Saturday, April 18, 2009

Florida Bike Safrai

Florida Bike Safari Day 1 April 18, 2009

Don and I arrived in Live oak Florida on Thursday night/Friday morning at 1:30 Am. The flight put us into Orlando at 8:00 Pm on Thursday then we had to pick up the rental car, get something to eat, and drive up to Live Oak from Orlando . The Garmin delivered us straight to the Live Oak Suwannee County Fairgrounds with out a hitch. We pulled in to the fairgrounds circled around a couple of time and set our tents up in the head lights of the rental car. In bed by 2;00 Am local time. We felt pretty good considering what a long day travel is, but more importantly all the gear arrived in one piece including the bikes.

Friday we slept in, had a leisurely breakfast and assembled our bikes. The weather was treating us very well, nice and sunny and about 75F. In the early afternoon we went for a ride to make sure that the bikes were in good working order. I mounted my new bike camera and tested it out. It seemed like it was working fine. We rode for about an hour and kind of checked out the lay of the situation here in Live Oak. It would appear that it is kind of a retirement community with some small farming operations sprinkled in. You can tell it is a retirement community as there are lots of smaller homes on very well kept plots with two easy chairs on the porch and two twenty year old Cadillac’s in the driveway. We did our registration thing, and went to the rider meeting in the evening.

This morning we were ready to go by 8:00 and rode out in the group ride with the big group into a some what chilly 52 F. Not chilly by Calgary standards but when you know that the day is headed for 80F you have to dress differently. There are 250 riders who are here for the six day ride and an untold number here for three days. On day 4 we ride up to Cherry Lake and stay there (more later). I have to say that the tour organizer’s “The Florida Freewheelers” are organized. They have everything figured out. This is the 29th year this ride has been put on so the route is well established. The food thing is done very well. I am very impressed. Today we had a chose of 36 miles, 54 miles or 66 miles of ride. Don was whining about only doing the 54 but when we got to the turn off we chose the 66 mi ride without a thought. The roads are great. There are nice shoulders on most of the roads, the pavement for the most part is excellent and best of all there are very few cars. The ride was though the country side, which was slightly rolling with fields and trees on both sides. I can’t say I saw anything extraordinary and the only out of place thing was I was cruising along at about 22 mph and all of a sudden there was a left turn. I grabbed the brakes and locked the brakes. The back wheel got loose as I slide down the highway. Easing off the brakes straightened the bike out and I proceeded around the corner. I guess I am not use to riding on so little rubber. The new Giant just doesn’t have the same amount of traction as Surly.

Back to camp the Florida Freewheelers were selling their jerseys for $30, shorts for $45 and socks for $3. So I loaded up. Real nice stuff too if you like flamingos.

So tomorrow is a century ride. Don has already said he isn’t doing it. I will do it if the wind conditions are right.

Well I better get going you are probably tired of my drivel. Of course some of you are too busy to come so your too busy to read this far any way. However if your not that busy drop me a comment and thanks for visiting my blog.

Looking a live over the handle bars


1 comment:

Jim said...

Hey Terry,

Sounds like a perfect outing...organized, good weather, smooth roads, and great people. Are you drinking any local beer? How are the bathrooms? Any mosquitos? What is the chow?

It is going up to 90 deg here.