Ride back from the Florida panhandle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was 35 degrees when this photo was take and the Dragon Princess knows not and cares not if it 100 or 32 degrees.  She only waits for the key to turn and her sole mission is giddy-up go. Learned a few lessons about myself on this ride that I had forgotten and hopefully will not ever forget again. The most important is to stay focused and keep the priorities in mind. It is those alligators nipping at the heels in spite of how compelling they may be that are so distracting. As cold as the weather was, once I was focused on the ride and the crazy drivers, the weather seemed to recede into the background.

The basicsNo ride is complete without these. They are raisins and IBpropane and they go at the top of the bag with an easy to unzip zipper. Can pull into a gas stop and fill the tank and eat a box of raisin without ever getting off of the bike or taking off the helmet. On cold weather, coffee is a non-issue because the face masks don’t have a hole for drinking coffee. However, at best, every other gas stop or 100 miles plus there is a ‘head call’ that can not be ignored.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is one of the greatest uses of a newspaper I have found in the last decade. Had a problem on the ride to the panhandle with wind coming down my neck and almost freezing my chest. For the ride back, found a copy of the Wall Street Journal, shoved it under my jacket all the way to the top and had no problems. That is till I pulled into a cafe for a hamburger and coffee and the waitress looked at me as weird when I pulled the newspaper out. There is another trick that might help those in need I discovered in my weekly conversation with the ministers for the homeless. Cut up a space blanket, wrap it around your feet and tape it in place with duct tape. Great foot warmers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese are two of three must have on hand when traveling with a computer. Have never been in a campground, hotel, motel or a house guest where the plugs have been well located or enough. I also also travel with a 50 foot heavy duty extension cord. Between cameras, phones, computers, speakers, GPS and who knows what else makes these items mandatory. Sort of like taking all the connections to the world we are trying to get away from. Like going to the mountain for a meditation retreat thinking we are going to get away from our problems.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen there is the real reason I take these crazy trips and that is to connect with people I don’t want to miss out on knowing. Here we have Peter and his fiance Courtney, Peter is in his third year of college headed toward an undergrad degree in social work and Courtney is in a 9th month Yoga teacher’s certification program. Fine company to share bread with and catch up on

Day 2Then there is the ride back on a cold a__ day. Made the 249 mile run in just over 4 hours which included gas stops and one hamburger and coffee break. Know that a face mask at these speeds is not just a face mask. Had a new one made of soft and fluffy wool. At highway speeds, the wool is blown off and finds its way into the nose, eyes and throat. Sneezes at highway speeds are not a good thing and it lasted about ten minutes. It might have been a great mask on the avenue but on the highway not so good. This to was wool but not fluffy and worked well except for the nose exposed to the elements. I looked like Rudolf the red nose on the way back.  I do have a neoprene mask and will not forget it in the cold weather.

These kind of shake down runs are runs that have to be made when the weather is the way it is which is cold for prep to New York state in February and more important for the run to Deadhorse next year. Why Key West to Deadhorse: because it will give me the visibility to talk on Women and Children in the Jails and Prisons of the Nation.

 

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