TRIP 2013

Update #29 - November 27
Ocala, Florida
Mission Trip 34: 9,932.88 miles (15,892.61 KM)
11,282.61 miles (18,052.18 KM) - Year Total

I am about eight days away from North Fort Myers, Florida. Hopefully, a place for me to stay for at least three months will materialize. I haven't gotten very many miles (kilometers) in this month. I've been waylaid a couple of times. I was waylaided in the Gainesville, Florida area because I had to wait for some parts so that my recumbent "Alice" could be repaired with a new drivetrain. She runs a lot better. This update is a little late because I haven't had much access to the internet.

November 08 : Dublin, GA to McRae, GA - 32.06 miles (51.30 KM)

The room was much better but I still slept lightly because there was light coming into the room. I left the motel around 8:30 AM. It was a little cool so I layered up. The ride to McRae went okay even though there were quite a few rolling hills. Having some chain slip problem. I got 22 miles (35 KM( in by noon. Stopped alongside the road for a lunch break.

The rest of the ride to McRae went okay. I got into McRae around 2 PM. I opted to get a room at a motel that I had stayed at before. Being that it was Friday, I didn't expect to find anybody at the local churches.

I'll be riding to Cordele tomorrow instead of Waycross because I've changed my plans on how to go to Florida. I'll be riding to Tallahassee to connect with my friend Scott who has a ministry in Haiti. I might be ending the trip in Tallahassee and help Scott in his stateside office.

November 09 : McRae, GA to Cordele, GA - 55.40 miles (88.64 KM)

The room was much better but I still slept lightly. I left the motel around 8:20 AM. About 11 miles (18 KM) out of town, I stopped at a gas station for a break. I used the time to sew up some holes in my gloves. I didn't get far down the road because the rear tire went soft. I stopped at a closed peanut factory to check it out. I was hoping to just put in the new tire that I had bought in Milledgeville but I found out that it was the wrong valve stem. Instead of Schraeder, it was Presta. I was able to find the holes in the old inner tube so I could use it again.

I was concerned that I had 47 miles (75 KM) to go to Cordele but I was able to make it by 5 PM. I stopped at a motel near the interstate. The room is okay but the wifi signal is weak.

November 11 : Cordele, GA to Albany, GA - 43.67 miles (69.87 KM)

I didn't have as good of a night as the night before. The heater unit malfunctioned and just blew cold air into the room. About mid-morning, I had to crawl into the covers.

I left the motel around 8:30 AM. The morning was a little cool. About 9:30 AM, my chaplain friend in Albany called and he told me that he would arrange a room at a motel in the Southern outskirts of Albany for the night. By noon, I got 26 miles (42 KM) in by noon time. I arrived at the motel around 2:40 PM.

I'm not riding to Tallahassee. I haven't heard anything from Scott in the past couple of days. I don't want to go there without having a place to stay. In the evening, my friend came by to see me. He got me the room for today and he offered to extend my stay through tomorrow. I need to remake my plans to Florida since I'm not going to Tallahassee. Jim stayed for about half an hour. Before he left he slipped me $20. I'm taking Jim's advice and do some more research and send some feeler emails to see if there can be some assistance..

November 13 : North Albany, GA to East Albany, GA - 10.02 miles (16.03 KM)

I didn't have as good of a night as the night before. I didn't get much sleep. I really layered up before I left the motel around 8:30 AM. The temperature was in the upper 30s and there was a strong wind coming from the North. It had to have been blowing around 20 mph. (32 KMPH). The ride South into the downtown area went okay but as soon as I turned East the wind became a crosswind. It became hard keeping upright without having to lean to the left. I was going to try and make it to Sylvester a little over 20 miles (32 KM) away but after about an hour and a half, I gave up and decided to stop at a low cost motel on the Eastern edge of Albany. The wind is suppose to lesson up tonight and the temperature is supposed to be in the mid 60s tomorrow.

November 14 : East Albany, GA to Tifton, GA - 40.12 miles (64.19 KM)

Can't believe that I stopped at another roach motel but I did. There wasn't any indication during the day. As soon as it got night, I found out. Around 6:30 PM, I caught a roach right beside me on the bed spread. I killed it and I went straight to the Indian owner to complain. He got me a bottle of roach spray and I gave the room a liberal dose. Right before I went to bed around 10:30 PM, I caught another roach right beside my head. I killed another roach crawling up one of the walls. I stripped the bed spread off of the bed and threw it on the floor. I made a sleeping bag out of the top sheet. Hopefully, I'll not have any more night visitors. I didn't get much sleep during the night because of my concern about the roaches.

