Summer Solstice 2019 Re-Cap

Summer Solstice 2019

Just as it has for several billions of years the sun came up on schedule over Jacksonville Beach at 0624AM, Friday, June 21st.  Because of clouds we didn’t actually see the sun break the distant horizon.  Soon enough, not more that 1-2 minutes later our sun rose into view.

The actual solstice occurred at 1154AM, EDT.  At that time the earth’s northern hemisphere is tilted 23.26 degrees toward the sun; hence the longest day of the year and the first day of summer.

Several members and guests met at the Jacksonville Red Cross Lifeguard Station for sunrise.

L to R: Peter Komatz, Philip de Paula, Ed Seitz,, John Gino, Mike Sadler, Tom Brown and daughter Sara, not pictured Jim Allen

We saddled up and rode south around and away from morning traffic to Grannie’s Kitchen in Starke for breakfast.  There we were joined by Dan Lines.  Departing Grannies we had 5 motorcycles and 6 riders (my grandson Philip was my pillion).


Our back roads (mostly) route, took us thru Brooker, Ft. White, Branford, Perry to the Tallahassee Auto Museum.  There we rendezvoused with Shep Brown and Bob Flanagan from BMWNEF’s western division.


Many members have driven by the TAM countless times on our travels across the panhandle on I-10 but never stopped.  It is worth the stop.


The museum is an eclectic collection of everything collectible.  Cars, antique, vintage, muscle cars, motorcycles, Case knives, you name it, they’ve got it there.

Grandson Philp de Paula rocking the Jake and Elwood, “The Blues Brothers”

Did I mention that it was hot?  When we departed Starke the temperature was 85, by the time we reached TAM the temperature had soared to the mid to upper 90’s. The air–conditioned spaces of the museum were a welcome relief.


It’s a straight shot down US 319 to Apalachicola.  Once we cleared the traffic around Tallahassee we had a pleasant but still hot ride.  US 319 is still showing signs of damage from last year’s hurricane Michael which made landfall around Mexico Beach, further to the west. Several section of the roadway are being rebuilt and reinforced to protect from washouts.


The Coombs Inn and Suites hotel was our destination in Apalachicola.  We arrived at the hotel about 4:30PM.  The hotel is a period home with several additional outbuildings.  Beautiful woodwork graces the interior of the main house.  We were greeting by a friendly staff and quickly assigned our rooms.


After cooling showers (and smelling better), we ventured to the Hole In the Wall Café for dinner.  Our waitress, “Gunnery Sargent Barbara” was our server.  Barbara’s a sweet “grouch”.  If you looked up Oscar the grouch from the Muppets in the dictionary you’d see Barbara’s photo!

We met again at breakfast, said our good byes and separately hit the road(s) for home.  Mike Sadler, Philip and I paired up to retrace our route back home.  We added a stop in Lake City for lunch with NEF member Jack Wells at Kens BBQ.

Keep an eye on the events calendar for upcoming events.  We’ll do the Winter Solstice ride in December.

Ride safely




Mid-Month Ride Report for May 18th, by Tom Brown

The following is a Mid-Month Ride Report from Tom Brown, Ride Organizer and Leader, from Saturday, May 18th, 2019.
Hello, our ride to River Ratz on May 18th started on time at Weedmans in Orangedale ,there were only 3 of us: Bruce ,Scott (new Member) and myself. We made our way through the countryside of Florida, on some fun back roads. We stopped for a break at CR314-A and St.Rd.40. This was about midway through the ride about 1030 am. We pit stopped and hydrated in preparation for the final leg of the journey. We proceeded on and finally made it to the very cool Istachatta Road (Man Snake) off of SR48 ,rode it to CR476 and finished up at River Ratz, in Nobleton, Fl. We had lunch, listened to some live music, and got to know Scott a little more (Welcome to the Club, Scott). I was also was fortunate to meet up and visit with my Aunt and Uncle who live in the area.
Tom Brown

2019 Annual Summer Solstice Ride, Friday, June 21st, 0530

Druids! Arise!  It’s that time again for the Annual Summer Solstice Ride, Friday, June 21st, 0530.


Here are the details:


**0530-0545 meet at the end of Beach Blvd., near the Jacksonville Beach Lifeguard Station,          2 Ocean Front N, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250


**Sunrise is 0628.  The actual solstice is 1158.


**Mount up and ride around Jacksonville, avoiding traffic, to Grannies Kitchen in Starke for breakfast. 1.5 hr. ride


**Ride rural/county and US highways to the Tallahassee Auto Museum. 3.5 hrs + rest stop.  Visit museum.


**Ride to Coombs Inn and Suites Hotel, Apalachicola, 1.5 hrs.

                                                                                                                                                 **4 room are blocked for our use.


**Use reference code 74660493 when making your reservation


**We’ll select a restaurant for the evening meal.


**Contact me if participating.  Please join us for any or all of the event.  You can bailout when ever you need.


**Additional details on the events calendar:


**Pensacola and Panama City members:  Please join us in Apalachicola for dinner and camaraderie.


Reminder: Mid-Month Saturday Ride is this Saturday, May 18th, to River Ratz, Nobleton, FL

Tom Brown will lead a ride to River Ratz. It is about 150 miles one way. It is west of I75, at 29295 Lake Lindsey Rd, Nobleton, Florida

Meet up at Weedmans in Orangedale (CR 13 and SR 16A) kickstands up at 9am. We will stop for a brief break at 314a and 40. Figure on a Noonish arrival time to River Ratz,

I will do a pre ride to make sure there is no issues with route.

Reminder: This is a Club event and all riding safety gear is required to participate!

Contact Tom Brown for more information.

Winter Solstice Ride, This Friday, December 21st, Update

Winter Solstice Ride, This Friday, December 21st, Update

Dear Members:

The Winter Solstice Ride is this Friday, December 21.  Sunrise at Jacksonville Beach is 719AM, with first light about 650AM.

The link below has all the details on where to meet and Cedar Key hotel info.  I checked with the Beachfront Hotel, they still have availability.

You’re invited to meet us in Cedar Key if you’d rather drive.

Here’s the link for the ride from the events calendar:

We have a nice ride planned following breakfast near the rendezvous point.  We’ll head SW toward Camp Blanding then north thru McClenny entering the Osceola National Forest on Big Gum Swamp Road.  We’ll stop in Lake City at Ken’s BBQ.  From there we’ll head on to Cedar Key.

It looks like the weather is going to cooperate with cool and dry conditions.

Please join us.  If you’re unable to ride and stay in Cedar Key then join us for a portion to Lake City or Cedar Key.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

Always Ride Safely,