We are taking a day off . YEAH. This is the first one so far.
day 7--- rode 45 mi avg speed 11 mph. we spent the night in Chipley after stopping in Marianna FL. This is a funny story...we asked in Marianna how far to a motel and the lady in a store said " oh it is just on the other side of that bridge...about a mile". Well it was on the other side of the bridge but....let's say her idea of a mile and ours are different LOL. This is a good lesson to learn when you are on a bike and asking directions. What seems like a "little piece up the road" in a car is usually a LOT further when you are on a bike. Pete had a flat today. A great use for tweezers...pulling out the tiny metal strips from steel belted radial tires...they are cyclists nightmare. The day was sunny and not much wind , very pretty. Another funny..we stopped in Careyville. I sang my "worm song" for everyone in the little store. Noone had ever heard it before...you know the one...Nobody loves me everybody hates me , I'm gonna eat some worms...So we get back on our bikes and the VERY next town has the distinction of being Westville FL...the worm fiddlin' capital of the world ! How auspicious. We all had a good laugh...should have gotten a pic. Look it up if you don't know what it means :)We are on our way to DeFUNiak Springs FL. Again we stopped ( usually every hour to hour and a half). I asked a lady in the little gas station "where is the FUN in DeFUNiak?" she said" oh darlin it is at the VFW on Karioke night ! AH....well maybe NOT ! Stayed the night in DeFuniak , very pretty town ! Took pics of the lake and baby ducks.
Day9--- rode 59 mile avg 11 mph. to Milton FL. Went to a bike shop. He stayed open for us , usually closes at 4 PM. Believe it or not I have done this many days w/o padded bike shorts OH NO! Got a pair as my A&* is sore. Had bike tunes and greased...my A&* too ! Sent home another 3 1/2 #. Boy do I feel lighter :) I have lost about 5 # body weight so far too. Stayed in Milton.
Day10--40 miles today avg 11.5 perhr. Rode to the far side of Pensacola. This is one guys last night. He had planned to ride with us and then he is going to Cheaha in AL and hike with friends. He is selling me his great tent...it is a tarp tent, single wall 2 person and only weighs 1 1/2 # !!! Look into it if you want a great light tent. Another funny...you remember Laugh In the old TV show. Do you remember the little fellow on his tricycle pedaling very very fast and then falling over ? Well I was going up a huge long hill on Escambia River Bridge and started thinking of this...I began to laugh as I was the perfect image of this guy....very low granny gear...I DIDN'T fallover though. We ate lunch at Hopjacks in Pensacola. Great place. We met up with the new woman who is joining us. She is AMAZING. Two time breast cancer survivor, 45 yrs old and a powerhouse of inner and outer strength. We stayed the night at the Black Warrior River campground. Attacked by Killer Raccoons...(that is my story and I'm stickin to it ! ) The got a pbj bagel and made a mess of our campsite.
Day 11 ( Monday) - you will note that I put the number of the ay and the name and the date...and still Pete and I were laughing that we can't keep them straight. The usual comment is " are you SURE that was yesterday?". It all becomes a blurr. Due to the new shorts I bought and Butt Butter, which is EXACTLY what you would think it is, my riding is perfect. 62 miles avg 12 MPH !! WOW. Took the ferry from Pensacola to Dauphin Island. A pretty ride. $5 w/ bike. Got pics. We stopped at Smokey's for a $1 bbq slider...boy are they great. Smokey also has a cool way to keep all insects and bugs away. Take gallon press and seal plastic bags. Draw wavy lines on them with Magic Marker. Fill them half full with water. Hang them where the sun will shine on the moving water...all insects including mosquitoes hate it. What a terrific and safe way to help your environment. Rode the Intercoastal Bridge...remember the image...pedal pedal faster faster ! Saw a flyswatter on the bridge...why is it here haha ? Staying the night in Bayou la Batre LA.Got a great pic of an oysterman coming in with his haul....don't want to start here about the failure of the U.S. to support the efforts of the coastal people to save the marshes etc. It hurts too much to see the loss of approx 25 acres a DAY from coastal LA. Did laundry in a laundromat owned by a very funny Vietnamese man...had Mexican food as the BEST seafood restaurant was " a little way up the road over the bridge" uh...nope not going to fall for THAT again. sigh.
Day12----what a day. 63 miles 11 mph. We left Bayou la Batre ( it is pronounced battry) and headed for a campground in Vancleve MS. All was well till we got the 50 miles to the campground...what a pit...filthy and nasty and I got got dog doo all over my bike shoes. So we asked where the nearest place was with a motel. We were watching the sky get heavier and heavier...we were in for a "po'down" as we say in AL. Several folks pointed us to Seaman road and said head to the coast...well we booked it on down to Ocean Springs MS exit 50 off of I10. Whew a horrible scary and unsafe ride if ever there was one. Narrow 2 lane, dark and rainy and the trucks...whew...how close was that truck? He was so close I could have reached through the passenger window and taken the cigarette out of his mouth ! So here we are. We are doing laundry and catching up on rest.
************ We have ridden approx 620 miles so far and no day off. I am amazed. I am not beat up at all. Huge difference from the trailrunning and road running. After a 50 mile trail race I was ready for a week off and my feet would be worn out. As we say in the South...I would be stove up ! Not the case with cycling. My trailer is perfect, my load is light and as the little man in a store in Gretna FL said " you people on bicycles, I see you all the time....riding by...you just leave all you cares behind..." well sorta. If it were not for my sweet Robert holding down the fort and loving me every day like it was the first after 39 years I would not be here...on the journey of my life. Thank you Robert for knowing...you were right...we were always meant to be. c