Triking Into Retirement

Never too old to trike!

January 15, 2015
by Pj Belanger
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Welcome to the Triking Into Retirement Blog

Welcome to the new Triking Into Retirement blog, a companion to the book by the same name.Triking Into Retirement

Retirement means having the time to pursue your dreams of traveling. This book explores the world of three wheeled motorcycles and proves that you are never too old to try new things.
⇒ Explore the experience of travel across country in the open air on a trike.
⇒ Learn about the ins and outs of motorcycling – three wheeled style!
Retirement can be fun and exciting.Triking Cover
We hope you contribute information for other trikers or potential trikers.
The ebook, Triking Into Retirement, can be found at Amazon, and most online bookstores. The full-color paperback can be found at Amazon or at our website.

You can also find more information about Pj Belanger’s other books at PjBelanger.com

March 19, 2016
by Pj Belanger
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Daytona Speedweek 2016

Daytona Bikeweek – March 5, 2016

Daytona Int'l Speedway

Daytona Int’l Speedway – Pj and Nate

Saturday morning was slightly cool. So, I made sure we had our extra jackets and extra socks. I got our water bottles loaded in the trike and we made sure our helmets were working – we have an intercom system. All set, ready to head to Daytona Beach- a big day for me as I am now well enough to try a long ride. Whoppee!

 

Unfortunately not every trip goes smoothly. Roger had been working on the trike the day before and had left the trike’s radio on. The trike was dead in the water. We had to meet the rest of our Harley group going to Daytona in half an hour. Our son and future daughter-in-law were to meet us at the dealer where the rest of the group was assembling. Panic was hanging in the air. We had to push the trike out of the garage and next to our car. We hooked up the jumper cables (after removing the seat and battery cover). After a few tries – the trike’s engine roared to life, and we put the cover and seat back on. (Of course I had to remind Roger that it was my idea to keep the jumper cables when we moved to Florida – I couldn’t resist!)

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March 14, 2016
by Pj Belanger
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A Cold Day in Florida

February 6, 2016, A cold day loop around Lake Harris

We had been taking short trips around Clermont and Groveland, Fl. over the last couple of weeks, building up my endurance and giving the trike a workout. We decided one Saturday to take a longer ride. I knew it was cold, BUT I had no idea just how cold it really was. We set off down Rte. 50 over to Rte. 33. Despite my several layers of clothes – I felt the freezing cold wind whipping by me. At least I had Roger to hide behind and he was glad for his windshield.

Yalaha German Bakery We headed into Mascotte and then headed towards Okahumpka on Rte. 33. Okahumpka, besides having a funny name, only has a population of about 250 people. Before you know it, you’re past that town – look quickly or you’ll miss it. We were going to go to Leesburg and visit a polish deli but it was SO cold we decided to cut over at Okahumpka and headed around the south shore of Lake Harris on Rte 48 to Yalaha where we stopped at the quaint Yalaha German bakery and restaurant.

It was packed with tons of motorcycles and cars. I guess everyone else had the same idea of warming up. The restaurant has numerous mouth watering pastries and tasty sandwich plates. It is one of the few places I know that makes a great baloney sandwich (yeah I have fancy tastes!). After warming up for a little while, we went straight to Howey-in-the-Hills and beelined it back home where I had a big cup of hot cocoa – I don’t think I stopped shivering for an hour! Still it was an experience and reminded me why we don’t live in the North anymore!

A GOOD TIP- it is important to wear several layers of clothing while triking in cold weather – remember you can always take off clothes but you can’t put more on if you don’t have them. SO, be prepared, even in Florida!

March 3, 2016
by Pj Belanger
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Finally back on the trike! Oh happy day…

January 16, 2016

Hickory Point Recreation Park, Tavares, Florida

Lake Harris bridge

Lake Harris bridge

Nothing felt greater, after seven months of not riding the trike, than to get back on our motorcycle and head out towards Tavares, Florida – a small quaint town that is charming. It is known as “America’s Seaplane City”. Cute shops, nice restaurants and interesting scenery abound in this marina-type vacation spot. It was a great place to start “triking” again. A short loop ride from where we live.

 

IMG_20160116_124622Unfortunately, I had open-heart surgery in October. After a heart attack in June, I spent last summer on tests and hospital stays which resulted in my surgery in October. After 4 months of recovery, I finally got the okay to start “triking” again.

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April 27, 2015
by Pj Belanger
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Leesburg Bikefest 2015

A Blast to Attend!

