>Form that location I could go east or west.

I choose west and headed for the Weeki Wachee and the Gulf.
There was a bit more traffic through there until I hit 19 and crossed over.
Then it was once again open winding roads, salt creeks and marsh land.

After finding a couple parks and taking some pictures I turned around and headed back.
As I was moving south something popped into my mind, of a road I used to travel many years ago.
There was a farm there that used to have some unusual animals.
It was not out of the way on the trip back so I decided to check it out.

Sure enough the farm was still there and so were the animals.
I pulled off on a road along side the farm and started taking pictures>
Getting back on my bike I pulled out on the main road road but pulled over again to take more pictures.

In my haste I left the key on and my GPS on.
When I got back on the bike it wouldn’t start.
The battery had run down.

Okay, no problem I thought, I was on the uphill side of a grade.

I’ll wake the bike across the road, get some momentum and jump start the engine.
A good plan.

When I got to the other side of the road there was some traffic coming so I moved off on the shoulder.

Now mind you I.m not on the bike, I’m pushing it.

The cars went past and I went to get on the bike and as I did I lost my balance.
I went down, the bike went down.
Now I suppose most would think this is terrible, and it was.
This was also a moment of truth for me, could I get the bike back up?

Thankfully I could with no problem.
What was even nicer was someone had come around the curve saw the bike down and stopped asking if I needed any help.

I already had the bake back up and was glad that I knew now that I could.
Getting on I rolled it down the grade, jump started it and off I went.

So other then my pride being a bit bruised, every thing was fine.
The trip went well, the bike handled well and was very comfortable to ride.
Looking forward to planning another trip soon, maybe a little further out next time.




Water Buffalo and Emu



Christmas came early

For a little while I’ve been tooling around in my brain about getting a bigger bike. While my Rebel and I have been on some exciting trips together I have also come to realize that a little bike does have some limitations.
Of late I have even been commuting back and forth to work on it making the most of the weather we have been enjoying here.

The thought process I have been putting into what I want in a new bike is able to carry more stuff, bug enough to maybe take someone along with me, more power for longer trips, etc.

I had really thought of not doing anything until sometime next year, but I had already began doing my homework to see what I might want, what is available and of course cost.

It was in this research process that I found it.
The bike was clean, the engine size was just what I was looking for, the style was exactly what I wanted, low miles, and the bells and whistles I had on my list as well; windshield, engine bars, sissy bar, and saddle bags.

Even with all this I tried to put i tout of my mind, it wasn’t time, I wasn’t ready.
Then one day riding home from work I saw this bike up ahead of me, it looked sharp, made me take notice.
A red light hit and I had to stop, I pulled up along side the rider and said hi.
Asked him what bike that was, unbelievable but it was the same year, model, and make of bike I had come across.
He said he just bought it a few weeks ago and it was a great bike, best thing he ever bought.

At that point my wheels were turning, I went back online and the bike was still listed.
I ran the finances through my mind, it would work, it is doable.
Picking up the phone came the next hurdle, was it still for sale, it was
We worked to a time for me to go see it.
When I got there the bike was as good as the pictures he put up.

In the end we worked out an equitable deal and the bike now has a new home with me.
This morning it goes in for new tires and tomorrow I’ll be ready to ride.

I am now the proud owner of a 2001 Honda Shadow ACE Deluxe


Last weekend while I was out riding I came across an old building that caught my eye. so I stopped and took some pictures.

As you can see the name of the place is the Hacienda, the date on there is when the building had been built.
When I returned home I did some investigating and came to find out the hotel was billed as a little bit of Spain in Florida. from it’s Mediterranean style.
Originally it had been a hotel of a grand scale.

Inception of the Hacienda began in 1925 and ground breaking began in 1927 with the opening of the 55 room facility occurring in 1927.

The Hacienda was a playground for famous people at the time with actors such as Thomas Meighan, Leon Errol, and Madeline Cameron along with writers like Bob Davis, George Ade, Ring Lardner, Hal W. Lanigan among others.
It was even reported that Gloria Swanson was sighted staying there.

