Thursday, May 18, 2023

GTD '22 The Ride


Sunday, May 15, 2022
Brad and I loaded up our bikes and gear, we were ready to head to Pensacola to begin GTD '22 The Ride.  Thiago are driver was excited about delivering us to Pensacola, eyeballing Pensacola Beach and returning home.  

The drive was uneventful till just outside of Pensacola when a terrible storm broke out.  Hard rain, wind, lightening, was very unnerving for Thiago as well as us.  We found a place off the Interstate to shelter from the hail for a bit.  After the hail ceased, we made our way into Pensacola to our hotel.  Thiago helped us unload and get to our room then he set out to spend the night with relatives.  

Brad and I made heads and tails of all our stuff and loaded up as much as possible so that we could set out after the sun woke up the next morning.  The night before the start of a Ride is a restless night because of everything that is running through your mind.  All in all it was a decent nights rest.

Monday, May 16, 2022
Day 1 of any GTD Ride is putting into practice everything that was practiced during training.  We woke up early and decided that the Starbucks next to the hotel would be our breakfast, THANKS to everyone who blesses my GTD Rides with Starbucks Cards!  We got a breakfast item and iced coffee.  We took a photo or two then headed south on 98 to Pensacola Beach.  The bridge from Pensacola to Gulf Breeze was awesome, I love riding bridges and along the water.  Another shorter bridge led us to Pensacola Beach where Thiago surprised us.  He was waiting in the Pensacola Beach Parking Lot as we approached, he wanted to see us before he headed back to Gainesville.  We chatted a bit then carried on with our journeys.

It was energizing riding along the Gulf on 399.  We went through the Gulf Islands National Seashore, there is nothing there except the ocean, dunes, birds....  Before crossing over the Santa Rosa Sound on 399 we stopped at Tom Thumb for some cold fluids.  We crossed the Sound and headed east on 98.

For lunch we decided to stop in Mary Esther to eat and enjoy a hydromassage at Planet Fitness.  The hydromassage was awesome, the lunch options at the Santa Rosa Mall Food Court were limited so we got a little something and continued our trek to Miramar Beach.

Riding through Destin is always exciting as the traffic picks up.  Fortunately, the bike lane is decent.  Brad decided he needed some gloves so we made our way to Robin's Bikes & Fitness, what a great shop with great people.  Brad bought some gloves then we headed to our hotel.  After checking in and cleaning up we went downstairs for dinner.  After dinner we looked at the Route for the next day and called it a night.  Day 1 went well PTL!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022
We were excited for Day 2 until I realized I had a flat tire.  I had the tools and tubes so no worries right?  I had never changed a flat on my Salsa, wow!  It was so difficult to get the tire off and on after inserting a new tube.  I began to inflate with a CO2 and I realized I hadn’t gotten the tube situated in the tire right.  It pinched and went flat.

I realized I would need to go to Robin’s and seek help.  Robin is amazing!  These tires are extremely difficult to deal with but he has great experience.  He put in a new tube and gave me some tips if this should happen again.

I let Brad know I was on my way back so he was ready to roll to Lynn Haven once I loaded up.

It was another day of riding along the Gulf.  As we entered popular areas for tourists the car and foot traffic picked up.  We stopped for lunch at a popular street market, it took awhile to get food.  Due the late start I was feeling some pressure because we had dinner plans w/ Marc, Luci & Andrea.

The ride through Seaside, Laguna Beach and Panama City Beach were nice but busy.  Once we crossed the bridge into Panama City on our way to Lynn Haven we were immersed in city traffic which was fine when we had a bike lane.  The last few miles to Marc’s we were without a bike lane, it was a bit tight at tines.  I finally could relax when we turned into his subdivision.  We timed it just right, we met Marc at the Gate.

We got to the house, got settled, got cleaned up and then headed out to dinner.  It was great to see Andrea again, Josh stayed home on kid duty.

After dinner we slept like babies!   

