Saturday, December 26, 2009

St. Johns Mini Tour: Day 1

We left Harris' house at around noon, as planned (surprise!!). It was cool, almost but not quite cool enough to request a stop to put on some warmer stuff. All of us were just wearing shorts and short sleeve jerseys. I assumed that I would warm up after a bit, but that did not actually happen -- at least not for me.

We stopped for lunch at an Irish pub in Daytona after about an hour on the road. Lunch was slow in coming, but pretty tasty.

Fred and I both put on light jackets before getting back on the bikes; Harris and Steve, being "real" men, or perhaps just insane, continued with bare arms and legs. After dinner I asked and both claimed that they were comfortable. Well, more power to 'em. Tomorrow will be similar to today, with some possibility of a little rain, so I plan to be dressed WARMLY.

Tonight we are at the world famous "Si, Como No" motel (see photo). All of us noticed the For Sale sign out front when we pulled up. I figured that was, literally, not a good sign, but we were immediately greeted by a pair of large, friendly dogs, and the proprietress was equally friendly and solicitous. Apparently this place is noted for welcoming visitors with pets. The rooms are clean and more than satisfactory.

Dinner was at The Turtle Shack Cafe. As usual, Fred found common ground with the staff, especially the manager, in approximately 30 seconds. Turns out they went to rival high schools in Miami back in the day. The manager was funny in that everything Fred said resulted in the promise of a surcharge to his bill. In the end, the bills were a bit of a fiasco, but not for that reason. Everything we ordered was on the bills, just not on the right bills. We got it sorted out and nobody went New York over it.

Oh, yes, today's stats: about 41.5 miles in 2 hours and 55 minutes. That comes to an average speed of a hair over 15 mph into a mild headwind. It looks like the wind will be out of the north for the entire trip, which will be great once we make the turn in St Augustine and head south. Tomorrow we do a full day -- somewhere between 75 and 80 miles. I hope my current lack of fitness won't be an issue. We'll see.

The first photo is the view from the bridge coming into Flagler Beach. The second one is our motel's sign.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Second Annual Mini-Tour - St. Johns Loop

The day after Christmas, two days from now, Fred and I will embark on our second annual winter mini-tour. This time we will be accompanied by regular riding buddy Steve Katzman, and Harris Samuels, who, with his wife Debbi, often comes along with us for our tandem trips.

This trip is based on Bike Florida's St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop tour. We'll be doing it over three and a half days, starting at Harris' house in New Smyrna and heading north. Our plan is to go through St. Augustine, Palatka, Crescent City, Deltona, and Titusville before returning to New Smyrna. The weather outlook at this point is very favorable, with temperatures in the 50's and little chance of rain. Of course, this is Florida, so anything can happen.

Stay tuned for daily posts and photos!