The court yard as it is today.

Over the years the Hacienda changed hands, weathered the Great Depression but by the early 40’s was in a downturn due to World War II.

The hotel changed hands numerous times over the years and by the 60’s – 70’s began floundering.

In 1885 the hacienda was turned into an assisted living facility; several years after it became a home for elderly people with mental disabilities.
Then in 1996 the Hacienda was added to the National register of Historic Places.
Not to long after that the Hacienda was vacated and has been empty ever since.
In 2003  the city of new Port Richey purchased the property but it is still sitting empty with no plans to resurrect it.

The hotel is now considered to be haunted where claims from the elevator opening on its own and footsteps being heard.

You can read more of the history of the Hacienda here:

Grill work on the wall

The courtyard, Fountain and main entrance.

Window over the main entrance and lamp

Current resident of the Hacienda

Close up of the fountain

Vines growing on the building


Upper Balcony

Close up of crest and balcony lantern


Looking up the roof

Signs of disrepair

Veterans Day

I was out riding yesterday enjoying the the day when as I was cruising through a small town I saw signs they were having a Eco-Day festival.
The event was to broaden peoples awareness of the parks and nature in general and was being marked with a weekend long carnival, craft show, and other events.

As I was walking around I noticed a trailer and it was a custom bike shop, they were there to raffle off a bike.
As I came up on it I took a look at the bike , it was a customized Harley honoring veterans.

I asked if it was alright if I took some pictures and they told me it was fine, so here are some shots of the bike.

I thanked them for letting me take the pictures and donated $5.00 for the raffle.

Most of all Thank You to all the people past and present who have served this country!

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The weather here has finally broken and what we consider fall has arrived here in The Sunshine State.

With the cooler weather the opportunity for riding has increased and I have been making the most of it. Even to the point that I have been taking the bike to commute to work.

Leaving early in the morning as I do 6:30a.m. was at first a bit daunting to say the least. I choose a route that is all along side roads and has little traffic.
The first morning was almost surreal. I was the only vehicle on the road. Now the first time I rode to work I was on the early shift so I had to leave the house no later then 5:30a.m.
When I drive the car I take main roads and even at that time there are a good number of people out on the road.

Not seeing other traffic was a very interesting thing to see.

The route I took takes me along the coast and at one point runs right along the water. When I came to that point I slowed down as I was in awe of what I saw. The morning was clear and calm, the water along the Intercoastal was like glass. Clearwater Beach was lit up like a Christmas tree with all the lights from the hotels and condo’s.

The reflection along the water was amazing. Breathtaking!

Now during the day there is a fair amount of traffic along this road along with foot traffic with people walking and jogging along the water.
At that hour of the day there was none of that which gave me the freedom to slow down and soak it all in.

When I bought my bike I had it checked out by a mechanic to make sure it was alright and didn’t need anything.
The day I went to pick it up he told me there was one thing wrong with the bike.

I held my breath momentarily and then he said “It needs to be ridden”

Well I’ve been doing that and enjoying every minute of it.

Matter of fact from spending so much time on the bike as I have of late has had me thinking of what to look for in my next bike.

A Reprieve

I have been granted a reprieve so to speak. It will be three weeks ago this coming Tuesday since I have had my first epidural.

The pain has diminished considerably; matter of fact it is about 60% gone.
In between it all I have been having more pain free time and only short moments of minimal pain.

On the 21st of this month I have a follow up with the doctor and the second injection will be scheduled.
It has been 10 months now since this back pain has become a part of my life and it is wonderful to finally feel some relief.
At the time I didn’t realize the fog I have been looking through and that has lifted.
Now I find myself wanting to catch up with many of the things I had put to the side while this has been going on.