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

After a couple of days of good riding Brad decided to not only ride but drive Support.  After an awesome breakfast Marc took Brad to pick up a rental vehicle and I started pedaling toward Mexico Beach where we could connect with family for an early lunch.  The ride out of Lynn Haven was much nicer than the ride in, I will remember this route for future rides into Lynn Haven.

After a resupply stop I began the ride through Tyndall AFB, it was awesome!  I got to see all kinds of planes doing all kinds of maneuvers.  As much as I enjoy the airshow each time I ride through I know that no services are available till leaving the Base.  I entered Mexico Beach and found Larry & Sherry outside the Coffee Shop.  Brad had just arrived so it was perfect timing for coffee, muffins and fellowship.

After visiting for a bit and being spoiled by Larry & Sherry it was time to pedal toward Apalachicola.  Brad and I made a plan for the afternoon.  He would go ahead of me for a bit and then with about 20 miles to ride he would go park at the hotel and ride back to meet me and ride into Apalachicola.  The plan worked well and I was happy to have company the final 5-10 miles, I was feeling a bit tired.

After checking in and cleaning up we went out for an awesome dinner in the quaint Apalachicola downtown area.  Tomorrow we will leave the coast and head inland to Tallahassee.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

I knew today was going to be a long, challenging ride into Tallahassee so I started out around 5am.  The ride across the East Bay in the moonlight was spectacular.  Once in Eastpoint I found a convenience store and grabbed some breakfast.  This morning would be the last time I rode along the coast till Cocoa Beach so I soaked it in.  

As much as I missed riding along the coast the ride up 319 was nice, until 20 miles outside of Tallahassee.  It was getting hot and hilly.  I stopped for fluids and a shot of Protein before hitting the roller coaster into Tally.  Brad went on to park at the hotel and caught up with me at Dunkin in Tally, I was enjoying AC and a Refresher.  

The last 20 miles were brutal so I was so happy to see the long downhill on 90 that would take us right to the hotel.  I knew that after a rough afternoon I would be ready to get off the bike, clean up and find some awesome food to refuel for tomorrow's ride to Live Oak.  All tasks were accomplished and a good night's sleep was had by all.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Today's ride on 90 was a repeat of a couple of other GTD days so I knew what was to come.  Lots of countryside and small towns that included a climb up to the center point of each town.  The ride on 90 through Monticello, Greenville and Madison is one of my favorites in the state.  I knew that I would hit the McDonalds in Madison for lunch, it was where I sat out a bad thunder and lightening storm during GTD '08.

Brad caught up with me just after daylight so I let him know about the plan for lunch.  Before lunch though I made a Dollar General (DG) stop in Greenville.  It's so awesome to have so many DGs in small towns that I cycle through.  We met up at McDonalds for lunch then I began the push to Live Oak.  After Brad parked at the hotel and rode back to me we realized that a storm was brewing and we would need to push it to get to the hotel before it broke loose.  We made it just in time!  Shortly after checking in the heavens opened up, we were happy to be safe inside.

The storm passed so we checked out a Steakhouse that was new to me, it was awesome.  After dinner we chatted about the next day's Plan.  Brad would have to go on early to return the vehicle to the Rental Company in Gainesville.  Before doing so he would have to transition all of our stuff from the Rental to his truck.  

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Today's ride to Gainesville was also a GTD repeat ride.  I knew there wasn't much between Live Oak and Lake City other than a convenience store stop to resupply.  In Lake City I would use my Starbucks Card for food and drink.  After that I would ride 441 into Gainesville.  

Brad transitioned everything to his truck and returned the Rental.  When he met up with me on 441 I told him that I wanted to introduce him to Conestogas in Alachua, it would be an epic lunch stop.  Until then I would enjoy the countryside ride down 441 and through High Springs.  We met up in the parking lot across from Conestogas and enjoyed a great lunch.

