I’m currently being eaten alive by bugs and I can’t get the photos to load so I’ll add them later.

 

Black Friday. We petered around this morning doing final checks and double final checks. John’s dad, John, came by while we were standing in John’s yard and surprised at seeing us said “I thought you would already be on the road? I drove south and turned around already thinking I’d see you and get a pic! Where’s John?” It gets confusing here quickly.

We eventually set off into a slow headwind and wound down what was once the Route 1 highway. The road had become too narrow for the people that were jaunting up and down the coast and they built a new highway to the west. The traffic was gone but the views remained. They were spectacular, with gorgeous river views framed by large green palms and quaint cottage style homes. There were piles of debris from the recent storms that reminded me of the maple and oak leaves piled high in the streets around our home in Ohio.

The Adventure Cycling maps kept us off main roads or on pleasant bike paths/ sidewalks as we worked our way over to the coast. Unfortunately, one of those sidewalks was uneven with the grass and Turbo took her first spill when her tire slipped into the gap while she was doing a little sightseeing. Oof! I was leading when I heard her go down. I immediately was afraid she had passed out from the heat but when I turned and saw her and the bike, I knew what had happened – because I did the same thing right before we left – and I took a handlebar to the crotch. OOF! She has some scrapes but nothing serious. I was nervous to say the least.

We stopped for lunch in an old park with a view of the first major bridge we would cross. The bridge was the Eau Gallie Causeway over the Indian River and was really cool to ride over. We’ve crossed a few now and I’ve taken to calling them the Florida Mountains. The A1A took up the last half of our adventure today and had an easy pedaling bike path almost the entire 22 miles.

I knew this holiday weekend would be sketchy for getting campsites and I never reserve anything because I don’t know how much distance we will make and I’m like that. Well, we made it to the State Park and while the lady on the front lines was adamant that there were NO CAMPSITES AVAILABLE, I whipped out my trust copy of Florida Parks regulation that states no cyclist shall be turned away. Boom, we are now typing this in spot 51, the emergency site, with free firewood, electricity, and water.

Tomorrow, we have a warmshowers host that is kind enough to help us out on the holiday weekend. I think it is 50 miles and I hope we make it with no trouble. The traffic here is a bit aggressive to say the least. I’m staying positive and out of their way.

Jeffrey McElfresh
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