Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 27, 2011. High Springs to Palatka, FL. 73.6 miles.

Judie picked us up at our hotel last night and we 3 went out to dinner at The Great Outdoors, a restaurant in downtown High Springs. We had a wonderful time! We drank a bottle of wine, had salads and fish for dinner, shared a dessert, and she would not let us pay our share!
When we got back she looked over our cue sheets for today and told us that the roads would not be too bad. She was right, at least for the first half of the ride. We had country roads, a few rolling hills, and not much traffic. Then at mile 41 we turned on to State Road 100 and it all changed. We were warned by our leaders that SR 100 was under construction, and it sure was. There were several sections that were down to one lane. Our saving grace was that we cyclists were allowed to ride on the closed side of the road for much of the way, keeping us out of harm's way.

The shoulder of the road was scarified, in preparation for new pavement, making it nearly impossible to ride there. I had a real thrill when I saw the county line sign stating that Putnam County was bike friendly--and I could see that at the county line the shoulder was newly paved. Yes! But it was short lived and soon we were back to one lane traffic through the construction and rough shoulder pavement beyond.

It was a long 30 miles on that road! I pretty much kept my head down and cycled on throughout this day, riding alone, hoping to get in before it got up to 95 degrees. So I did not even notice that there was a bike path! Some of the riders saw it and others were told of it by locals, and I surely would rather have been on the bike path than in among all the trucks in the construction zone! This is the second day in a row that a bike path was available and not mentioned on our cue sheets.

Then when we were entering Palatka, we saw an overturned log truck! Every time they pass me I cringe, hoping that their loads are secure. I get out of their way so they won't have to brake hard to avoid me.... and there it was, on its side, logs everywhere. It was an awful sight!

I was one of the first riders to arrive, so I helped unload the luggage from the van. By the time I got to my room I was so hot that I had to take a cold shower. Dianne arrived soon after and we went to lunch with 6 others from the tour. When we got back from lunch Carol was working on Greta's broken bike--she reattached the broken derailleur with a hose clamp and some duct tape!

During dinner I started coughing and could not stop--there must be something in the air.... I returned to the air conditioned room, took a couple of puffs of inhaler and another shower (to wash off whatever was causing the attack). I guess I'll skip the pajama party and lie low to prepare for tomorrow, the last day of this tour.

1 comment:

Rita Rowe said...

Dear Linda,
I want to thank you for your wonderful account of your cross country ride! It was so fun to check in every day to see where you were, and how it was going. I poured over every photo, trying to recognize the places we passed on the 2010 ride. I know there are other riders from last year that also have been following your blog. The other riders and you can be proud of overcoming the heat, humidity, and "terrain features" of this ride. We did not have the heat, so my helmet's off to you! Have fun on your last day, especially the last 7 miles! Your escort to the beach with sirens and lights flashing will reflect the emotions of the day! I loved all the photos and looked forward to them every day. I hope you get your blog put into book form at blog2print. They do an amazing job! Congratulations, Linda! You did it!!