Today was our longest day, which ended up at about 76 miles for me and close to 80 miles for Tim. We rode on nice PA back roads and on the Saucon Rail Trail as well as the Perkiomen Trail, the Skippack Trail, and the Schuylkill River Trail. I am honestly impressed by how bike friendly Pennsylvania is and much more so than I realized! People were generally very courteous as they drove by us on our bikes.
Here are today’s photos, again courtesy of Tim.
After passing through Quakertown, we made it onto the Perkiomen Trail about 6 miles from one of its end points. Here I am pointing to where we started riding on the Perkiomen Trail.
After biking to the end of the Perkiomen Trail and then doing 2 miles on the Schuylkill River Trail, followed by another 2 miles on the bike path through Valley Forge National Historic Park, we headed out of Wayne, PA by riding up Valley Forge Road and Devon State Road. Google maps wanted us to ride south up PA 252, but we thought that would be too dangerous. We eventually got onto 252 at Episcopal Academy and then went onto Bishop Hollow Road in Newtown Square.
We’ll be working out the rest of the Atlantic Coast Route and how to complete it in the coming months.
Today’s ride was 67 miles, mostly on PA state routes, including 209 and 512 and I think 211 also, all of which were mostly fine. As we got close to Easton we also rode on the Plainfield Township and Palmer Township bike trails, both of which were nice, and we took some good pictures while biking on the Plainfield Township trail, which I have included below. The only other notable comment is that we climbed almost 2400 feet, which I wasn’t expecting. Google maps told us there would be a steep hill, but it wasn’t until we had left Bangor and were making our way to the Plainfield Township trail that we turned onto Mill Road, and that was the one steep hill. We stayed on our bikes and made it all the way up, tacking to the top since there were no cars coming either way. Here are today’s photos, all courtesy of Tim.
Tomorrow our plan is to make it all the way home from our Hampton Inn in Easton, a distance of more than 70 miles. Hopefully we will make it and escape the rain again!
I would be very remiss if I didn’t thank Beth, who really helped me a lot with these posts, all done on my phone and challenging because of that. So thanks Beth 😊!
Today’s ride was pretty good! We still climbed about 2000 feet, but none of the hills were so steep that I would need to get off my bike and walk it up the hill. So I count that as a big victory since today was the first day I didn’t have to do that at all. In fact, it was a pretty uneventful ride which was about 53 miles and took us about 5.5 hours of riding, very close to what Google maps predicted. We did not use the Adventure Cycling Association maps at all today. I used my phone to navigate and Tim took all of today’s photos. Speaking of which, here they are.
Tomorrow we head to Easton, PA, about 67 miles from Matamoros. We didn’t get rained on today and probably won’t tomorrow either. Hope not, anyway.
Even though we still climbed almost 3000 feet and today traveled 63 miles, it was a much easier ride, even though it took us almost 7 hours to finish. We met some really interesting people and had some nice conversations, as well as visited Rhinebeck, NY, whose architecture reminded me of downtown Media. We were on NY Route 9 for a good stretch, riding past the FDR museum and library, the Vanderbilt mansion, and the Culinary Institute, all of which are really neat places. It all made me want to come back up here soon with Nancy, even though we have been here before (more than once). Here are some of the day’s photos.
We finished the day with 8+ miles of riding from the Walkway onto the Empire State Trail, which took us right to our hotel, a Hampton Inn. Our rooms are nice but our dinners did not compare to last night’s, but that was OK. Tomorrow we ride to another Hampton Inn in Matamoros, PA. We might get rained on, but hopefully not.
Tim and I got a great ride up to Windsor Locks from Stephanie, Matt’s wife and Tim’s daughter-in-law, who picked us up at our houses in Media, shortly after 7am. Here is a photo of Steph and Tim as we’re driving over the GW bridge.
We made it up to Windsor Locks by about 12:30 p.m. and started riding by about 1 p.m. It was a pretty tough ride, with about 3000 feet of climbing and the hills were super challenging. I ended up walking my bike up portions of 5 long hills. Not having a granny gear, being fully loaded, and the really hot (91 degrees) weather were contributors to my walks, but I also just wasn’t ready mentally for the hard climbs. But we did finish the 50 miles after about 6.5 hours of riding (and walking).
