My brothers and I are riding the Southern Tier from coast to coast, but we can only do it one week at a time—we aren’t yet retired, and can’t afford to be away from our jobs for long periods of time. On the upside, it gives us something to look forward to, and motivates us to stay in perpetual touring shape. The first two segments went very well: We did San Diego to Phoenix in March of 2012, and last March we completed another section and ended in El Paso. Here is where you can look at those journals:
It has been a strange summer. We have had more rain than South Florida! I am not riding outside as much as I had hoped, but my training is going fine.
I am getting lots of reading done while spinning away on my stationary bike. I do so many intervals that I actually feel very strong when I do get outside. It’s probably safer in the long run, anyway. I don’t mind the road to nowhere as long as I have a good book. My daughter and wife gave me a Kindle for Father’s Day, and the local library has an eBook rental program. I’m never without a good non-fiction history book or a decent mystery.
I had my first shouting match with a motorist this summer. I was riding in Long Beach Island, NJ, one early Sunday morning in July. The south end of the island has a nice beach road, and it gets crowded with bicyclists, runners, pedestrians with dogs, etc. Cars are not prohibited, but the four-lane boulevard is only 1 or 2 blocks away, so car traffic is (and should be) minimal. For this reason, the beach road is a great place to train. I was riding in Beach Haven at a good 20-mph clip when I was forced to slow down for a “Sunday driver.” The police require bicyclists to stop at stop signs, and I was doing so—therefore, I could not get around this car. Finally, I pulled alongside him (his passenger window was down and he had a coffee cup in hand) and I asked him to please drive on the Boulevard for safety reasons. I said I had been following him for 2 miles, and he was obviously going somewhere other than a just around the corner or looking for beach access. That’s when he called me a jerk, started to shout, and told me where to go. I might have called him a few bad names to supplement my argument. It was a memorable encounter. I had some extra adrenaline for some fast, hard riding. I should get in more arguments with drivers!