Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I'm in Florida!!!!!!!
Made it. Rode my bicycle all the way to Florida. FLORIDA!
Chased by sharks and massacred by ferry-hovering mosquitoes, we managed to escape from the allure of Dauphin Island and the Alabama coast early this morning. It is REALLY beautiful here (there.)
We crossed into Florida at mile 27, I think. WHAT a change. Actually, I messed up my odometer yesterday by trying to reset it. BIG mistake. It was saying we were going 6 miles an hour and, when Connie's said we had ridden for 20 miles, mine was saying we'd gone 5. Ugh. I rely on the thing because our ride cue sheets are all based on mileage. And Connie relies on ME so much that she never even consults her cue sheet (which is fine with me, I like paying attention in this way.)
Also, I have been having some trouble with my derailler since my arm warmer crash. It has been getting worse and worse and today I could only ride in a few gears without having the unpleasant grinding noise of my chain rubbing against my front derailleur. I got myself into quite a snit about the two things. I KNEW we were getting to bike shop - at mile 55 - but could NOT let the stupid annoyance about the grinding and the odometer go.
I made my threesome stop twice and I tried to fix it but it just wasn't having any of it. We DID stop for a fine lunch of fried oysters and shrimp at mile 41 and I called home (go Liberty Bikes!) and Ben told me how to fix it. Whew! And then 14 miles later, we DID get to the bike shop and the mechanic removed my old, almost-completely-frayed cable, replaced it, and sent me on my way. 10 minutes - MAX. $18.00. Wow!
And then, I got to be a momentary celebrity. The Asheville paper is doing a story on me and the ride and the writer lives here. We met yesterday but the photographer caught up with us this afternoon as we rode into Pensacola. What a riot!!! He sat in the back of a truck while his driver navigated. He snapped a WHOLE lot of photographs. A LOT. And he had me ride way back and up close and next to the truck and he snapped and snapped and snapped and it was a total gas. Connie and Jan and I rode and laughed and he snapped away. It was really fun. Really. I think the article will be in the paper this week. If you live in Asheville, keep an eye out. And if you don't I'll let you know and maybe my friend Dara the computer genius will link it up here.
Anyway - it's truly amazing to be in Florida with my red Trek and my teal toes and my banged up body. We're almost done. 9 more days of riding. Flat days. Days of sun and wind and some more adventures, I'd guess.
I'll be in touch tomorrow from Crestview - hot spot of Florida.