I packed up in the morning and headed back to Daytona. The weather was nice but at Einstein bagels I overheard that there is a storm coming. Sure enough, clouds appeared on the horizon.
Daytonna didn’t inspire me to stop and check out the beach with how overcast it was outside. It got nicer as I got further south and here is another picture looking back at Daytona from the bridge to 1 South.
I was getting close to where the space shuttle was launched and enjoyed looking across the bay and imagining this very big event happening. I kept driving and came to a few other interesting spots before seeing all the signs for cruise ships at Cape Canaveral. The bridge looked too big without a big enough shoulder and I headed to the South bridge. The other reason I hate “highways” is because once you are on, you are typically stuck. I am talking about the two lane one way roads without any signals to turn off for a ways. Sure you may be able to legally bicycle with the other traffic going 55 if you are crazy. Once you’re on, you’re on. Good luck on safely doing a u turn. Sometimes its just a white knuckle, teeth clenching few miles till the next road or pull off point. I pulled into the grass right away and asked someone who was fishing what they thought. They agreed that the south bridge would be much better. I have noticed a lot of people pulling off the roads and backing their car up to the trees for a more secluded place to swim or catch some fish in Florida. I did some quick off-roading to the closest side road that led to the south bridge. It was a much safer fit and the road continued past Patrick Air Force base.
With the bad weather forecasted for the night, I caved in and booked a motel near Varo beach. It was too late for me to find a good camping spot with having to set up the rainfly, and I was excited about the free breakfast. Gotta love free breakfast.
I headed out in the morning, planning to get all the way to Miami. When I grabbed some gas I noticed that they play TV at the gas pump while you are pumping! Who was the one behind this idea? I am not a fan at all and don’t appreciate the noise while I am pumping. I wonder if there is anyone that really loves it or if it is just some big business person’s idea. The road from 1 South was highly commercialized with a lot of shops, gas stations, and fairly uninteresting things to see for quite a while. It wasn’t until I got to A1A by Palm Beach that I was inspired again. I made it back to the intricately maintained yards and unique stunning houses. Riding was very sweet again. When I am riding the nice roads, time just slips away losing its control. It doesn’t matter to me how long I am riding when everything I am driving past has a certain charm or uniqueness to study and learn from.
For this particular area, I felt like I had been transported to Monte Carlo. There were Porsche’s driving around with me on this scenic road past these million dollar homes. It even felt like the road could have been exclusive to the residents living there. It wove around through more perfectly manicured lawns and expansive ocean views with a speed limit varying between 25 and 35 mph. With speeds like this, you know you have arrived at the destination, and aren’t trying to go 55 mph or more to get there.
Just down the road I noticed the front of a cop car sticking out, and I cruised on by. Worrying about your speed when mopeding by a cop is not something that you normally ever have to worry about and today was no exception. I was going the correct speed and noticed him pulling out behind me. Of course… He must have noticed the back of my moped and the difference in Florida rules. With a car buffering him and I, I drove for a hundred feet or so and noticed him edge left to see around the car. I pulled into the first drive to see if they would both pass. (With cars behind me, I typically like to let them pass anyway.)
He pulled in behind me and officer Zeller stepped out. Asking a lot of questions, he was understandably unfamiliar with the Michigan rules for a moped and tried to do some cross checking with the VIN number. I was very polite in waiting and telling him my story as he asked. He was not happy about my moped not meeting the Florida requirements. I am not one to argue and create more of a problem and did not ask what he thought was required for vehicles traveling through from another state. I listened to what advice or what kind of trouble I was in. In the spirit of him doing his job, he hands me a court date for November. Lovely, just lovely.
The officer asked about registration and I searched through my bag and under the moped seat with no luck. The guy I got the Bintelli from had just put a sticker on it and said I could use it till it needed to be renewed. The registration was still in his name, and I just had his permission to use it. A 50cc moped in Michigan falls into a different class of vehicles and does not require insurance at all. You pay 15 dollars and get a sticker that is good for 3 years. The moped was still legally licensed for Michigan through 2017. The officer tried using his database with the VIN number to look up the scooter but didn’t have any luck. I am not sure that they are even uploaded into their database with the special class of vehicle. Regardless, it would have been smart to make sure the registration was in my bag. Every other time I have been stopped, I have never been asked for registration. Even one time in Michigan, there has never been a request for registration. I am not sure if you have to have it with the moped like with a car.
He recommended checking about this citation he wrote for me with the court house downtown, and off I drove to find someone who was more familiar and could hopefully clear this up. I suppose Officer Zeller was just trying to do his job and told me to talk with the second floor of the courthouse today.
When I got to the courthouse, the icing on top of the cake is the charge for parking. It’s the city, so paid parking isn’t uncommon, but what a way to make money. Need to pay your ticket? Drop 5 dollars in for parking to walk in and take care of it. There are not refunds and if you put in a five dollar bill, you won’t get any cash back. Ahh the city…
I walked up, excited to get this taken care of and found out that it is closed for a Jewish holiday. 😦 I will have to come back tomorrow.
For the first time in a while, I was actually in a bit of bind. I didn’t want to pay out for another motel and didn’t even want to think about the prices for West Palm Beach Florida. And I had to stay. I skeptically (with it being such late notice) messaged a couch surfer named Cassandra. Many times, hosts understandable won’t be available or see the message in time. She graciously messaged me back offering to host me. I waited around at a cafe while some heavy rain showers came through.
After a very small quick dinner, I headed over to my host for the night. Cassandra was incredible. She had a whole separate room for me to stay the night and try and get this official matter cleared up tomorrow. I had some pasta with her that she made for dinner and listened to the amazing trips that she has taken all over the world. At 24, she is a business owner selling horses to high end clients and travels internationally with her work. Really setting the bar high, let me tell ya Cassandra! Not only this, but she makes time to travel with her business and is going to be adventuring on the other side of the world for a month! 😛 Inspirational.
With the storm that was coming through, we sat in some chairs out back and just watched the lightning dancing across the sky. The rain hadn’t started yet, on this nice, warm night in West Palm Beach Florida. Sitting around the pool was a great spot to see the lightning’s performance, as the pool floats aimlessly drifted around and the palm tree branches gently swayed. There is nothing I would rather be doing more, as these kind of adventures are some I really love the most!
It wasn’t too long until the rain drops started splashing down and I headed to bed with big plans for tomorrow. I so badly wanted some answers on what needs to happen next.
To be continued.
P.S. More pictures and updates will be posted tomorrow.