TRIP 2006

Update #09 - April 08th
Jacksonville Beach, FL
550 miles ( 880 KM) since March 27th,
1021 miles (1633 KM) since Jan 01st

What I've learned these past thirteen years is to never try and make your route be a fixed one. You never know when something might come along and change it. That's what is happening now. During my day off in Belle Isle with friends, I spent a lot of time looking at maps to see if I could find a good route through the Appalachians between Central Virginia and Wilmore, Kentucky. I couldn't. A lot of the places where it looked like it might be easy topologically wise were blocked to me since that is where the interstates went through. I remember how hard it was for me to get through Western Virginia last year.

There isn't really any reason in particular in riding up the East Coast to Virginia Beach, Virginia and then turning NW to Wilmore, Kentucky before heading west to Eastern Colorado. If it was earlier in the year I would do it but since I was waylaid in Americus, Georgia for almost two and a half months I don't really have the time to do it now if I want to keep a schedule so I can visit with churches and individuals who have emailed me between Colorado and Connecticut.

Back in 2003 as I was traveling eastward from the West Coast it took me nearly 2 weeks to ride across Kansas. The reason behind this is that the temperature in the shade was close to 105 degrees Fahrenheit and the temperature near the pavement was close to 115 degrees. I had to get on the road around sun rise and be off the bike around noon time. I don't want to do that again this year. I'd like to be across Kansas to Eastern Colorado and then across Nebraska on my way to the New England area before the end of June.

What I plan to do after taking tomorrow off is to finish the ride up the Florida Coast on A1A and then ride up the Georgia coast to Brunswich, Georgia. At Brunswich, I'll take a more NW route across Georgia (around Atlanta) to Chattenooga; ride to Nashville, Tennessee; and then take a more direct route to Wilmore, Kentucky to visit with my friends at the Asbury Methodist Seminary. From Wilmore, Kentucky, I'll be heading out to Louisville, Kentucky and then on to Granite City, Illinois (across from St. Louis, Missouri); and then from Granite City I will be cycling to Eastern Colorado. Of course, this route is not carved in stone also. It still is a better plan than my original one. I can always ride down the Eastern Coast this Fall on my way southward from the New England area.

The four day ride from Belle Isle, Florida to Jacksonville Beach, Florida went well. Wednesday (April 05), I rode east from Belle Isle (S. Orlando) to Titusville. In Titusville, I stopped at the First Methodist Church. I wanted to see if my friend, Rev. David Waller was still there. He wasn't since there was a new minister. I was saddened to learn that Rev. Waller is dying from terminal heart, kidney, and liver damage. I'm not too sure how long he still has on Earth. He had to abruptly retire and leave the church around December of 2004. I took part in the Wednesday night meal and took part in the Lenton Devotional. Afterwards, the new minister gave me permission to stay in the Youth Building for the night. I stayed in the Youth Building back in 2003 after I spent most of the day helping the church office staff move the offices to the Youth Building from their old building because it had gotten damaged by the hurricanes that year.

Thursday (April 6), I rode up U.S. 1 to Daytona Beach. I found a low-cost motel room but the rates were still high because of it being Spring Break. Friday (April 7), I rode up FL A1A to St. Augustine. I was hoping to maybe stay with a friend of mine there but he had gotten married back in October and he didn't think his wife would let him invite me in for the night. Leo instead surprised me in giving me $60 so that I could get a motel room instead of me camping out in my tent but that would have been hard since the state park campground was full. The rates were still high being that this was a weekend and Spring Break but the motel operator gave me a $14 discount. I had stayed at the motel several times before and the owner remembered me. Today, I got back on FL A1A and rode on to Jacksonville Beach to visit with some friends who I hadn't seen in 4 years. The hardest part of the day was that FL A1A was being repaved between Vilano Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach. Even with this, I was still able to ride 24 miles by noon.

My friends want me to stay with them tomorrow so that I can attend their Palm Sunday service at their Evangelical Lutheran Church. I'm going to take up the offer because I'm going to try and see if I can take Sundays off the road this year so that I can have a break day off each week.

I'll try and post and update as often as I can if my plans change.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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