I left the motel around 8:30 AM. I complained to the owner from India after I got my $5 key deposit. I layered up because the temperature was in the upper 30s. The high was going to be in the low 60s. The ride East went okay. I got a little over 21 miles in by noon. The rest of the ride into Tifton went okay. I found a coupon for Microtel. The coupon gave me an $8 discount. I'll be riding to Valdosta tomorrow. the weather is supposed to be warmer in the 70s but I might get wet along the way because there is at least a 20% chance for rain showers.

The trip is going to be over soon. I got an email from the volunteer coordinator of the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in North Ft Myers inviting me to come down and work with them. I've got to come up with some housing options. It will take between 2 and 3 weeks to get down there.

November 15 : Tifton, GA to Valdosta, GA - 52.86 miles (84.58 KM)

I had an okay night even though it was a little hard for me to stay asleep. I got maybe 5.5 hours of sleep. There was a decent free breakfast. It was good being able to put on clean clothes. Having the guest laundry right across the hall was okay.

I left the motel a little after 8 AM. I rode back into town and headed south on US 41. The ride South went okay even though it was a little cool. I had to stop at a gas station to add another top layer. The air was damp and the sky was overcast because it had rained some during the night. There was supposed to be a 30% chance of more rain starting in the afternoon. The morning went really well. Even with a couple of short breaks, I got almost 30 miles (48 KM) by noon.

The afternoon ride went okay. It was an okay ride into Valdosta. On the way into the downtown area, I rode passed quite a few motels but they pretty well looked like they were roachers. I rode over to I-75. I found a better rate at a chain motel without having to use any coupons.

I'll be crossing into Florida tomorrow.

November 16 : Valdosta, GA to Lake City, FL - 70.57 miles (112.91 KM)

I had an okay night even though it was a little hard for me to stay asleep. I woke up early before 6 AM. I left the motel a little after 8 AM. It was really foggy. I used an alternate to get to US 41 South of Valdosta to miss going through downtown and avoid the construction zone. The ride South on US 41 went okay because there was improvement in the roadway. The fog lasted till around 10 AM. Right before crossing into Florida, a loose pit bull started to chase me. After about 22 miles (35 KM) , I crossed into Florida.

By noon (even with a couple of breaks), I was able to get almost 30 miles (48 KM) in. I was going to stop in White Springs but the motel that I stayed at before was closed. I did stop at a discount (dent and scratch) grocery store that had recently opened. The rest of the way into Lake City went okay. I got into Lake City a little after dusk. I used a coupon to get a room at a motel close to the interstate.

The next two days are supposed to be wet.

November 17 : Lake City, FL to Lake City, FL - 07.89 miles (12.62 KM)

I had an okay night even though it was a little hard for me to stay asleep. I woke up early before 6 AM. I left the motel a little around 9 AM. It had rained during the night and it there was supposed to be more rain during the afternoon.

For church, I went to the First Baptist Church downtown. I got there a little before 9:30 AM. There wasn't that many people for Sunday. For being the time for their Sunday school, there were not that many cars in the parking lot. Most of the cars weren't for members of the church. I found the pastor in the fellowship hall with just one other old guy. There were several black ladies from another church setting up for some kind of banquet. The church seemed spiritually dead. The pastor didn't seem very friendly towards me. Several times, he told me that they had a policy of not letting people stay overnight. He mentioned to me that I could find more friendlier and open churches heading South out of town towards Gainesville. I didn't feel like staying on for the service. I could have possibly stopped at another church but I've been in Lake City before and didn't have good experiences with the other churches. I found something interesting and strange when I checked out the church's website. The url spells out "we care at fb lc". Where the caring and compassion that should have been shown to me?

Because it was going to rain this afternoon, I opted to re-register again for the same room at the motel. I did have to go out and find another coupon book so that I could get the $9 discount on the room. I went out to the nearby Walmart and also get a much needed haircut.

I'm about 50 miles (80 KM) from Gainesville. There is supposed to be at least a 30% chance for more rain. If I feel that I can't make it all of the way, I'll see about getting a motel room near the interstate outside of Alachua.

November 18 : Lake City, FL to Alachua, FL - 35.72 miles (57.15 KM)

I had a little better day because I slept more. I left the motel a little after 8 AM. The temperature was in the 70s and the sky was really overcast. There was a good chance for rain in the afternoon and a possibility of a thunderstorm. The ride South to High Springs went okay. Even with a couple of short breaks, I got a little over 29 miles (46 KM) by noon.

I got into High Springs a little after noon. Because of the possibility of a thunderstorm, I decided to try and find some place to stop instead of completing the ride into Gainesville. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. The people in the office were a lot friendlier than what I found at the First Baptist Church in Lake City. Because of a child care center, I couldn't stay in the church. The church had an account with the Quality Inn near I-75 outside of Alachua, New York. I had about a six mile (9 KM) ride to the motel. I got to the motel a little before it started to rain.

