Thursday, March 13, 2014

Florida Loop Adventure

I was very fortunate. Everything came together beautifully. I only had 2 days of rain. Not a single break down or even a flat. My only maintenance was frequently oiling the chain. I carried 1 extra cell phone battery and 1 charging battery, never used them. I plugged in at restaurants and almost every night. The smartphone is an amazing invention and helped me stay connected at some of the most lonely times. Riding a recumbent allowed me to wear street clothes. I took extra long sleeve shirts and a fleece. I was glad I did for those cold morning starts and cold camping nights. I camped 4 nights. There are more campgrounds available than good inexpensive motels. If I kept my mileage around 50-60/day camping would be fine. I could setup and take down in less than 10 minutes. The motels came in handy on those long rides but you have to wonder if the sheets have been changed. I was concerned about Florida drivers both retirees and rednecks. As it turned out I got cursed at once and honked and yelled at only a few times in 825 miles. I get more than that at home on a 30 mile ride.  The people I met along the way were kind and helpful. I never once felt threatened. A lot of what Florida calls bike paths are nothing more than sidewalks. Interior Florida has some major hills. I did have to walk my "contraption" up one of them. It's not all beach, orange groves and wet lands. There are some windy country roads with horse and cattle ranches.
This was all about pedaling in warmer weather. If I wanted to stop and see more I would need months. I could have stayed for days, even weeks, in many places.
Adventure Cycling maps were accurate and up to date. You do have to pay attention. I did get lost a few times but nothing too ridiculous. A smile and a polite greeting always got me back on track.
My trike is unique and people were most curious. It wasn't hard for the locals to figure out who the bike belonged to when dining. It was a great way to meet people.
The trip was awesome. A lifetime experience to cherish.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 6:48PM

21C Clear, Humidity: 73%, Pressure: 1014 mbar, Wind: SSE at 13 km/h

Waning Crescent

Finally arrived St Augustine 3 pm. 80's bright sunshine. Couldn't ask for a nicer day. Looks like some rain for tomorrow.

March 13, 2014, 10:54AM
Castillo DE San Marco fort

Home for the night (HOJO)

Bridge of Lions

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 3:39PM

17C Cloudy, Humidity: 93%, Pressure: 1008 mbar, Wind: E at 5 km/h

Waning Crescent

I left St Augustine about 7:30 after 2 helpings from the continental breakfast. It was beautiful with a crescent moon. I managed to get 2 hrs of riding before the rain. I met up with a young tourer Mathew. He was heading north from the Keys. He had already circled the US. It was now raining steady so I took a lunch break at Flagler Beach, “By the Sea Cafe”. Very charming and great food. After recharging I finally made it to Southern Daytona Beach.

Crescent moon, beautiful start
March 13, 2014, 10:53AM
St Augustine Beach

By the Sea Cafe


Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 4:56PM

23C Clear, Humidity: 0.0157%, Pressure: 1028.5 mbar, Wind: NNW at 16 km/h

Waning Crescent

I left Daytona in light drizzle with temps in the 40s. Nice 20 or so miles through New Smyrna and Edgewater. Beautiful town parks along the Inter-coastal. After that it was a straight run down US A1A. Some good shoulders, some bad, all pretty boring. The good news was the sun was peaking through. I arrived 55 miles later at the Budget motel in Titusville. Let's just say I would have been better off camping.

March 13, 2014, 10:53AM
New Smyrna Beach Bridge
New Smyrna Beach

My wife's favorite bird

Budget Motel in Titusville


Friday, February 28, 2014 at 6:38PM

18C Clear, Humidity: 68%, Pressure: 1017 mbar, Wind: N at 22 km/h

Waning Crescent

On a scale of 1-10 today was an 11. The first 10 miles out busy, then from Bellwood past Cocoa and into Melbourne were on 25 mph River rd. Then across Eau Gallie Causeway to Melbourne beach and down the outer banks to Floridana and Long point Inlet City Park. Awesome!