My mileage was good so after lunch I decided to ride in the truck with Brad to my house.  Once there I greeted C and began the process of unloading my stuff from Brad's truck, he would be heading out to meet up with his family for some well deserved R&R in FL.  I would stay home for a few days to make sure C was taken care of and then set out for south Florida.  I was looking forward to the time with C, time off the bike and taking care of preparations for the next leg of the GTD '22 journey.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

After a few days of making sure C was set and I was prepared for the second half of my Ride I set out for The Villages.  After a Starbucks stop I continued down 13th St. which is 441.  After passing UF there are a mix of businesses and mostly local hotels before Paynes Prairie.  Paynes Prairie is a really nice ride now that road construction is complete.  The new asphalt is awesome as is the extended bike lane.  I always enjoy spotting gators, birds, wild horses....  After Paynes Prairie it's a mix of countryside and small towns until The Villages.  This allows for resupply as needed.  

I arrived at the hotel and contacted the Jenkins from Fairway CC to see what plans were in place for the evening.  Dinner at a Mexican Restaurant and visitation was on the Agenda.  Morgan is an avid bike rider so she was interested in the Ride and I was interested in their upcoming RV Trip West.  We had a great dinner and time of visitation before returning back to the hotel.  Tomorrow I will continue down 441 to Apopka and stay at my mom's house.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

I rested well so I was ready to hit the road early.  I stopped at the Starbucks on the way out of The Villages for breakfast.  I knew the Route well so I had in mind where I would stop for lunch and what Starbucks were along the way so I could enjoy some iced coffee.

Passing through Lady Lake and Fruitland Park seems to take no time at all but Leesburg seems to take forever!  The upside to Leesburg is the abundance of everything.  The Starbucks just past the College is always a good caffein refueling spot.  There are some decent ups and downs going past Mount Dora before the final mostly flat stretch through Zellwood which leads into Apopka.   Zellwood always brings to mind the Sweet Corn Festival we attended years back, great food and entertainment.

Once in Downtown Apopka it's not much further to mom's.  She is always relieved when I arrive safely, which I did.  We grabbed some dinner after I cleaned up and then spent some time on the Route to Cocoa Beach, it looks as though I will be offroad some.  Looking forward to that!

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

GTD '22 Training Week

 Early March Thiago (Brazil) and I set out for East Tennessee & Virginia to see family and friends and do some GTD '22 Training on the Virgina Section of the Trans America Bike Route.

Saturday some friends treated us to a Firetower Hike at Bays Mtn. State Park, very challenging and beautiful.

After Sunday worship at Boones Creek CC we visited friends at Grace CC in Kingsport before I began a short ride (36 miles) from Kingsport, TN to Abingdon, VA.  I ride and Thiago supports me in the vehicle.  After departing Kingsport we met up in Bristol, TN to "talk Route" before entering Virginia and proceeding to Abingdon.  It was a nice ride and ended up in the Hampton Inn Parking Lot.  After settling in and cleaning up we headed out to enjoy hydromassage at Planet Fitness and dinner.  It was a good start to the GTD '22 Week of

Mornings come early during any multi day Bike Ride or Training Week.  Breakfast 5:30am or 6am.  Load up and then begin riding or driving to where the ride will begin.  Day 2 began in Damascus, VA and it was chilly which was okay with me.  I knew after leaving Damascus there would a lot of climbing up to Mt. Rogers then after that there it would be downhill with occasional bumps all the way to Ft. Chiswell.  The ride was beautiful and challenging.  Riding along the river was great.  No real problem with traffic but I was without cell service for several hours so Mama C got concerned.  Once back in range I debriefed her the previous hours.  I shared with her about the Trail spottings and crossings I encountered.  For awhile the Virginia Creeper Trail was alongside me and I crossed over the Appalachian Trail at least once.

After riding through Rural Retreat I found an awesome lunch spot on the corner of Main St. and Lee Highway, The Dutch Pantry.  I had an awesome sandwich and root beer.  Thiago found me but wasn't hungry because he had been snacking as he was driving.  The ride through Wytheville brought back memories of my East Coast Bike Ride when I passed through, riding south, on my way to Kingsport, TN.

