Monday, June 27, 2011

June 26, 2011 Day 4 There’s a first time for everything.

So today was supposed to be a longer day, but it ended up being the shortest day so far. I slept in a bit today since I didn’t have to be in Palm Beach Gardens until 1pm. I rolled out of bed at 9 and was out the door by 9:45. I was starting to feel a bit sore so I popped a couple Advils and called it good. In the two nights I spent at Andy’s it already started to feel a bit at home. Thank you again Andy and Angie, I really can’t thank you two enough, I had a great time. Andy, good luck and ride safe to Prudhoe and Angie, have fun in Paris! Hope to ride with you guys again one day.

At 10:15, I was to call into a radio show to talk about my ride during a motorcycle segment called American Biker Talk Radio ran by the main chapter of Enforcers Motorcycle club. I’ve never been on the radio before so I was definitely nervous. But it wasn’t near as bad as I thought it would be. Hopefully I didn’t sound like a complete idiot. Rosco made it easy for me though. After about 10 minutes or so I was done, so I left the gas station in Homestead and made my way towards Palm Beach Gardens.

I arrive at the Project Lifesavers International headquarters at 12:30 and was greeted by Elizabeth Kappes. She has been the one working hard behind the scenes to set up all the media events and all kinds of things for this ride. We chatted for a bit while waiting for Chief Gene Saunders(Founder of Project Lifesaver and Sheriff Extraordinaire) to get there. Chief arrives with his wife Jeanne. So Gene and Jeanne. Chief showed me the Project Lifesaver transmitter and explained how everything worked from installing the transmitter, to search procedures and gave me a brief history on Project Lifesavers. Check out, it’s a very cool device and they have had over 2,400 successful rescues over 1,200 agencies all over the US, Canada and Australia. My ears perked up when he said Australia. Potential next trip??? I think so!

Chief Saunders Founder of Project Lifesaver

We watched a couple of the PLI videos and also a video made by Mutual of Omaha for their Aha moments. They made lots of these videos with different people and they will pick the top 10 videos to air on television. Check it out and vote for Chief!

While watching videos, we heard of group of bikes rolling by. The Enforcers are here. Taken straight from their website, “The Enforcers Motorcycle Club consists of, but is not limited to members of Law Enforcement/Armed Forces/Public Safety/Professional backgrounds. The enforcers Motorcycle Club promotes an enjoyable, friendly atmosphere with an opportunity to meet and ride with those who love to ride.
We went out and greeted everyone and hung out and chatted for a while. I checked out all their bikes while they checked mine out. I don’t know if they were expecting to see a sport bike kitted up or a cruiser of some sort. Most people are surprised by the amount of stuff I carry on the bike, hell, Im surprised myself.

It was awesome meeting and talking with everyone, great group of folks. One in particular used to be an ex-road racer, read Japanese sport bikes so we bonded immediately, haha. He was telling me that me works with sharks, so of course I had to know more. Why? Because sharks are awesome, hence Shark Week. He tests shark repellents so I asked if he was the product tester. He says no, my friend does that, Im the guy behind the camera filming. I told him he was the smarter one, ha. But seriously though, that’s a pretty cool job. Look up 007shark attack on you tube for some videos.

We hung out for a while and took some pictures with my new friends, then Chief placed a transmitter bracelet on me so they could track me as we rode into the fundraiser. The Enforcers gave me an escort to the restaurant a few miles away. How cool is that? Ive never been escorted before and I never imagined that one day a group of Harleys would be doing it. Usually the sport bike guys and Harley guys don’t mix. We respect one another because two wheels is two wheels and we are all family in a sense. But to have these guys escort me in 2x2 was freakin cool. I couldn’t tell if my bike was even running at times, haha.

The Enforcers

Lady Enforcers

I really want to thank Rosco and the rest of the guys and Lady Enforcers for being part of the show and making an unforgettable experience for me.

Rosco and wife(?) Terrible memory, I apologize if I got that wrong.

the two rows of bikes in front, and then everyone else trailing for the escort.

When we get to the restaurant(Russels Blue Water Grill), there is a group of people and a TV camera waiting for us. Yikes, now Ive gottta be on TV? I really hope they edited out all the ummms, and ands…… Hopefully they send me the link to the 6:00 News so I can watch myself stutter through the interview, ha. We went in and had some appetizers and drinks and I did the meet and greet with everyone. Fantastic people all around. There were several in particular that really stood out to me. First was Eddie, his father had alzheimers, mother had brain cancer and son has autism. Tough go. We chatted for quite a while, had some laughs and had a great time. Super cool guy. He says he has family in Boston that would probably take me in for a night so he said he would email me about it, sweet, I hope we can work something out with that since they seem really from cool what he described.

Eddie, we had some good laughs.