Long point Inlet City Park. First camping night.

March 13, 2014, 10:52AM
Nope not an alligator


Beautifully inviting

Another spectacular morning
Now that's a breakfast

Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 7:42PM

Waxing Crescent

If yesterday was an 11, today was a 13. I slept great in the tent and awoke to a glorious day. I did 100 miles. That's right 100 miles on my fully loaded trike. When I checked the mileage to my sister's house on Google maps it was an additional 30 miles. I guess that's how the crow flies. I knew I had a great place to stay for the next few days and it was a kickass day so I went for it. I had the wind at my back and was going at a good clip. I must have climbed over Indian River inter-coastal a dozen times. It didn't matter the vistas were amazing. I truly understand why people want to live here. 272 miles in 4 days, time for a break.

Still no gator

March 13, 2014, 10:51AM

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 8:18PM

21C Clear, Humidity: 60%, Pressure: 1016.0 mbar, Wind: N at 0 km/h

Waxing Crescent

I had a great couple of days catching up with family. The weather was on the money. I found a route using mapquest from Palm Beach Gardens west back onto my Adventure cycling route in South Bay. The south east tip of Lake Okeechobee. I pedaled down a road called 20 mile rd along a canal. I saw many gators but as it turns out they are quite camera shy. I tried to ride the bike path along scenic Lake Okeechobee but they were doing construction. 50 miles didn't seem like much so I ended the day with 80 miles in Clewiston. I was fortunate to get a campsite for $15. Only problem the mosquitoes are brutal at night. Another great day of riding.

Nice place for R n R
March 13, 2014, 10:51AM
Close but no gator

If you look close you will see the gator's head.
20 mile rd. what you see is what you get.

Mucho Mosquitoes

Vittles with the locals. Nice!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 7:19PM

23C Clear, Humidity: 0.0142%, Pressure: 1027.61 mbar, Wind: NE at 13 km/h

Waxing Crescent

I had to decide whether to take my chances on the highway and save 25 miles or follow the suggested route. I took the suggested route. Not only did it cost me extra hours in the saddle it took me through some of the most remote roads I have ever traveled. No place for shade or any cover from lightning. On top of that It was Panther country. Fortunately, I ran out of water just 4 miles from my first return to civilization.  It was only 50 miles and felt like 80. After a quick refueling I opted for the closest place for the night. As it turned out at 65 miles was this great Methodist retreat. I got a bunk house with a/c for $16 and for another $2 laundry. Tomorrow Ft Myers.
Nothin but turkey Vultures
I mean nothin!

bunk house with a/c

Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 7:12PM

21C Cloudy, Humidity: 88%, Pressure: 1009 mbar, Wind: SW at 11 km/h

First Quarter

It was a great start with country roads turning to backstreet suburbs then busy roads. A lot of "Florida bike paths" are nothing more than sidewalks. I did hit an actual bike path for 6 miles. All was going well until 3 miles from Ft Myers Beach. The skies opened with thunder and lightening. Too risky to try for the bridge. I took shelter for awhile at Walgreens. Severe storms forecasted for the rest of the day. The closest hotels were $250. I got a heads up for a Days Inn about 5 miles north. A hot shower and a warm meal and all is well. Only 45 miles today but I'm safe. Looking forward to the 2nd half.

March 13, 2014, 10:50AM

Friday, March 7, 2014 at 7:57PM

16C Cloudy, Humidity: 72%, Pressure: 1016 mbar, Wind: NW at 17 km/h

First Quarter

It was a beautiful but very windy ride out of Ft Myers. Winds gusting over 17 mph from the north west. Made for a slow go. Past through Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte where I had to use the sidewalk to get through town. Nice vistas from the bridges over the rivers. Then I got in the country. Nice cattle farms and orange groves. The last 10 miles was very scenic on high top winding roads. I made campground in Arcadia. Road into town but not much happening so back for an early night.

