Saturday, May 30, 2009

May 30, 2009: Palatka to New Smyrna Beach

Today’s ride consisted of two very different segments. The first was from Palatka to the coast (Flagler Beach, to be precise). We enjoyed a following wind and cruised along at 17 to 19 mph with very low effort in the cooler morning temperatures. 

The second phase, the remaining half of the 76 miles, headed south with a significant west wind and higher temperatures. Our pace was slower, and parts of the route were on US1, which was less than scenic. I would hasten to add, however, that other stretches on the John Anderson road were exceptionally pretty, and we did a few miles on A1A, right along the ocean, which is always a treat.

The ride statistics: 76.9 miles in 5 hrs and 3 minutes on the bike (15.2 mph pace). Average temperature on the road was 84 and the high temperature was 97. It didn’t really feel too hot to me, but Colorado Boy was suffering a bit.

The day was made by the reception we got at “Camp Samuels”. Harris and Debbi have a lovely home on the intracoastal waterway and provided us with spectacular accommodations, dinner, and company. At dinner we had the pleasure of not just Harris and Debbi, but also mutual friends Linda and Neil Samuels! Kathy and I have tandem-vacationed several times with both of the Samuels couples. As usual, Fred quickly fit in and we had a super-enjoyable dinner conversation that addressed, if not solved, many pressing global issues. I especially enjoyed hearing more from Neil, who tends to keep to himself a bit in the larger groups in which we normally see him.

Harris and Debbi’s 23 pound mega-feline, Nick.
Camp Samuels from the rear
Fred quickly landed a little stingray from the Samuels’ dock with his collapsible mini-fishing rod.
Fred prepares to go the Survivor route with just the line, a hook, and a bit of shrimp.

Tomorrow will be our longest day of this tour at approximately 85 miles. I am hoping to actually get some sleep tonight before our planned departure shortly after six, so good night!

Fred Retorts: A little stingray? One of these things killed Steve Irwin! That dock is over six feet long. Of course, that section of the dock is about 12 inches long … nonetheless, I was careful not to get barbed, and I released the “big” guy right after I took his picture. I was feeling the heat today after the ride. I did, however, go stand out in the sun for another hour fishing. Could not resist. As Larry McMurtry wrote: I don’t fish for fish, I fish for peace. When I’m alone on the end of a dock,  a line in the water, and it’s just me, the puffy white Florida clouds, blue skies, and diamond-reflecting water, I am in Zen-land, fishing for peace (and fish).

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