Since it has been so long that I have been inactive I decided to take a Tai Chi class to help stretch and loosen my muscles.
I went to the first class this morning and I thoroughly enjoyed it
The person teaching the class is a wonderful teacher, willing to go as slow or as fast as everyone needs to in order to pick up on the moves.
I know I will be sore tomorrow as I was using some muscles that hadn’t been put to use in a while, that kind of hurting is a good kind.

The weather has begun to break here with the humidity level dropping considerably.
I’ve been waiting for this as I have been looking forward to making some longer rides now that I am used to being on the bike.
Even today I left early, right at sunrise, rode for a bit, stopped for breakfast, and went to Tai Chi class.

Afterwords I went to a park and walked around a bit taking some pictures.
I’ll be posting some of them here as time goes by but you can also see a daily picture that I post here:

It feels good to be on the way to being whole again.!

Riding and Pictures

I’ve always loved taking pictures, usually I always have a camera in my pocket, in the car, or even in my lunch bag going to work. When I started riding my bike I would carry my Pentax point n shoot with me always ready to take a picture.

Recently I had a opportunity to upgrade myself to a Canon DSLR camera. I didn’t hesitate not for the deal I got it for. The camera is a Canon EOS Rebel T3 with a EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens wide angle lens and a EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens. Years ago I had a Pentax K100 SLR which I loved and used for many years, but then with life it drifted away and the digital point and shoots came along. With riding and taking pictures I got the bug for a better camera and my wish was answered.

I still had the camera bag from when I had the old Pentax and everything fit nicely in there, even the filters I had for the Pentax lenses fit the new lenses. Now there was one problem, the camera bag wouldn’t fit in my saddle bag, it was just to big and bulky. So I was still left with how to carry the camera with me on my bike.

The search began, it took me a while but finally I found something that looked like it was going to work out perfectly.

My answer came in the form of the Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling.

It has been an answer to all my needs for carrying my camera with me when riding my bike. The camera fits in the main bag with the telephoto lens mounted on it and a side pocket for a second lens. There are numerous other little pockets for carrying spare batteries, memory cards, and other small items. The best part of this is the bag wears as a sling so I can have it strapped across my back while riding. Even with the camera in it the weight is negligible. The bag had a strap that goes around the waist to snug the bag to you so it doesn’t move around.

The other nice part about the bag is that it is compact enough to fit in my saddle bag with the camera in it if need be.


Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling (Black)


With the cool weather hopefully coming soon and the pasing of the summer storms I’m looking forward to some longer rides now that I am getting used to my bike and taking some photo’s.

Rain gear, who needs it.

It was early in the morning and I was wide awake, early enough that there was still an hour or so before the sun would be coming up.
Outside the air was warm but not overly hot for this time of the year. I decided to take the bike out for a ride.

Before I left I went and checked the weather and a peek at the radar. There was a band of rain showing north of me but it was moving west to east and not moving south in my direction so I decided to go for it.

On the bike the air felt cool and comfortable, I ended up riding for almost two hours before I decided to stop for a cup of coffee and a bite to eat.

Ending up at a Starbucks I settled in with my coffee and sandwich, I had my Kindle with me and checked some emails and did some reading while I was there.
A few times my eyes glanced to the sky and I could see the dark clouds looming north but I had myself convinced they weren’t going to make it close enough to rain on me.
Finally I decided to get back on the road and head south, it was still early enough that traffic was light and quiet.
A few drops of rain splattered on me; the big ole fat rain drops. When I looked at the sky it was just a small cloud and again I kept going on my way.

As I was going through one area I saw a sign for a local Tai Chi Society and I decided to stop. I’ve been interested for some time but had never made a big effort to pursue it.
I talked for quite some time to the folks there and gathered some information on when the next beginners classes were coming up.
As I was getting ready to leave one of the ladies I was talking to said, “I hope you don’t get wet.”
That was when I looked at the sky and how it had changed, the clouds had moved south, they were dark, low, and ominous.

Not much I could do at that point so I started riding, heading back north.

