TRIP 2003

Update #02 - Jan 05th
Vero Beach, FL - 136 miles (218 KM)

The start for this year's trip has gone well. Overall, the temperature has been at least thirty degrees warmer than this time last year and it has been sunny.

I left from Belle Isle around 8:30 a.m. (Jan 02nd) and it was about a ten mile ride into downtown Orlando where I got on FL 50 heading east to Titusville. Before leaving the downtown area, I went over to check out the house that I lived in twenty years ago. It was neat to see how neat it was being kept up and they didn't change the neat Japanese style in front. A tailwind pushed me along to Titusville on FL 50. I used a coupon to get me a motel room in downtown Titusville.

I left the motel in downtown Titusville the next morning and headed south on U.S. 1 to Cocoa. On the way, I rode passed the Kennedy Space Center. In the past, I usually cut through the space center on the way to Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach to get on FL A1A, but that route was shut down because of 9-11. U.S. 1 had been repaved so there was a good shoulder to ride along. I turned eastward at Cocoa for the ride through Merritt Island and then the Indian River Bridge to Cocoa Beach to FL A1A. Between Cocoa Beach and Indian Harbor Beach, I rode through the Patrick Air Force Base. This section of FL A1A was recently reopened.

I got into Indialantic a little before dusk. I stopped at one of the Catholic churches to see if by chance I could possibly stay in one of the buildings for the night since the night temperature was going to get into the high thirties. The priest there surprised me by instead getting me a room at a motel just two blocks south of the church. The room turned out to be a suite. It seems to always work out, when you ask for a little you get a lot back. I could have gotten some food for the road but I passed on it since my food pannier was pretty well full.

Sat, Jan. 4th, had me cycling from Indialantic to Vero Beach. For most of the way there is a paved bike trail on the west side of FL A1A. I was going to stop for the weekend in Vero Beach to stay with some friends who I haven't seen in three years. He is a retired Presbyterian minister who I had met while I was volunteering in Georgia at HFHI back in 1995.

Tomorrow, I will be continuing my ride to Miami. I have about 160 more miles to ride to Miami. I'm actually going to the Cutler Ridge area to see how it has been rebuilt after Hurricane Andrew. Between 1993 and 1995, I made seven trips to volunteer at a ministry who was doing some of the rebuilding of homes.

From Miami, I will be backtracking to Titusville and then heading north on the northern sections of FL A1A and US 1 to Daytona Beach, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville. After Jacksonville, I will be crossing into Georgia and then crossing the state in the southern section. I'll be crossing back into Florida around Tallehassee and then taking the Gulf Coast route through Apalachicola, Panama City, and Pensacola, Florida on the way to New Orleans. Eventually, I'll be making my way along the Southern route to California.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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