Between Wytheville and Ft. Chiswell there was nice countryside but a nasty long climb after Max Meadows.  I was happy to reach the top and then cruise in to the Hampton Inn just past I 81.  No sooner did I get settled under cover in the entryway when the heavens opened up and it began to rain hard.  Thiago pulled up shortly thereafter and we moved in once the rain lightened up.  We got cleaned up, went out for dinner and then called it a night.  It was a good day on the Trans Am Bike Route.

Day 3 started off with a temperature of 29F.  Cold but no problem because my cold weather gear is awesome.  I was excited about today because we would be meeting up with Phil Parker and family for lunch in Christiansburg.  The ride to Christiansburg was really nice and included a fair amount of ups and downs.  It was about 10 miles outside of Christiansburg when I encountered Evergreen Rd., the first stretch of road where I had to dismount and push because it was so steep.  After pushing for about 20 yards or so I was able to start riding again.  Phil and I were texting so that he would know when to arrive at the Restaurant.  After Evergreen Rd. there were quite a few hills on the way to the Restaurant but that didn't set our lunch time back too much.

Lunch with Phil and family was awesome, always great to have time with Phil.  I have known Phil since he was an Elementary School Camper at the Christian Camp in East Tennessee.  Phil and family served in Thailand for many years and I had the great opportunity to visit them twice there.  Now Phil is serving International Students at Virginia Tech so catching up and sharing about ministry is always something I look forward to.

Phil gave me a preview of what the Route looked like between Christiansburg and Catawba, it sounded challenging but really nice countryside.  It was challenging but in a different way than the day before.  The day before there were long ascents and descents.  This day it was a lot of short steep climbs followed by short descents so there never was a lot of recovery time.  Finally, about 5 miles outside of Catawba Thiago and I met up, loaded up and drove over the mountain to Salem.  

Salem is home to many family on my wife's side.  Thiago and I met up with Uncle Tom for dinner, it was great fun!

The next morning was wet.  We hit Planet Fitness for a hydromassage then drove to Catawba to begin the ride to Lexington.  The day was overcast but no rain at this time.  That all changes as I approached Troutville.  It was more like a hard mist instead of a hard rain.  I met Thiago at Sheetz for something hot to drink and a snack.  After Sheetz I missed a left turn and rode an extra few miles.  Once I saw I 81 ahead of me I turned back and found the turn I missed.  

There was some really nice countryside riding on the way to Buchanan.  There I made a plan with Thiago to meet him in Natural Bridge where we would turn off the busy Lee Highway and head out to the countryside.  

The countryside was nice but I was excited to be approaching Lexington, the home of VMI.  The city of Lexington looked very much like a college town, it was a cool surprise.  The city led me right through the heart of VMI, really cool!  I rejected back to the time Celeste and I were at VMI to share in her cousin Kevin’s wedding, good times.  By now the sky was looking angry and the traffic was picking up.  I climbed a hill and crossed over the Interstate and found Euby Tuesdays, this would be our dinner and stopping spot for the day.  Thiago caught up with me and I introduced him to the Ruby Tuesdays Garden Bar, it was great.  After dinner we made our way to our hotel for a good night’s rest because tomorrow is the climb up Mount Vesuvius!

After a good night’s rest it was time to tackle Mount Vesuvius!  We drove to the church at the base of Vesuvius and I got everything together and mounted my trusty steed.  Before the trip I considered changing out my rear cassette for a 11x30 but didn’t.  Not sure if a 30 would made a huge difference but the 11x28 I was running was truly insufficient.  

I rode the first mile and thought to myself, “this is ok”. Just after that thought I hit the wall.  What a grade, what a climb.  I soon was off the bike pushing.  Thiago came alongside me and I let him know I needed to change to my running shoes.  After the shoe switch I pushed until I could ride again which was toward the top.  I was elated to see the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) Bridge, I made it!  It took me 1 hour and 15 minutes to cover approximately 3 1/2 miles.

