Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 20 Florida Bike Safari Day 6

If you read the first blog of this adventure you will know that getting ready was a total panic trying to find everything and making sure that everything was in working order. Well the one thing that I made sure I had was the patch cord for my camera so that I could down load photos to my blog. I organized all the assorted cables and chargers and but them into a bag. Each cable neatly tied up with a twist tie. So it was a real disappointment when I went to get the cable for the camera and it wasn’t in the bag. I am sure it is sitting on the counter at home. So no pictures! I will make a special post once I get home because I really want to share with you how beautiful it is here.

When you think of Florida you think of the Miami/Fort Lauderdale megalopolis. One strip mall after another, however here it very rural, with lots of farms raising everything from cattle to fields of wheat, but also orchards, and vegetables. The other big crop here is pine trees, so there huge plantations of pine trees. The first cutting of trees is for Christmas trees, then for lumber. They also use the pine needles for ground cover in gardens. It is racked up, bundled and sold in garden centers. Who knew? The hills are low rolling hills with 50-75 feet of elevation. We hit the biggest hill on the whole tour today and I made my top speed for the tour “32 mph”, and that is without pedaling, just letting it run. There are lots of trees and especially the life oak with all the Spanish moss. However the really great part of riding here is the lack of traffic. I think I saw less than 10 cars all day. Ok you have the picture slightly rolling hills with flawless pavement, no cars and weather in the low 70’s. Does that sound like cycle heaven? Oh I guess I should add great food.

Today Jim and I did the century ride. It was tough with all the hills. However we did get lucky and caught a couple of pace lines which ate up about 25 miles of the century. For all you time freaks out there it was 5:47:00 ride time. I thought it was totally acceptable given the number of hills. We caught a pace line at about the 40 mile mark and we rode it all the way to the second sag stop at the 54 mile mark. Although it wasn’t going that much faster than us it did give us a good break. After the sag we caught a couple of other riders and five of us rode for about 11 miles before the rain hit and that broke up the pace line as nobody wanted to ride in the rooster tail coming off the back of the bikes. It rained for about 10 miles before Jim put his coat on and then it stopped. Jim and I picked up Ernie along the way and we rode with him most of the rest of the way in.

The burgers were on the grill when we got back to Cherry Lake. They were great.

So for all the number people out there today’s ride brings the total to 382 miles.


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