Rent a Bike
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Renter Testimonial, Casey Anders
I pulled over to the shoulder of the road. It was a precarious spot to be in a torrential downpour on a bike. But the alternative? The alternative was to ride blindly. I had wiped my eyes and glasses so much that I practically was riding without my left hand on the bars. I checked behind me for traffic, put the bike in gear, and took off again, knowing that there couldn't be a gas station too far ahead. Shortly after I found my port in the storm. I dumped out my boots and sloshed inside, looking like a kitten that had got caught in a storm drain. I was drenched, but full of vim and vigor. I moseyed around, planning my next move.
"I wouldn't go East if I were you," the clerk warned, pointing towards the weather forecast on the TV, "there are storms along the coast." Everyone said the coast would be clear, I thought. Literally everyone I talked to said the storms in Florida are brief and spotty and that the coast was usually free of the scattered storms. We have a saying in the Midwest, "If you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes." I figured it would be the same in Florida. I desperately clung to that sentiment, even after obsessively checking the forecast. I knew better. I didn't care. I booked this trip months ago, and by Hades, I was going to make it to the ocean.
"I'm worried for you, but you look like you've done this before," the clerk said as I was leaving. This isn't my first rodeo, I thought. True, I had ridden in the rain before. But I was way better prepared those times. Those times before I had proper rain gear, a better helmet, a full rear fender... but smooth seas never made for a skilled sailor.
Allow me to back up, explaining why I was even in Orlando, Florida riding a motorcycle during a tropical storm front. I'm a tax accountant for AMC Theatres. You've seen movies, right? It's possible you've watched one at an AMC Theater. They sent me to the Sunshine State for training. I decided to make the most of free airfare. Months previously, I chose to fly in to Orlando two days early and rent a bike for the weekend. I was so excited to tour Florida on a bike! Orlando was close enough to ride to the ocean. I wanted to visit the beach, cruise the marsh lands, I wanted to see gators! Imagine my devastation the week before I fly in, knowing the chance of rain was hovering around 75-100% every single day. Discouraged about the weekend forecast, I packed my umbrella Saturday morning and caught an Uber.
I went to Standard Motorcycle Company. I knew they were doing rentals through Twisted Road. I had my heart eyes set on a custom ‘91 Sportster. I didn't have a reservation, but I did have my charming good looks and excellent personality. Ok, ok, so the real MVPs here were the referrals I had gotten: Yarik at Orlando Harley and Giselle Costa. Sometimes it's not what you know, but who you know. One hour and a suspected fraudulent credit card hold later, and I was on the road. (Notify your credit card company of travel, folks. You won't regret it.)
So now you know how I ended up buying children's swim goggles so I could complete my voyage to the beach. When the storm unleashed on me, I was half way to Cocoa Beach. I was already 100% soaked. The thunder and lightning had ceased, all that remained was a steady light rain and a steady stubbornness to keep going.
Well, I made it to Cocoa Beach. I was soaked. My bag and its contents were soaked. The exposed air cleaner got soaked. At that point, you wouldn't have been able to tell if I had just emerged straight from the ocean. My shoes were dumped once again, I peeled off my socks. I left my pants rolled down because why bother now? I paraded into the ocean.
I never did see any gators, but I did eat some.
- Casey Anders