Sunday, February 14, 2016

Florida. February 14, 2016

It was 47 degrees this morning so I put on my hooded jersey. Dianne offered me closed shoes, booties, and full fingered gloves, but I did not need those--as long as it's above 40 degrees I wear my cycling sandals. I did, however, concede to wearing socks.

We thought we had a lot of time because the club ride did not start until 8:30. It's 5 miles away... then I found a very low tire on my bike--there was a faulty valve on the tube, so I changed the tire, and for the first time ever I pinched the tube and had to change it again!

We arrived at the Dunedin Publix in plenty of time. There were probably about 60 cyclists there this morning. Less than yesterday because they think it's cold out. Everyone lined up according to the speed they intended to ride; we got into the slow group again.

I was at the back of the pack in the slow group, but they did not drop me. Although I was slow, I really think I did better than last year on the same ride. I can't say for sure because I stripped the screw on the magnet that sends speed and distance info to my bike computer. Always something.

The faster groups passed us on the way to the Safety Harbor Starbucks. I did not get coffee because there was a very long line for service, and it was a short break. Most of us drank our sports drinks and ate snacks from our back pockets.

Dianne and I decided to ride a more leisurely pace on the way back to Palm Harbor. We told Ray (on the left below with Ed on the right) that we were leaving the group. Ray watches out for everyone on these rides, making sure no one gets left behind.

We stopped to read historical markers in Safety Harbor. The spa there is on the site of springs that Hernando De Soto discovered in 1539, declaring that he'd found the Fountain of Youth made famous by Ponce De Leon. Native populations had used the healing springs for 10,000 years before De Soto "discovered" them!  Some day we will come here for a day at the spa. Maybe if it rains for a week, or a hurricane comes through.

We stopped on the bridge on the way into Philippe Park, and then took a short cut home, giving us 32 miles instead of the 42 on the club ride. That was enough for us, since we were both still feeling the effects of yesterday's very windy ride.

We were almost home when Dianne spotted her friend Ruthie walking in the neighborhood. Dianne called out to her and she came back with us and visited for an hour or so. I always feel very much at home here, and it's a pleasure to see Dianne's friends and relatives whenever I visit.

We did some laundry, ran some errands, ate some dinner, played some Scrabble, drank some wine. Overall it was a very good day!

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