Miami-Dade Roads are AWEFUL!

This past weekend I had a rare treat in that I was able to spend almost an entire day on my motorcycle. All in all, I rode for 100 miles give or take on Sunday going through Broward and Miami-Dade counties in South Florida. One of the things that I’ve never done before is ride my motorcycle to Miami Beach. I’ve gotten really close before but the thing that prevented me was going down I-95 which is a death trap for motorcyclists because of the insane drivers and the traffic congestion. Being Sunday I decided to give a go since most people either sleep in or are at Church on Sunday mornings.

Going through Broward was just fine all the way until I hit I-95 in the Miami
Lakes area. As soon as I started down 95 it felt like I was riding a jackhammer instead of a motorcycle. There was all these patches done to the highway and it made the surface really uneven and I was literally bouncing in my seat and hanging on with a death grip on my handle bars for fear I might hit a really big bump in the road. It didn’t help that I was tail gated all the way to 395 but since my bike has better acceleration than your average car, getting some distance between me and the car behind me wasn’t a problem once all the idiots were out of my way.

395 and the roads on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach were fine but there was a decent amount of traffic but the traffic made me slow down and appreciate the lovely view heading into Miami Beach. I saw Star Island and the cruise ship terminal with all the cruise ships docked and waiting fore-supply and passengers. It was times like that that I wish I had a Go Pro or something to capture it. One minor complaint about Miami Beach though, all the motorcycle parking spots require coins while the cars can use credit card. That part really stinks since I wanted to stay and relax a bit since it was so far but since I don’t carry change while riding I just had to turn around and go home. I decided to take a different route home and went by US 836 which passes the Miami Airport. On 836 I almost witnessed an accident up close and personal when someone in the lane to the right of me tried to swerve and miss an iguana that was in the road. The person swerving almost made the car behind them slam into them and the iguana was definitely dead since I saw it flying through the air in front of me and I just missed hitting it with my bike.

After running up 836 towards 75 I started to appreciate how awesome it is to live in Broward. The roads are definitely better than Dade. Most likely that is my first and last trip to Miami Beach on my motorcycle. While going to the beach on my bike has some appeal, it’s not worth hurting my ass to get there. As proof, here is a pic of my bike parked on Ocean Drive.

20140331-093022.jpg

Advertisements

40 Day Facebook Break

I’m pretty sure that I’ve tweeted this already but I’m on a self imposed break from Facebook. I’m not allowed to check it at all but I can post via Twitter but I can’t see any responses. The reason for my exile is because of Lent. Normally I would give up a food but my wife came up with the idea of giving up Facebook instead. She’s still giving up a food but I’m not. Facebook is definitely trying to make me check by sending me emails almost daily telling me that I have things that I should be looking at. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of ignoring them for now. Maybe next year I’ll try giving up Twitter instead or something.

I don’t even know what day it is in my Facebook break, I just know I’ll finally be able to check things out when Easter rolls around. At that time I’ll make my first true Facebook post, maybe an Easter family picture, to mark the end of 40 days.

Finally Using my Miles on United

I finally was able to use my United miles for a trip and surprisingly it only cost me 150K for 3 round trip tickets. Although I have given up on United as an airline because of my travel schedule, that doesn’t mean I won’t use the status that I currently have to my family’s advantage. While doing all this traveling has its benefits, I have decided to do quite a bit of shifting of my loyalties just to make my life easier. For hotels I think I’ll try to maintain status at Starwood and at Hilton rather than solely concentrate on accumulating points at one brand. I’ve definitely found it useful to be Hilton Diamond and SPG Platinum this year. That calls for me to shift hotels mid week to get the necessary stays to maintain my status or at least get Gold in SPG since I still value Hilton more for their perks.

Car rentals basically stay the same since I like the rewards Hertz gives me but good lord are their cars pieces of crap. They definitely keep their cars much too long in their fleets (come on, over 50K?) and that forces me to waste time getting a newer one. While I would like to go to Avis, their rewards are only useful on the weekends an most of the time I need full week rentals. I wish the places I use would stop devaluing their programs. It’s taking more and more trips to get my rewards to mean something when I need to use them or to achieve the appropriate status so traveling doesn’t suck so bad. In the mean time, I need to start working on regaining SPG, Hilton, and American Airline status for 2015, I have another 2 months of no travel coming up in the summer which impacts my ability to make Platinum.