February 9, 2020
I have been back to the boat for a while now, but I am not travelling anywhere. Instead I am focusing on some cycling with extra time being spent organizing and cleaning. Because I drove down this trip, I have a car to make runs for groceries and gadgets as necessary.
The boat is actually a bit of a mess as I am pulling ‘stuff’ from all of the nooks and crannies so that I can put it away, throw it away or finish what I started. Apparently I have a lot of stuff to finish given how slow things are moving. (No, I am not being lazy, I am working very hard to finish projects *ahem*).
When I was in Toronto, I had Juan from Bike Pro Service prepare my ‘good’ bike for the Sebring 24hr race, even though I was on the fence for doing the ride. He does an amazing job every time I use him and this bike is so smooth. Totally amazing.
Over the past few years I have come to Florida in February to stay in shape and when I discovered the Sebring race, it was a nice test of my fitness during the winter and a way to help plan what I need to work on for the coming summer. In the end I decided that given the amount of time that I am spending in Florida, I would simply ride on my own. I already know that I am not in very good shape. I already know what I need to work on and I don’t need to spend money on a hotel room, and entry fees to clarify that.
To stay true to my plan though I decided to ride a ‘long’ ride yesterday and rode 272km (that’s about 170 miles). Given that I am not in very good shape, that was much harder than it should have been.
The good news is I was able to see parts of Florida I haven’t seen before (that’s a focus for this boat/bike adventure) and as always it was exciting.
When I started the day the sun was already up but it was cold, with a temperature of just 9C. I changed my bike to throw on my big touring bag and dressed warmly (while the bag is heavy and bulky, it allows me to carry extra clothes and shed clothes when the temperatures warm up). Luckily I put a light and reflective vest in my bag for night riding. The adventure took longer than I planned.
As I started on my route I had the wind behind me, fresh legs and I was flying along with Juan’s great work on my bike. I also had new, very light, very strong carbon fibre wheels so I felt like a million bucks. After a few hours I did get a flat tire though. A very scenic place to get a flat tire, but still annoying. Having not used these wheels, I was lucky that the spare tube I had fit into the ‘deep’ wheels. It was touch and go, but like usual my risk averse brain had carried the tools to make sure I wasn’t stuck 100km from nowhere without a solution.
The landscape was punctuated by a very large tree and while I was changing my tube, three baby raccoons came out to cross the road. Upon seeing me, they reconsidered their fate and turned back. I didn’t get a picture of the raccoons but the imposing tree still made for a good photo.
If I could section the ride off, there were six sections on this ride. Three of them were highway, with good shoulders, modest traffic and lots of egrets, storks and hawks or eagles. Two sections were on quiet roads, with no shoulder, but light traffic and fun to ride (both of those sections gave me tail winds). The final section was along a heavily travelled road with no shoulder, a headwind and full of overbuilt pickup trucks hauling boats and ATVs in trailers that were scary. That bit started with 100km left to ride, after I was tired and it really wasn’t much fun. Oh well. It’s worth noting (for me) that I forgot electrolytes and that was probably a huge contributor to the ‘tired and not much fun’ part.
I arrived back at the boat around 8:30pm went through the recovery routine (that’s mostly water, various supplements and food!) and passed out. Next up is a LOT of stretching to get the body working again. Another good day, living on a boat.