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.
What a tough day! Tim and I left before 8:30 AM and did not make it to Vero Beach until after 5:30 PM. We rode 78 miles into a 19 mph wind for most of the day. It was definitely one of our most difficult rides. Well, anyway, here are the photos I took on the ride today.
When I was a kid walking to school in the morning with Mark, whenever it was really windy, I would wish for a glass half dome to come down over Drexel Hill and block out all of the wind. That’s what I was wishing for today. It would have made today’s ride much easier.
Tomorrow’s ride is about 55 miles, and the winds are predicted to be 17 mph, in our faces again. So we’re going to try to leave early, since the winds pick up in velocity as the day progresses.
Tim and I got an early start this morning, leaving at around 8:15 a.m., and riding through the southern end of Ormond Beach into Daytona Beach. Shortly into Daytona Beach, we left A1A and went over a bridge and onto U.S. 1 South. We stayed on U.S. 1 for most of the ride today. Believe it or not, there were some grades we had to climb. I wouldn’t call them hills per se, but the entire ride was not flat, the way it was our first two days. Here are some of the photos I took today.
Tomorrow we bike to Vero Beach, which will be almost an 80 mile ride. Tim thinks we’re going to have a head wind – I really hope not!
Riding across country with Brian and Mark, a few years back, we all concluded Florida had the best roads by far. That observation continues. Most roads we’ve been on so far have been wonderful. We encountered some bumpy roads today that were better than most roads up north. We also road on some sidewalks thru one stretch where the shoulder got narrow and bumpy. We also were on the East Coast Greenway (Maine to Florida) for a short distance today. We saw more bikers on that trail, which was parallel to Rt. 1, than we saw all 60 of our miles today.
Tomorrow is the toughest ride of this trip simply because of its length. The winds will be out of the south so no help there. Lots of sleep planned tonight.
On Friday morning 2/28/2020, Tim and I started riding from Jacksonville to St. Augustine, FL It was on the cool side when we left, about 37 degrees F, but I was prepared and dresses appropriately. I had assembled my bike the afternoon before in the room at the Hampton Inn. I got everything right, but somehow I criss-crossed the cables for the gears and was not actually able to shift any gears at all. But fortunately it was flat and we at least didn’t have any wind in our faces, so it was OK. We made it to our hotel around 2:15 p.m. It was the Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, FL, and it was built in 1887. But it was really really nice. Here is a photo of what it looked like from the parking lot.
From inside the hotel, especially from the pool, the hotel reminded me of the French Foreign Legion fort in the 1939 movie Beau Geste. All that was missing was the French flag. Here is a photo in the stairwell of the hotel. I really like this picture because the moon is not full – in movies and TV shows and most pictures, the moon is always full, so I really liked this picture.
After getting to the hotel, Tim and I drove to Island Bike Shop at St. Augustine Beach, where in about 2 minutes, the bike mechanic diagnosed and fixed my gear problem.
The ride today was, as a result, much easier. The entire ride was on A1A South, so there was no chance of getting lost. We only stopped twice, and the first time was at Fort Matanzas, an old Spanish fort that was constructed in 1740. We didn’t take the short ferry ride to the fort – so we just took some photos from the National Park we entered right off of A1A. Here is a view of the fort.
The next time we stopped was at Flagler Beach, where the colors of the beach and the Atlantic Ocean were very striking. Here are two photos I took at Flagler Beach, where Tim and I sat at a picnic bench and ate the excellent sandwiches that Nancy made for us. Today they were turkey and cheese, much better than the peanut butter and jelly we ate on the ride yesterday, since it was the first day of Lent.
We made it to our hotel in Ormond Beach at 1:15 p.m. and had to wait until 2 p.m to check in. So Tim and I sat at the hotel pool reading while Nancy and Beth made a run to a local Wallmart. Once they were back, we showered, went to the 4 p.m. Mass at St. Brendan the Navigator Church in Ormond Beach, and then went to dinner at the Black Sheep Pub, also in Ormond Beach. Then it was back to our hotel for a refresher course in blogging from Beth.
We had a delightful stay in Casa Monica, formerly the Coronado Hotel It was built in 1887 in the heart of St. Augustine. 2nd day was another relatively short one at a little less than 50 miles. Perfect way to start such a long trek.
The girls caught up to us at a traffic light less than a mile from tonight’s hotel. Right on the ocean. Tomorrow is our first of two long days. Supposed to have a tail wind again. Time to go to bed.