The three-day Bikefest in Leesburg, located in Central Florida takes place every April. Approaching Downtown LeesburgFor us it kind of starts the Florida Summer cycle. Hot weather is coming! It is one of our favorite bike festivals and is just three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) of total fun. What is so great about Leesburg is that it is a Community Event. The residents of towns surrounding this small city all get involved. The city goes from a budding rose to a full-blown flower that every biker in the area just has to go and enjoy. Over 300,000 bikers join the festivities, coming from all over the country! But it is the local surrounding area that adds to the flavor and makes it something rare and special.

Welcome to Bikefest 2015Some examples of how the local area is all caught up in the excitement: When we stopped at a restaurant just outside of Leesburg on our way home from the Bikefest late Friday afternoon the waitresses all asked about how the rally was going. The whole restaurant just started talking freely about the various vendors that were attending, of the bands that were performing and of the events scheduled. On Friday afternoon we had visited the Leesburg Harley Dealership (Gator Harley). It was like going to a country fair but then on Saturday afternoon we went to our local Clermont Harley Dealership (Stormy Hill Harley) – it’s about half an hour south of Leesburg – and again tents Evening falls on Bikefest 2015were everywhere, a band was playing, ice cream and food booths had delicious fare and even Camping World was there showing off their newest “Toy Hauler” which of course we loved. Then after Clermont, we headed up to Leesburg again. On Saturday night we stopped with the trike at a Groveland grocery store on the way home from Leesburg. I was waiting for Roger in the parking lot and people were coming up asking “Have you’ve been to Leesburg?” Some of the questioners had already gone to Leesburg, some were going on Sunday. These are just some of the example of how “local” this Bikefest is.

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April 7, 2015
by Pj Belanger
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A ROUND ABOUT WAY OF GETTING TO UMATILLA

One of the best reasons to join a motorcycling group, besides the wonderful riders you meet, is the out-of-the-way places you end up going to. The leaders of the group always seem to know the best places to go. On a recent Saturday group ride from Clermont (central Florida), on a beautiful warm day, we did a journey that wound us through Monteverde, Ferndale, Astatula, and into Tavares. From there we took a circuitous route around the west side of Lake Eustis to Lisbon and then along the south side of Lake Yale to Rt 19 north of Eustis. From there we headed north toward Umatilla. After a late breakfast, we worked our way back home along a different (more direct) route.

It was the type of day when unusual sightings filled the ride. First on the way IMG_20150404_112939_749to our meeting place we saw several hot air balloons. They dotted the horizon with their colorful inflatables; it was a sign of what was to come. Later, we would see two sea-planes, flying in formation overhead. There are so many lakes in Central Florida that they could have been headed anywhere. Then outside of Howey-in-the-Hills (yes that’s the name of a town here) we saw a bald eagle atop its huge nest- majestic and beautiful. At one point a flock of buzzards, they were quite large- up close and personal, flew right next to our trike on their way to a roadside meal. Good grief they are ugly! The flapping of their wings was ominous! Continue Reading →

March 18, 2015
by Pj Belanger
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The World of Daytona Bike Week

Except for a sunburnt nose which is now peeling (honestly, I did putPhotos - 12493 sunscreen on, don’t know how I missed my nose), we had a great day at Daytona Bike Week. Daytona Bike Week is one of those motorcycling events that every biker should experience at least once in their life (like Sturgis). It’s unique in its scope (more than ¾ of a million motorcyclists attend and it is a full week of activities which include hundreds of vendors, test rides with all the major manufactures, new bike exhibits from all the major companies, sidewalk bars with food and drinks (obviously!), parties, group rides, contests (best bike, best bikini, etc.), and just about anything else you can think of.

Photos - 12499We are fortunate enough to live about 2 hours (motorcycle traveling time avoiding highways) from the city and go every year. This year, given a limited time schedule, we went for two days. The first day we went with our youngest son on a Sunday. Half the fun is the ride to Daytona. Wave after wave of motorcyclists are on the roads leading into the city. It was a beautiful warm day with the excitement building the closer our trike approached the festivities. Continue Reading →

March 12, 2015
by Pj Belanger
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Jekyll and Amelia, here we come!

For several days we planned a camping trip up to lower Georgia but every time we thought we were ready to go the weather would turn terrible (cold and rainy) and we postponed it. Finally the weather forecaster came on and said “Warm and sunny for a few days”.

“Hurry up.” I told Roger, “Hurry before they change their minds. Let’s go get the RV and hook up the trikePhotos - 12408 and GO!” And we did just that. We made a reservation in a Saint Marys, Georgia campground and headed up. We took a route through Ocala Forest to Jacksonville (beautiful road with little traffic) and after four hours we arrived at a quaint rather rustic campground (although it had all the amenities- WiFi, cable, hookups and a small store). They even offered a pancake/waffle breakfast which we took advantage of one morning. Route 95 was rather close and loud but we easily ignored it and enjoyed our stay.

