Girl Meets World On A Yamaha FZ-07 Part 8: The Atlantic Ocean

From the Pacific Ocean to Key West and the Turnaround Point

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

Cali to Key West on an FZ-07
Key West with my bestie!©Motorcyclist

The east coast! The Atlantic Ocean! I made it! Even though I’m now more a few days passed my halfway point victory, I’m still reveling in it. So let’s recap.

I left Ocala and headed south on my Yamaha FZ-07 towards the Keys, hoping to make it as far as Homestead. I stopped for breakfast at a random cafe along the road, where, upon asking for my check, I was told someone else had already paid for it. Huh? Does that happen outside of movies? A nice old man stood up and told me I looked like I was on quite an adventure, and I reminded him of an old friend. I assume that's a nice way of saying I looked like I lost a fight with a weed whacker, but whatever! It's cool! We chatted for a bit, and he told me he was a retired firefighter who had seen quite a lot in his life, and he admired my boldness for going it alone. Clearly he didn't see me considering peeing in my tent to avoid getting crickets in my hair that morning. Either way, he made my day, and Florida seemed much improved over the rest of the South!

I got back on the road and made it down as far as Miami before getting hit with a crazy thunderstorm. Thankfully my Dainese ADV gear is Gore-Tex lined, so at least I stayed dry while I battled traffic and looked for a hotel.

FZ-07 cross-country ride celebration
Yes, I used precious luggage space to pack this dress and flip flops, solely so that I could wear them for a few hours in the Keys. I’m not even a little sorry.©Motorcyclist

The next day I made it to the Florida Keys! I rode down through more heavy traffic reminiscent of a normal day in Los Angeles (except it’s illegal to split lanes everywhere except California, what’s up with that?!), and stopped at the beach in Key West to revel in my victory of making it all the way to the opposite side of the country.

A local who was relaxing nearby and called himself “Sandy in the Keys” offered to take my picture for me, seeing as I was alone and apparently my face had “celebrating really freaking hard right now” written all over it. He told me about some monument that marked the southernmost point of the US that I needed to hit before I left, so after taking it all in and relaxing for a bit, I changed back into my gear and headed down.

Florida Keys campground
A cute campsite overlooking the water on a dock in the Keys for $25? Don’t mind if I do.©Motorcyclist

I made my way to the southernmost point of the US, as it is clearly a necessity, then rode back up Highway 1 and grabbed a camp spot at a state park on one of the islands.

I’m not sure if it was because of my California license plate or because I was the only person wearing full gear in the Keys, but people kept asking me about my trip and if I had really just rode all the way there from California. A few people even asked to take my picture. I felt like a rock star.

The next day, per my friend Loren’s suggestion, I stopped by John Pennekamp State Park, where I rented a kayak to explore the reef.

Florida Keys kayaking
Some of the passageways through the mangroves in John Pennekamp Park were so narrow I couldn’t even use the paddle, but the trees made a good throttle.©Motorcyclist

The park started to get crowded after I got back, so I opted to head for the Everglades. I hiked around for a few hours, saw some gators, then decided the only way to make the trip perfect was to make it to Daytona.

Eating alligator in Florida
I mean, it’s basically a requirement when in Florida©Motorcyclist

After more miserable traffic (paired with heat and humidity to the point that I exhausted my whole hydration pack and stripped down on the side of the freeway to remove all my gear liners) I made it to Daytona at 10:00 pm where I spent two hours trying to find a hotel that wasn’t booked to capacity. I hadn’t realized Daytona was so popular.

BUT, I made it! It may not have been Bike Week, but waking up a few miles from the speedway at a pool by the beach officially makes Florida a resounding success.