I started on the BRP and pulled off at the first Overlook to switch back to cycling shoes.  Thiago was loving the beauty and amazed that I pushed up most of Vesuvius instead of hitching a ride.  I told him TABR riders had to do it so I had no choice but to get to the top no matter how long it took or how difficult it was.

I loved the ride on the BRP!  It was tough but fair.  Challenging climbs and awesome descents.  I had been in touch with the Bike House in Afton and scheduled a visit so we could immerse ourself in TABR history, it was awesome to see room after room of notes and memorabilia from TABR Racers and Riders from all over the world.  

After soaking in the history and chatting with the Bike House Caretaker we determined it was time to get riding again.  I wanted to get to Charlottesville by 4 or 5pm so we could load up and head off route to my brother’s house in Powhatan.  After leaving the Bike House I chose the wrong fork in the road and went down past some trailers and barking dogs before I realized my mistake.  I turned around and rode back up past the trailers and barking dogs to the correct fork in the road.

After a screaming downhill descent past the Afton PO that many TABR racers have slept in, the Route  leveled out a bit before starting the continuous climb to White Hall.  I didn’t stop at the White Hall Store but as soon as I spotted it I was taken back to the scene in “Inspired to Ride” where TABR ‘14 Winner Mike Hall stopped in to refuel and chat with the locals.  RIP Mike!

After a lot of ups and downs and a missed turn just before tge Charlottesville City Limit I met up with Thiago and we loaded up and headed toward my brother’s house.  All in all it was a good day despite a couple of missed turns.  The ride on the BRP and the visit to the Bike House offset the missed turns frustration.

After a great dinner with my brother and his family we called it a night so we could get up extra early to drive to Kents Store to begin the ride to Mechanicsville.

After stopping for petrol and a drive thru breakfast we made our way to Kents Store which is in the countryside.  We arrived and found a gravel lot to park in while I got everything together to begin my next to the last days ride.

I set out and enjoyed the scenery on this cool morning.  After a brief encounter with a few small dogs I saw the next city ahead of me.  Something didn’t seem right and that was confirmed when I saw Welcome to Palmyra, I had ridden west instead of east!  Not sure how I got turned around but I did.  I immediately called Thiago and let him know I had messed up and needed him to come get me.  While waiting for him at a store I restocked my snacks and studied the map.

Thiago arrived and I loaded my bike on the rack and we headed back to Kents Store.  We returned to the same gravel lot and I unloaded my bike and began pedaling east. After a bit I crossed under I 64 and enjoyed a scenic ride through Mineral, VA, to my lunch stop at the Elk Creek country Store.  Lunch was awesome!  I addressed some saddle sore issues after lunch and began the push to Mechanicsville where we would meet up with my uncle and nephew.  

Right away I was riding through some fingers of Lake Anna, it was beautiful.  As the ride went on I was starting to feel the effects of the extra miles I rode to Palmyra.  As the day went on and I arrived in Ashland I decided to stop at a Starbucks for a boost and call it a day so we could get to my uncle’s house at dinner time.

Shortly after arriving and unloading we got cleaned up and waited a few minutes on my nephew who was riding up from the Yorktown area.  He was going to ride with me to the Victory Monument in Yorktown the next day.  It was long before he arrived and was ready to head out to dinner.  We had an awesome Mexican meal!  

We awoke the next morning to rain, wind, lightening and to a temperature that was falling, snow was in the forecast.  As much as we hated ti we decided just to drive the Route to the Monument. It wasn’t all bad, we had a great visit.  We arrived at the Monument, parked and walked over to see it up close.  It was cold, windy & freezing!  We viewed the Monument for a few minutes and rushed back to the warmth of the car.

We took my nephew to his vehicle and then we went out to lunch.  After lunch and saying goodbye Thiago set out for a hotel that was just off the Interstate.  On the way the snow started falling and Thiago got excited.  After checking into the hotel he took some time to enjoy the snow while I settled in for the night and processing the week of riding the Trans America Bike Route through much of Virginia.