Next there was Charles Coe. He is the executive chef at Rusell’s Blue Water Grill. His resume was so extensive and impressive I can’t even remember it all. His short life story immediately caught my attention and I told him he needed to write a book. Guess what, he is. Its not about his crazy life story, but about cooking with coffee pots, as in for students living in dorm rooms and such who don’t have proper cooking utensils. It should be pretty cool, I can’t wait to see it. He had several really cool stories and one that stood out to me was the fact that he owns the Triumph that Tom Cruise rode in Mission Impossible. And no, I don’t mean he has A Triumph like Tom Cruise, I mean he has THE Triumph that Tom Cruise rode. How cool is that? Also, once he crashed a bike, broke his left shoulder and some other bones in that area, but still managed to ride the bike home. That’s a badass right there. I wished I could have stuck around and talked to him some more, I bet he had stories for days and I could have listened to every one. Somehow my camera didn’t get used when we took a picture together, maybe Elizabeth has that photo.

There were so many people I talked to that I could ramble on all night about it, but I need to finish this up and go to bed, Ive got a long day tomorrow.

Before I left, Chief Saunders gave me a PLI hat and shirt. Sweet, now I can toss the grungy Alpinestars hat Ive been wearing around. Then he said he had one more thing for me. It was something called a Challenge coin. Basically, it’s a coin or medallion used usually by military to prove membership and if one produces a challenge coin to someone and they can’t bring out one of their own, then the challenged buys the challenger a drink of their choice, but if the challenged can produce their own coin, then the challenger must buy the challenged a drink. Read the Wiki for the origins, it’s a pretty cool story. Chief Saunders gave me his own personal challenge coin which is just awesome and I almost had no words. I believe I said something like, “I hope I get some free drinks out of this….” haha….
Thanks Chief!

I was worried the stuff I got today wouldn't fit, but it did, barely, unfortunately they wouldn't fit in the dry bags so they were soaked by the rain.

Being the idiot that I am sometimes, I left my Spot tracker at the PLI office so I met Elizabeth and her husband over there to get it. It was going to rain soon so I changed into the rain gear and covered all the bags while I chatted with them before I left. Elizabeth’s husband is into the American Choppers show so we talked about that for a good while. I’m always up for a conversation about bikes, cars, anything with a motor, wheels and can breathe fire. Then the subject changed to basketball and I was a little out of my element. I’m not a huge fan of the stick and ball sports. Just racing for me. It was great to finally meet Elizabeth and Chief.

Elizabeth Kappes

I left Palm Beach Gardens at around 6pm. There is no way I’m getting to Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine where I already paid for a campsite. Oh well, too bad, I was looking forward to staying there but it was worth missing to stay at the fundraiser. It stormed on me for the next 1.5 hours up I-95. I was trying to decide how far I was going to go tonight when I remember that I was supposed to stop in Sebastian to visit my aunt and uncle. I also needed to give them a dvd my cousin Andy had made from our grandfathers funeral. So I got off at 512 and headed towards the restaurant. About half a mile from the restaurant, I ran into a road closure at a railroad crossing. WTH, the restaurant is right there, Id have to backtrack miles to detour. I got off the bike and went under the caution tape to see if I could get across. Nope, the pavement was completely torn up and the bike would have bottomed out on the tracks. This is when I need that KLR. So I backtracked and took 512 all the way down to US1. There, I took a quick picture of the bike by the water and a pier and met an older couple who were regular customers at my aunts and uncles restaurant. We talked for a bit, they asked about all the bags on the bike and it turns out that their church group has an Alzheimers meeting once a month. So I gave them a bunch of my cards and they promised to hand them out for me. I forget to ask them their names, but thank you!

My turnoff is just past this closure. I need a KLR.

Corner of 512 and US1

From there I went straight to the restaurant. They didn’t know I was coming today, I was supposed to stop by on the way down, but with the rain and my bag malfunction it didn’t work out so I surprised them today. I had a HUGE dinner and it was 9pm by the time I finished so they offered me a room at their place. Of course I accepted, can’t turn down a free bed with family, especially since Ive already paid for one and am not using it. My aunt wanted to get some fruits so she asked me what I wanted. She said I know you like watermelon, but what else do you want. Haha, she knows me pretty well. I asked for bananas since I get constant cramps in my legs and calf. It’s not from riding, I just get them all the time for some reason. The calf cramps are the worst. Back at their house, we have watermelon and I showed them my pictures thus far and also my mom’s(her sister) Facebook page. I had a beer with my uncle(it was a Bud light and I hardly consider that beer), I think that’s the first time I’ve ever had a beer with anyone in my family. I’m really glad I stopped by, its been an awesome day and it was a great way to end it with family.

I tried to catch the surprise face but was too slow and she got the peace sign up.

Main course


I heart watermelon.

If your ever in Sebastien, FL, this is a must visit. Tell them I sent you, I get a cut, j/k....

All my gear is still soaked from the storm and they are starting to smell pretty bad from all the constant rain and sweat. I’m gonna put them outside for tonight so they will hopefully dry a little before my 7am departure. I hate putting on wet gloves.

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