Thursday, March 14th. Gainesville, Ocala to Daytona Beach FL. Today is a short drive. Two days back after seeing lots of motorcycles on the roads, I recalled Bike Week in Daytona might be happening. After checking online, indeed we confirm Bike Week is in full swing. Juan is a big motorcycle aficionado, like myself, so it doesn’t take much effort to persuade him to agree to a change in direction and head East rather than South. Glad we are heading to Daytona rather than Tampa. I could drive 10,000 miles in this car in one trip!
We make the brief drive from Gainesville to Daytona driving the car at the speed limits or higher. I enjoy these rare travel days where we get to drive the car fast. We pass through Ocala which is horse country in Florida. It’s rolling hills between 100 and 200 feet above sea level. Doesn’t sound like much, but compared to Miami and South Florida, these hills are exciting, lol. I expect Ocala to be a bit more interesting, but maybe we missed it’s best parts. We arrive to Daytona, bikeless and with no plans to rent bikes either. Renting a bike in Daytona during bike week must be rather difficult I would think. In any case, we are more than content driving around in the Tesla and we quickly become the spectacle on the streets.
In the afternoon, we wear out the soles of our shoes walking from stand to stand outside of Daytona International Speedway. Bike week is motorcycle & hog heaven, we spend the entire afternoon checking out all of the custom motorcycle exhibits together with some of the big Japanese brands. There are hundreds of fascinating custom, handmade motocycles, each one more creative than the next. There are some accessory stands are well and I pick up some enduro pants, a jacket and gloves for use with my new KTM 500EXC I purchased a month back. The Tesla road trip, has prevented me from riding the KTM other than for a single, short spin up Biscayne Blvd. to the Verizon store in North Miami to connect my Driod Razor Max. I was excited to switch from Sprint to Verizon for this roadtrip. Juan has an iPhone with AT&T. I’m sure my Verizon service was far superior to the Sprint network. Back home I can’t even get Sprint 4G in my house in Miami Beach, but the Verizon works just fine in 4G at home and in numerous places across the country. But overall, it appears that Juan’s AT&T has slightly better coverage than my Verizon phone over the course of our trip.
We are extremely lucky to priceline The Shores Resort & Spa on Daytona Beach for a reasonable rate. There’s no EV charger nearby, so we’re forced to plug the Tesla into a 120V outlet in the basement parking lot overnight. This won’t be sufficient to fill the battery but it’s better than nothing. Friday, I am hoping to drive the Tesla on the beach, yes ON THE BEACH. It’s one of the few places where you can legally drive cars on the beach. If fact, years ago they held races on Daytona’s beach. Unfortunately, our ride on the beach isn’t meant to be. Our first attempt, in late morning we find the gates to the beach closed because of high tide. Later in the afternoon, after a prolonged drive down Main Street in the Tesla, we make it back to the beach only to find it closed again at sunset. Our futile attempt to drive around the gate, onto the beach is thwarted seconds later by a beach police patrol car. Our hope to GoPro the Model S driving on the sands of Daytona Beach is drifts away at dusk. Check out our photos of some of the more interesting bikes and our gopro video of driving down Main Street.
For Saturday, we are torn between two events. One is the Daytona 200 Superbike race, and I’m hoping we make it to the races. But Saturday night we also have plans to be in Orlando to race the Tesla at the Saturday night Tune & Test 1/4 mile races, open to the public this Saturday night at 9PM. We can’t do both, because we need the car to have a full charge for the quarter mile track, which means we will need to bunk in Orlando and have the car fully charged that evening for the drag races. So we skip the superbike races and head to Orlando Friday evening.
Anyone in Orlando interested in racing against us, post a message on our blog. We will try our best to have a full charge on the battery and the luggage stored at our hotel, so we can post our fastest times. We will be at the Orlando Speed World Dragway, this Saturday March 16 from 9PM to 1AM.
I could post hundreds of bike pics, but posted here are just a few interesting bikes. We also have two videos of driving down Main Street, a video of a girl dancing a top a truck to attract customers for a parking lot, and our botched attempt to drive onto Daytona Beach at sunset.
Superbike motorcycles racing around Daytona Speedway during practice.
Juan’s iphone video driving down Main Street.
Our GoPro 18 minute video driving down Main Street
Parking lot dancer. I was in the parking business for a few years down in Miami and I never thought about having a dancer to attract business. Let me know what you think.