I'm about 20 miles (32 KM) away from Gainesville. I got a home visit lined up. I hope to stay put for a few days so I could get the drivetrain on Alice replaced.

November 19 : Alachua to Gainesville (Gator Cycle) to Gainesville (Robinson Heights) - 20.26 miles (32.42 KM)

I had an okay night at the motel. There was an okay free breakfast. I left the motel a little after 8 AM. Most of the way to Gainesville went okay except that about 4 miles from the downtown area the rear tire went soft. I found a piece of wire sticking up in the inside of the tire. I put in a new innertube. I'm getting concerned about the rear tire. The sidewall is showing more wear and I feel that I've got to replace it soon before thre is another sidewall blowout.

I rode passed the university and rode to Gator Cycle. I saw on the internet that this was the only shop that dealt with recumbents. When i got to the shop, there were two trikes on the floor. There wasn't any place to unload it but outside. They had the chains but they didn't have the rear cluster. It has to be ordered and should be in before 5 PM tomorrow. I'm going to have them look at the hub of the front wheel. They had a tire that was 26x1.5 and 85 psi but they wanted almost $60 for it. I'm going to have to check another bike shop to find one.

I called up Mindy (who was my friend's in MS sister). Mindy came by the shop with the youngest of their four boys.

November 22 : Gainesville (Robinson Heights) to Gainesville (Gator Cycle) to Gainesville (Schwinn Cycle) to Gainesville (South Idylwild) - 10.24 miles (16.39 KM)

I didn't get much sleep. A little before 5 AM, there loud sounds coming from the loft above me happened again. I tossed and turned till around 7:30 AM and then I got up. We didn't head into town till around 10:30 AM. We didn't get to Gator Cycle till almost 11:20 AM. Alice was ready. It cost almost $180.

I packed Alice up and rode back into the downtown area to see if I could get to another bike shop so I could find another tire and possibly some more disc pads. I stopped at The Schwinn shop near the university. I found a 26x1.5 65 psi tire for $20 and a set of disc pads for $17.

It was almost 1:30 PM when I got back on the road. I headed south on US 441. The sky was really clouding up and dark. The farther South I got, I wasn't sure that I was going to make it to Reddick or Ocala before dark. I didn't feel comfortable finding some place to camp out in some possible rain. I decided to stop at the last motel I came across. I spent a lot more than what I wanted to but this is a football weekend.

I'll be riding to Reddick tomorrow and stay at the Friendship Baptist church. I'll probably stay there Sunday and attend church.

November 23 : Gainesville (South Idylwild) to Reddick - 21.12 miles (33.70 KM)

I got a little more sleep than what I had expected. The room would have been better if the heater unit worked. What can you expect when the owners are from the Patel Clan of India. At least the room was clean and there were no roaches. I used the single bed up front instead of the king size bed in the back room. It would have been nicer if the wifi had been better. Eight doors down from the office I just got barely two bars.

I started late a little after 9 AM. The ride South to Reddick went okay. I had to stop and do a little grocery shopping. I got to the Friendship Baptist Church in Reddick a little after noon. I had a couple hour wait before my friend's wife came by and let me into the Sunday school classroom where I'll be staying in tonight and tomorrow.

November 26 : Reddick to Ocala - 14.44 miles (23.10 KM)

Last night was a better night. I was able to get some rest. I had planned to get on the road around 8 AM but it was raining. I waited about 40 minites to see if the rain would lesson up. It was lightly drizzling when I headed out. The ride to Ocala went okay. I opted to stop at the first motel that I came across because it looked decent. The motel wasn't as good as I expected. It wasn't very good. Tomorrow might be a bad day so I'll probably move to another motel. Hopefully, the wifi will be better.

November 27 : Reddick to Ocala - 14.44 miles (23.10 KM)

Last night was another night from hell. The room was so small and terrible. I wished that I could have checked it out before I paid for it. There was no carpeting and the floor was dirty. I didn't feel comfortable trying out the shower. There was a clog in the bathroom sink so it didn't drain. The lighting was bad. There was a hole in the wall behind the bed. During the evening, it rained hard and water was puddling up in the bathroom and there was a puddle in the entrance to the bathroom. It looked like there was a leak there a long time because the sill of the doorway was rotted away.

During the early hours of the morning, there was a loud disturbance outside that woke me up. The bad thing was that I wasn't able to fall back asleep. I just tossed and turned the rest of the night till daylight. A cold front had gone through so the temperature had dropped. I waited till around 9 AM to leave. I was planning to ride to Leesburg today but there was really strong winds. Because I was tired from lack of sleep, I opted to just ride down the road a couple of miles and stop at a motel that looked a little bit better. I did get a $5 discount on the room but the room was on the second floor.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between December 03rd and December 10th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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