Ft Myers 

March 13, 2014, 10:50AM
North Ft Myers
Exactly how I felt

Sandhill Cranes

Wilderness camping. Tough to find  in the dark.

Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 8:07PM

Waxing Gibbous

Great ride today. Cold 45 degree start but warming into the low 70s. Nice rural scenic roads with some rollers per Florida's standards. I'm keeping a running total so I'm not exactly sure how many miles today. I think around 70-75. I'm staying at an RV park that rents out a few sites. $25 and some of the nicest people. Tonights daylight savings so I won't be able to leave too early. Have to wait for the sun to rise. Looks like Winter Gardens for tomorrow.

Orange grove
Stair step day
Pretty cactus
March 13, 2014, 10:49AM

Add caption
More of an RV park. Nice folks and great bathroom.


Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 6:52PM

25C Clear, Humidity: 47%, Pressure: 1019 mbar, Wind: W at 15 km/h

Waxing Gibbous

Another cold start out of Lake Wales. I skipped the first 10 miles of shoreline scenery and took a more direct route. I had plenty of miles to cover. As usual Adventurecycling takes you on beautiful back roads when possible and today was no exception. There were some early morning hills and then some nice rollers. Things were fine until I hit close to Disney. The roads got busy and at one point I was on a highway with no shoulder. The next 25 miles were major hills. It was a slow go to the end and I was tired. 65 miles. No camping tonight. Budget Inn.

Busy highway no shoulder
March 13, 2014, 10:49AM

Budget Inn
No camping after 75 miles


Monday, March 10, 2014 at 7:45PM

23C Clear, Humidity: 52%, Pressure: 1015 mbar, Wind: E at 8 km/h

Waxing Gibbous

Long pedaling day. Hit the bike path out of Winter Gardens. Nice but after about 7 miles I got lost. Probably 5 extra miles. I was hoping the hills were behind me but no such luck. I quickly learned when a town or street has mount or hill in it's name you can be assured you're in for some work. The route took me on “Thrill Hill Rd”. I got up half and pushed my "contraption" up the rest. I was worried at this rate I would get to my motel after dark. Things did ease up and I began to cruise. On one stretch of road I saw 3 accident markings in a half mile. Sad! It's funny but I left a week early to avoid Bike week in Daytona and now I'm hitting it on the way back. I'm staying at Spring Waters Inn in Deleon Springs. A beautiful quaint 5 room motel. I know the sheets were changed. With bike week going on I don't think I'll have luck finding a room tomorrow. I expect it might be 85 miles back to the car.
75 miles today.

Thrill Hill rd
March 13, 2014, 10:48AM
From panthers to bears oh my
3 markings in 1/2 mile stretch. Sad!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 9:44PM

19C Cloudy, Humidity: 68%, Pressure: 1010 mbar, Wind: SE at 11 km/h

Waxing Gibbous

I left Deleon Springs at daybreak after a great breakfast. I had 85 miles to go. I didn't expect hills and I knew the weather was going to be spot on. The map was pretty straight forward so no getting lost. By highway standards I was only 26 miles from Ormond Beach but I chose the maps route on quieter roads. Bike week was obvious, they were everywhere. It did give me comfort as motorists were more aware and cautious. On the other hand I was getting tired of the loud Harley exhaust. When I finally hit A1A it was fun watching all the bikers. I too was a little celebrity as bikers took my picture. I was fortunate that the winds were from the south giving me a nice push home. The scariest part was the last 10 miles. A busy 4 lane road with what seemed to be the retirees heading out for the early bird specials. I finally made it back to my car.
85 miles for the day and 826 for a total of 12 days of pedaling.

More Sandhill Cranes. cool birds! 

Ormond beach
Back on A1A
Bike Week

The only other trike I saw. TT Rover. Nice lady.

Crossing Bridge of Lions St Augustine

No comments: