Saturday, April 2, 2011

Back From Bike Florida

On My Way

Tent City


New ICE Sprint Full Suspension

Some Tour Easys

Catrike Expeditions.  Cool Paint

Rest Stop

Moss On Tree

More Bents

Couple from Missouri On Catrike Roads

Band at Rest Stop

One of Florida's Beautiful Bike Paths

Diane on Left friend from Home.  Linda on right new friend from North Carolina
High End Riders

One of Florida's Beautiful Springs

My Buddies for the week after the ride

Bike Florida was quite an adventure.  Unfortunately, I road for 5 days instead of the full 7 days.  I arrived on Saturday and had registered and had my tent set up by noon.  The weather was hot in the mid 80's.  I did the 35 miler which turned out to be more like 45 for the day.  Sunday was again sunny and hot and I did the longer route for another 58 miles.  Monday the weather changed and I got caught in some severe rain after the 1st rest stop.  My new rain jacket and the fairing made riding in the rain fun.  I decided to go for the longer route and did about 70 miles.  The rain and clouds continued on Tuesday.  I decided not to press my luck and did the short route for 40 miles.  Wednesday the weather was again bad and they only allowed us to do the short route for 38 miles.  I got back just in time to get the tent set up before it started to thunder, lightening and rain as depicted in the video.  It was quite a storm.  Thursday the weather was so severe they did not let us ride at all.  3 Tornado's touched down and there were reports of hail.  They arranged bus transportation back to your car or to the next overnight.  Since my things were so soggy and it would be only a 31 miler the next day I decided to end the ride and pick up my car.  I still managed to get in about 251 total miles.
There were many recumbents including, Tour Easy, Longbike Slipstream, Vision, HP Street Machine, many Catrikes and a few ICE Trikes.  Most riders were fast spandex types on their sub 20lb bikes, but there were many on hybrids too.  The roads were mostly flat and rural and we went on some beautiful paved bike paths.  Rest stops were spaced out about every 10-12 miles and were well stocked with PBnJ sandwiches, oranges, grapefruits, candy, water and Gatorade along with other items.  The BikeFL staff was excellent.
I met some old friends from previous rides and more importantly made new friends.  It doesn't matter what you ride, were you are from, what you do, or how old you are.  We are all the same and love cycling.
If you have never done one of these type of events, I would highly recommend it.  Where else can you wake up at 5 am, wait on line to do your business in a Porta-Jon, wait on another line to wash up, ride 50 plus miles in all kinds of weather, come back and set your tent up in the heat or rain, and wait again on line for a shower.  Do this for 5-7 days and come home and say. 

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