At first it wasn’t bad, I made some good time and there was just a few light sprinkles of rain. I began to think I was going to make it without any problem.

The sky opened up on me. The rain came down in torrents, luckily I was close to a shopping center and I was able to duck under there till the rain let up.
I was wet, but not soaked at this point, so when the rain let up I moved on.

No more then two miles up the road the sky opened up once again. This time I was not so lucky, there was no where for me to duck and cover.
I kept moving, at this point I was soaked. Having an open helmet didn’t help any either, the rain kept getting in my eyes.
It was another mile before I came to another shopping center I could pull over into. I left the bike at the curb and ran under the overhang.

The only spot on me that was dry by that time was the top of my head because of the helmet.
I stood there and watched the rain pelting down and watched the sky. It didn’t look good at all. It had turned into the kind of rain that looked like it would keep up all day.
While I stood there I head a door open at one of the stores and the owner came out, he greeted me and said he wasn’t sure if he was seeing right, that someone was out on a bike.
We talked for about an hour and with the weather he had no business coming in so it helped to pass the time till the rain let up.

When it finally did let up I hopped right back on my bike in the hopes I would beat the next wave of rain.
I was doing pretty well almost out of the last town which would have then put me on fairly open road and a straight shot.
Luck wasn’t with me, the road was flooded and it was too deep for me to try and go through. Then I had to sit and wait as no one would stop to let me turn around and go back the way I came.
Finally someone in a truck stopped and let me get back out on the road.

I began going through side streets to make my way around the flooded road, it took a bit but I did find another route, but not before it started raining again.
Thankfully though it wasn’t another gully washer of a downpour so I kept going.

When I made it back to the house I was a sight to behold; I was ready for a hot cup of coffee and a hot shower.

I will be investing in some rain gear very shortly.

Long and short of it all

I woke up way earlier then I needed to this morning and in a way I was rewarded by it by being treated with a magnificent night sky. I had a lot on my mind and I was a pleasant distraction.

As the first hint of dawn began lighting the sky I decided to take the bike out for a ride. It had rained during the night and the air has a crisp fresh feel to it. As I hit the main road picking up speed the cool air blowing past my face my senses woke up and I became more aware of my surroundings.

I needed the time to think, the time alone to process some information.

Back in January I began noticing a pain in the middle of my back that at tines would come around thee to the front just undress my rib. I went to the doctor and after a number of tests it was determined that I was healthy as a horse. After a while the pain began to diminish and I put it down to a pulled muscle.

The pain resurfaced and I decided to persue it once more so again back to the doctor. My doctor decided to take a differeñt route this time and ordered an MRI of my back.

Two days later my doc called and said she was refferring me to an orthopedic.  I made the appointment and off I went.

What happened was not quite what I expected. He told me the scans showed my disks in my spine from my neck to the top of my lower back are either bulging or herniated, hence the cause of my pain.

Since then I’ve talked to two other doctors, the prognosis is the same, my thoracic spine is degenerating. The bone itself is fine but all the disks are bad.

Monday I have an appointment with a therapist for an evaluation to start physical therapy. Then in two weeks an appointment to meet with a surgeon.

Will it come to surgery, I don’t know yet. Most of it depends on how my back responds to physical therapy.

The long and short of it is my back is not going to get better over time it will continue to get worse.

I’ve been processing a lot of information.

Wall Springs Park

With TS Debby now a fading memory I awoke to a beautiful morning.
The air was crisp and cool with not a cloud in the sky.

I was itching to get out on the bike so as I was up just before dawn I was on the road by 6:30

My ride took me to Wall Springs Park which I hadn’t been to in many years.
So I stopped and took a walk around. I was pleasantly surprised to see some new additions to the park and was able to take some pictures.

They added a number of new benches to the park. Benches you say, benches are everywhere, along the streets, at bus stops, etc, etc.
But not benches like these, they were made from old Cypress trees and left pretty much in their natural shape .

They are more like art work in and of themselves even though they are functional.

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