Girl Meets World On A Yamaha FZ-07 Part 7: The Sunshine State

Dirt roads and bear boxes. Is this what Florida is really like?

Florida dirt roads on a motorcycle
This picture kind of made up for the Trauma. But for real, what’s with all the dirt roads, Florida?!©Motorcyclist

Tiff and I met at the track, where she races her Ninja 250 with more enjoyment and positivity than anyone else on the grid. When Tiffani got word that she’d be getting laid off from her job in Los Angeles, she didn’t fret. In typical ultra-optimistic Tiff style, she saw it as an opportunity to hit the road on her newly acquired Yamaha FZ-07. What follows are Tiffani’s reports from the road, originally posted for her friends on Facebook but shared here with her permission for all to enjoy. — Ari Henning

Florida! I finally made it to the last state before the Atlantic Ocean. After crossing the Florida state line, with over half the day already gone, I headed down toward the Ocala National Forest figuring there would be an opportunity for some camping. After a couple wrong turns (one of which took me down 4 miles of dirt roads in an OHV park before I finally accepted I was lost and turned around), I found a spot at a little campground in the woods.

Motorcycle camping
An accidental trip through an OHV park let me get a little more confident on the FZ on dirt roads.©Motorcyclist

Now, if someone had told me the first time I was ever going to use a bear box would be in Florida, I probably would have laughed at them. But little did I know that the Ocala National Forest is home to the largest population of black bears in the state, and according to the Internet, encounters in the parks were becoming more and more frequent. I learned this after getting to the camp spot and trying to wrap my head around why I was standing next to a bear box in the middle of a tropical swamp.

Camping in Florida on a motorcycle
High marks for Ocala for being unique, less high marks for reminding me of all the things that make me feel like a sissy while traveling solo.©Motorcyclist

But I paid for my camp spot so I was determined to stick with it. Despite my paranoia and the thousand nightmares that ran through my head all night, everything was fine the next morning. Well, save the fact that I woke up with my tent completely covered in crickets, each silhouette clearly visible from the inside of my rain fly. Not sure if that’s much better than a bear, really, but I accept that I’m a wimp, haha.

Now I’m just a day’s ride from the turnaround point for this cross-country road trip: Key West. I’ll be there soon!