Here are some of the day’s photos.
At our first and only rest stop.
Tim standing by the beautiful dam.
We didn’t get to the hotel in time to eat dinner there, but walked to the Neo Restaurant, about 1 minute away and had a great meal. We got back to our rooms by 9:30 p.m., called our wives and were asleep by 10 p.m.
Aside from the Day 1, this was the easiest ride of this trip, thanks mostly to a generous tail wind! Our ride today was about 61 miles. I personally found biking over the 7 mile bridge was more interesting than worrisome. There were only 2 lanes for motor vehicles, one for each direction, and the drivers were very courteous, moving towards the center as they passed Tim and I, when there was not another vehicle coming from the opposite direction. At that point, the tail wind was so strong that we were doing about 13 mph without pedaling, which was really nice! Just over the 7 mile bridge, and about 23 miles into today’s ride, we stopped at Veteran’s Memorial Park on Little Duck Key, which was a beach with a picnic table. Here are the pictures from today’s ride, starting with photos from our stop at the beach park.
After completing the ride, we disassembled and packed up our bikes, and we will check them with our luggage for the flights home tomorrow morning. Then after showering, Beth, Tim and I walked to the Truman White House in Key West, where we took an extremely interesting and informative tour. While we were packing up our bikes, Nancy and Beth walked to the Hemingway House at Key West.
After touring the Truman White House, we walked back to our hotel and Tim, Nancy and I then walked to the 6 pm mass, after which we ate dinner at Duffy’s Restaurant and Bar, about 2 short blocks from our hotel.
All tolled, we biked about 550 miles on this trip, which I think is the most we have ever biked on any leg. It was a tough trip but it ended nicely.
Today’s ride was 68 miles and it sure felt like most of it was with yet another headwind. But since I picked the direction of this ride from north to south, I can only blame myself. I really do not enjoy biking against a headwind. We got away from our hotel at about 8:15 AM and made it to our hotel (Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key – a really nice place!) at 3:30 PM. Here are the photos from today’s ride.
Tomorrow is our final ride of this leg, with 61 miles to Key West. A tailwind would be lovely, but at this point I feel it is unlikely, regardless of the weather forecast.
Today’s route out of Fort Lauderdale Beach and through Miami was very complicated, so Tim and I decided not to try to use the Adventure Cycling Association maps and instead we used google maps biking directions for a little more than half of the ride, and then again at the very end. Whenever we use my phone for the directions, I really can’t use it to take photos. Once we got out of downtown Miami and onto a bike trail that was constructed beneath the Miami Metro Line (and called the M Path), I stopped using my phone for directions. However, I only took this one photo:
The two trails, the M Path and the South Dade bike path, were safe, but there were numerous intersections, which tended to slow us down a bit. We left our hotel in Fort Lauderdale at about 8:30 AM and made it to Florida City at about 4:15 PM. We stopped three times for brief rests and to eat. It was about 65 miles in the heat and humidity – it got close to 90 degrees today, and the humidity was probably close to 90%. So it was definitely a difficult ride today.
Tomorrow we ride to Marathon on Duck Key, which is about 67 miles. I am hoping we do not have another head wind tomorrow.
This was the hottest day on the bike yet and even though the ride was only 62 miles, I ran out of fluids again. This time we stopped at a Walgreens right on U.S. 1 South and I purchased 3 bottles of water and 1 bottle of Gatorade. Today we mainly used U.S. 1 South, but we also used U.S. 5 South for a stretch, which was nice since there was very little traffic on U.S. 5 and we were somewhat shielded from the wind. Here are today’s photos.
We have a ride of about 64 miles to Florida City, our last place on the mainland before heading to the Florida Keys. Hopefully it will be our last day of riding into the wind.
Today’s ride was 55 miles and, while we had a head wind, it wasn’t too much of an issue until the last 5-6 miles, when naturally it was uphill also! But overall, it was a good day of riding and it was the first time we were actually hot while riding. Here are today’s photos.
We have a 66 mile ride to Fort Lauderdale tomorrow and the winds are again predicted to be in our face. We’re going to try to get away even earlier tomorrow morning.