We arrived on a Monday afternoon and were all set up and planning our first trip within an hour’s time. First we went to a local grocery store and loaded up with groceries, something easily done with a trike as it will fit a full cartload in the storage bins. Then we scouted out the area.

 We drove around the area of St. Marys to get our bearings. It is home to a big Submarine Base and also has a quaint little town where you can catch a ferry to Cumberland Island. There were plenty of places to shop along with restaurants, etc.

JEKYLL ISLAND

Photos - 12382The next morning after a good night’s sleep we headed out to Jekyll Island. At first it was foggy and slightly cold. We wore long sleeved shirts over a regular shirt and a jacket on top of that. We headed up RT 17 which had little traffic and was dotted with “the remnants of 1950’s leftovers”. Roger explained (he’s good for researching an area before we go) that before RT 95 was built this road use to be the main drag down from the Eastern states – tourists would take RT 17 down to Florida. Old motels (long deserted), rustic gas stations (long deserted) and tourist areas (long deserted) dotted the roadway. Fascinated, I tried to picture the old cars (Belairs, Studebakers, Olds 88, Dodge De Sotos) loaded with families heading down to a vacation in the sunshine state stopping at these now deserted tourist areas. “Too bad,” I commented to Roger (glad we can talk through our helmets’ intercoms) “our trike couldn’t turn into a time machine just to glimpse what it was like.” But we had our imaginations. Continue Reading →

March 7, 2015
by Roger Belanger
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A rainy Coney Island – not the one you’re thinking of!

We decided to do a Tuesday Fun Ride with our local Harley Owners Group. The thing about the Tuesday “Fun Ride” is that you never know where you’re going until the last minute. Imagine our surprise when the ride leader announced we were going to Coney Island! My goodness, isn’t that a 1,200 mile ride to NY? We didn’t even pack an overnight bag! 😉

Photos - 153It was then explained that the Coney Island they were talking about was only about 43 miles from here in central Florida, but that we were going to take a more roundabout way that would take us through Clermont, Groveland, Bay Lake, Mascotte, Center Hill, Bushnell, Ridge Manor, Hill ‘N Dale, then finally Brooksville. (see map below) There were about 22 bikes on this ride, including 4 Trikes. The Trikes stayed together towards the back of the group, followed by James, today’s tailgunner.

Being a Tuesday ride, the majority of the riders were retirees. The lead kept a good pace Photos - 150(he was also on a trike), as he was hoping to get the ride done before the rain showed up. We kept our eyes to the skies as the dark clouds were rolling towards us throughout the ride. This gave us a sense of excitement as huge drops of rain would tease us every once in a while. It became more and more ominous as we approached the town where Coney Island was located. We wondered if we would make it. We only knew that Coney Island was some type of restaurant, and we were looking forward to discovering exactly what it was. Continue Reading →

January 29, 2015
by Pj Belanger
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My First Blog – A Windy Picnic on Lake Harris

Well, here I go – my first trike blog. I think I’ll start it like one of my novels – “it all began on a planet far, far away…” NO! NO! – slap, slap. Back down to earth. This isn’t a fantasy novel – it is real! Yeah, settle down and start the narrative…

Okay, it all began when we smoked a 10lb turkey yesterday for supper.Of course we had tons of delicious smoked turkey meat left over so when Roger brought home some “Country White” Panera bread, DSC02744I made two delectable sandwiches by putting in plenty of turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and a little mayo. I then grabbed a bag of potato chips, a big huge dill pickle and a container of “dump” cake for dessert – all going inside our little cooler and away we went on the trike! Let’s not forget the two plastic spoons, napkins and 2 bottles of iced tea!

IMG_20150127_132354_245We decided to head out to Tavares via Astatula (funny sounding Central Florida towns). It was so windy that we layered our clothes with long sleeved shirts and long sleeved jackets. I don’t know how anyone cannot wear a helmet because that small piece of equipment kept our heads from being blown away. Continue Reading →

January 17, 2015
by Roger Belanger
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Our favorite trips

Some of our favorite trips which we included in the book include:

  • White Mountains in New Hampshire and Maine
  • Catskills of New York
  • Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia
  • Skyline Drive in Virginia
  • Hilton Head in South Carolina
  • Jekyll Island in Georgia
  • Black Hills of South Dakota including Sturgis and Mt. Rushmore
  • Flagstaff to Sedona loop
  • Grand Canyon from Flagstaff
  • Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater from Flagstaff
  • Yosemite from Modesto

You can find all of the maps and descriptions along with Garmin and Tom-tom GPS files at our website.

Please share your favorite “trike trips” by posting comments below.

Happy Triking!

Pj and Roger