After a week of riding the drive home had a different rhythm.  Pedaling had been replaced with driving. Covering 68 miles a day was replace with covering lots of ground through several states.  The drive home was was broken up with an early dinner date with CCH Alumni.  It was a great dinner and time of visitation.  We didn’t visit too too long because we had another 3 hours to drive.  It was great to get back to Gainesville, drop Thiago off, get home, unload and see Celeste.  We chatted a bit about the week’s journey and faded off for a good nights rest.

The week of riding was challenging but awesome.  It was great to see family and friends along the way. Thiago was a rockstar as he supported me the entire way.  Overall it was a great journey for the both of us.

Looking forward to the next one!

Friday, January 15, 2021

GTD '22

 It's never too early to start getting excited about and planning for the next Go The Distance (GTD) Fundraising Bike Ride.  The next one will take place next May 2022.

The GTD '22 Route will begin at Fort Pickens State Park in Pensacola Beach, FL and conclude in Kendall, FL after going to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West, FL.  The total number of miles will range between 1,025 and 1,100.  I look forward to seeing family, friends, alumni, supporting church friends along the way.

I will be seeking financial supporters and prayer warriors for GTD '22 over the next year.  All funds raised will be used for Mission Scholarships and UFCCH Projects.

The Funds raised for GTD '20 will help students serve with Lifeline Christian Mission in Winslow, AZ this summer.  THANKS to everyone who supported GTD '20!  We can't wait to post a Report and Pictures after the Trip.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

GTD ‘20 Part 4 - Days 16-22

May 19, 2020 - Day 16

After resting yesterday it was time to get ready to set out again tomorrow.  I cleaned and lubed my bike and trailer and then rode to Super WalMart to pick up supplies for the rest of GTD '20.  It's true, a clean and lubed bike rides better!

May 20, 2020 - Day 17

After a couple of days of helping C and preparing for the final stretch of GTD '20 I set out for Palatka, a route that I have ridden often.  To change it up a bit I headed north out of Melrose for Keystone Heights.  It was there that I met up with Paul and Natasha from English Corner for breakfast at Dunkin Donuts.  Due to the virus we could only order and go so we rode to the park at the lake and enjoyed breakfast, visitation and picture taking.

After breakfast at the park we rode to The Bakery and enjoyed some of their amazing pastry items.  After devouring my delicious eclair we said farewell and I rode to the Lake Butler - Palatka Trail.  Once on the Trail it was an easy ride to the Hampton Inn, I enjoyed the the mostly shaded Trail and even spotted a wild turkey along the way.

After cleaning up I went to Subway and picked up dinner.  They were To Go Only so I found a bench on St. Johns Ave., it was quite and the weather was perfect.  Tomorrow I will ride to Orange Park.

Today's mileage was 53.40 and my Avg. Spd. was 12.0.

May 21, 2020 - Day 18

As I looked at Google Maps I decided on the less direct route through the countryside to get to Orange Park.  It started out really nice and then got interesting.  

I was on the LB - P Trail for a bit before turning north.  It was very scenic.  As I crossed over a small river I saw a couple of guys fishing, we chatted for a few minutes.  After passing through a small community Google Maps instructed me to turn right.  This is where it got interesting after awhile.  The right turn led to a left turn that led to a dirt road that led to someone's yard who encouraged me, and others, to stay out.

I backtracked and turned left instead of turning right to retreat to where I had come from, mistake!  The paved road eventually ended and to the left or right was only dirt.  Not good.  My only option was to return to the road I was on before turning right.

I got back to the road I was on at first and turned right in order to go north.  It was great to be back on track.  The greatness ended within the hour when the pavement stopped and a dirt road began.  I looked at Google Maps to see if I could figure out how long I would be on dirt before returning to pavement.  Best guess was that it would be anywhere between 5 and 10 miles.  Even with the worst case scenario being a reality it was better than the alternative, returning to Palatka and starting over on the more direct route up 17.

