Ride for the Dream

Cycling From Coast To Coast

Day 35 & 36 – Tallahassee, FL and Live Oak, FL

by on April 8th, 2014

As I draw closer to the end of the trip each day takes on a little different perspective. In the beginning the distance seemed so far, and the daily “bites” so small, that I tended to just focus on the current day’s ride and maybe the next day’s destination without thinking much about the end of the trip. My body was adjusting to the mental and physical demands of riding long distances everyday, missing family and friends, something I couldn’t/didn’t replicate in training.  I didn’t have much extended bike touring experience (meaning I didn’t have any) and the farthest I had ridden my bike at one time before I started training for the trip was maybe 40 miles. I was used to the “grind” from running marathons in the past but doing it everyday all day is a different animal. It’s kind of self regulating, I think most people in decent physical shape could do it, just a matter of how long it would take.  We have now ridden 36 straight days taking only a couple of lower mileage rest days. It looks like we will finish without taking any days off which wasn’t really a goal, just kind of worked out that way.

The countryside and expanse are so enormous you feel very small in comparison, especially out west.  Cycling provides the time and opportunity to appreciate the nuances and enormity of it all.  The other “half” of the equation is the people you talk to everyday which has been a lot of fun as well.  If anyone reading this is considering doing something similar I say just make the time and go do it.

When traveling on a bike self supported, the normal conveniences aren’t available, priorities become very short term….constantly checking the weather, wind strength/direction, lodging/camping options, maintaining your bike and equipment, eating, hydrating, eating, hydrating, applying sunscreen, reapplying sunscreen, washing your bike shorts/shirts/socks, putting air in the tires, changing flats, chamois lubricant, ibuprofen (a lot in the beginning…not much now), and so on. You get into a physical and mental routine of getting up and doing the same thing every morning, knowing you have many days of exploring and riding in front of you.  I’m sure it’s a little different for everyone.  Baptiste is much less regimented in his approach and thinks we plan too much…..but at the end of the day his objectives and perspective at 29 and touring the world are different than mine or Buck’s at 64 years old.

Yesterday we rolled into Tallahassee, riding through Florida State’s campus and downtown after 66 miles and called it a day. The countryside through the heart of Florida is more picturesque than I had imagined, very green, large trees with some rolling hills mixed in.  We also crossed into the eastern time zone yesterday which was another mini milestone.  This morning we got started early with storms in the area and knocked out 88 miles by mid afternoon, stopping in Live Oak.  An hour or so later it started pouring and hasn’t stopped.  The storms are supposed to continue tonight and move out tomorrow then be clear for the next few days.

As it stands now I plan to finish Thursday mid morning in St. Augustine.

Here are a couple pics from the day, it was overcast so didn’t take too many.

Suwannee River

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Swamp area

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One Response

  1. Sandy says:

    So close ! So proud of you!! Hope the rain stays away!!

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