Friday, January 24, 2014

January Featured Destination - Key West, FL

If you’re the type of person who is looking for a complicated route or technical challenge to prove your advanced riding skills, this route is not for you. However, if you love warm breezes, lazy afternoons, gorgeous scenery, and unparalleled wildlife, get ready for the weekend escape of your life!

Start your journey at either the Monument Lake or Midway Campgrounds in Ochopee, FL. It’s easy to get to from Miami or Naples. Due to its perfect location in the middle of the Big Cypress National Preserve, combined with easy access via the Tamiami Trail, you will never be far from civilization… while finding it easy to forget it even exists!

Head east for about 50 miles until you get to the town of Tamiami itself. You might want to get gas around this area, if you didn’t already before leaving BigCypress National Preserve. Hang a right and take the ramp onto the South Florida Turnpike. Once you’re on the highway, you’ll go about two miles before you come through the tollbooth, which charges $1.00 for bikes.

Once through, it’s a straight shot -- or rather, a long and meandering ride -- until you reach South Dixie Highway, a.k.a. US-1 South. Take the left exit marked “Key West” and start working your way south. Nearby, you’ll also find the EvergladesNational Park, a must-see icon of American culture.

From there, it’s a leisurely half hour ride to Key Largo, where you bear right to stay on US-1 South as it turns into Overseas Highway. This is the halfway point of your one-way trip, 2 hours and 100 miles from your starting point and 2 hours and 100 miles from your destination.

After that, enjoy the different bridges and keys as you cruise at a leisurely pace over the waters until you reach Key West itself. Keep an eye out for seabirds, alligators, turtles, dolphins, and more.
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Gift Ideas and Projects for Motorcyclists

You have no idea what to get your motorcycle buff for Valentine's Day (or their birthday). If you can't spring for a new bike, think more along the line of motorcycle accessories.
Easy Accessories
  • Street gloves cost around $30 and can provide moderate protection from extreme weather conditions and accidents.
  • A full-faced motorcycle helmet is reasonably priced and can help keep the rider warm and safe during the ride.
  • A jacket might be just what your biker-friend needs, or at least wants for those brisk weather months.
  • Saddlebags to hold the wallets, paperwork or anything the biker might need.
  • If you truly know your biker's taste, choose a decal that expresses their personality and let them decide where to apply it.
 DIY Gifts
If you are mechanically inclined, perhaps you're thinking of putting your skills to use as a gift instead of buying something that needs to be wrapped.
Clean the air filter. It doesn't sound glamorous, but how about cleaning your friend's air filter? Motorcycle air filters come in three types: oiled, fabric, and paper—and all are fairly easy to clean.
Install a Windshield. A proper windshield will add a layer of protection and block the wind from getting in the motorcyclist's face. Keep in mind that most windshields are more for function than style, and they might not want one attached all the time. There are removable windshields for use only when taking long trips or through high winds, and can be kept off of the bike during regular cruising.
Frame Repair. How about a little frame repair? Online you can find a few tips for this service, such as adjusting the jig and scanning for cracks.
Revive the Bike. If you really want to go whole hog (pun intended) on your friend's motorcycle, give it a try! At the high end of services is rebuilding the engine, which might involve tasks such as replacing the oil pump and head fasteners and resetting the ignition timing. The costs depend on the type, model, make and age of the bike. The benefit of helping the bike owner with labor is that it can be a fun learning experience. 
If you need further inspiration, a heartwarming YouTube video shows how two brothers secretly restore their dad's old motorcycle, and his reaction.

Trader Online Web Developer