The dirt road was a mix of hard packed and soft sand so the next hour and a half was a lot of work.  I finally got to a paved road and headed into Green Cove Springs.  From there it was a mix of shoulder and Trail all the way to the Starbucks in Orange Park.  After Starbucks I rode up the river road to my hotel.  After cleaning up I walked across the street to Cracker Barrell to enjoy some Southern Fried Chicken!  

My friend was to meet up with me but due to the virus and dining rooms reopening recently his family thought it best for him take a pass on this dinner invitation.  I totally understood, it has been a time of uncertainty so being cautious and comfortable with decisions on where to go and where not to go are very important.   After dinner I relaxed a bit and then turned in early, this has become my routine.

Tomorrow I ride to Fernandina Beach.

Today's mileage was 58.0 and Avg. Spd. was 10.1.

May 22, 2020 - Day 19

Leaving Orange Park was busy and very busy passing by NAS Jax due to work traffic.

The ride along the St. Johns River and through Downtown Jacksonville was beautiful and exciting.  Because I love bridges I crossed over the River on the Acosta Bridge and returned via the Main St. Bridge.  I took time to check out the Downtown Jax Tri venues, past and present.  

Leaving Downtown I made my way back to 17 and rode it all the way to Yulee.  Once in Yulee I turned East on 200 and encountered the road construction I had remembered from a couple of years earlier when the Jax Tri was at Fernandina Beach.

There was hardly a shoulder and the sidewalk was closed so that made for a stressful situation for me and the motorists.  Thankfully half way to Fernandina I was able to take a break from the chaos at Starbucks.  I relaxed a bit and enjoyed an ice cold iced coffee, awesome!

I rested up and resumed my ride.  The road construction came to an end and I was able to pick up the pace a bit and get to the hotel.

After cleaning up I enjoyed an awesome dinner at Cedar River Seafood then walked over to the beach.  With the coronavirus so prevalent I was really surprised at the number of people at the beach who were crowded into tight places without masks.  I decided to return to the hotel and rest up for tomorrow’s ride to Vilano Beach.  I am looking forward to meeting with friends in Mayport, they will meet me at the Ferry Landing.

Today’s mileage was 55.75 miles and my Avg. Spd. Was 11.2.

May 23, 2020 - Day 20

I got an early start so I would be sure to make the early Ferry to Mayport where I would meet up with Carmen Ann & Richard.  I was glad I built in a buffer because 5 miles north of the Ferry Launch the headwinds increased dramatically, fortunately the scenery along the coast was awesome.

When I got to the Launch no one was there, I had flashbacks to IL during my Mississippi River Ride when the Ferry wasn't running due to high winds.  I rode over to the convenience store and inquired about the Ferry, they said it was running!  I was just early.

I went back to the Launch and started a line.  Eventually another car arrived and then a couple of guys on bikes.  Not too long after that the Ferry returned from the Mayport side and we loaded up.  It's just a short ride across the river but any Ferry ride for me is a good ride.

I had let Carman Ann know I was catching the 9am Ferry so when we landed I spotted Carman Ann & Richard right away.  They had made signs to welcome me to Mayport, very cool.  There were a group of cyclists waiting to board the Ferry, they were interested in the welcome I was receiving.  One of the bikers who had crossed over with me thought it was cool and fist bumped me before heading off with his friend.

Carman Ann & Richard had brought food and drink so we decided to go to the Park on the river where there were picnic tables on the water.  They spoiled me!  We had lots of food and drink and Carman Ann packed up a To Go Cooler for me.  We visited for about an hour, took some pictures and then I set off for Vilano  Beach.

The ride down A1A from Mayport to Vilano Beach was only 34 miles but it was a tough 34 miles!  The strong headwind I encountered before the Ferry was in my face all the way.  The saving grace for this stretch was the awesome scenery and the convenience store north of Vilano Beach.  I was so happy to finally arrive at the hotel after 6 hours of saddle time.  Tomorrow I will ride to Palatka.

My mileage for today was 57.60 miles and my Avg. Spd. was 9.6 mph.