Ok guys, don’t have much time because we’re gonna go to bed soon. While biking south Miami and wondering where we’d sleep that night, a cyclist came up to us and asked us if we needed help with anything. We told Mike our situation and he offered us dinner and a place to sleep. Mike has been cycling since he was a kid. He turned his hobby into a successful profession, becoming a bicycle designer. Running into Mike was great fortune, but it also meant that we stopped sooner than we expected. You guys know what this means?…………… Tomorrow we will be doing 150 miles to finish up. Get pumped
Okay. Will again. I’m going to try and cover everything that has happened in the last two days. I’m also going to try and do it quickly. We left Ann’s house on Melbourne with only 65 miles before our destination of Port Saint Lucie. Peter had distant relatives. The ride went well. We got one flat just a couple of miles from our destination. We arrived and met Violet. Some sort of cousin of Peter’s. we spent about 30 minutes trying to figure it out. She was very kind. She bought us burgers. Her son is a Titans fan! Her husband, Jeff, is Peter’s dads cousin. They were very hospitable and fun. We left there at 7:30 with a massive day ahead of us. We biked through neighborhoods containing houses that were massive! We were on the beach for miles. The wind cooled us down but also slowed us down. The view was spectacular. Just outside of our destination, We biked with a guy named Nate. He bought me a Gatorade and told me his touring stories of when he went with his friend from key west to Toronto. We shared anecdotes. He offered us dinner, unfortunately, we had just eaten an incredible burger. I owe Peter money for that monster. Anyways, we arrive on Fort Lauderdale and find out that Kevin and Maddie Reed lived much more inland than we first realized. It added an extra 15 miles to our one hundred mile day. We arrived in the dark to delicious shrimp and comfortable couches. Showers are still wonderful. I took some pictures of today. I can’t get them off my camera, sadly.
Know, I have to address how I feel about being done in two days. Honestly, it will be strange moving from living off of two wheels to loving off of two feet. I just can’t wait to be home. I’m excited to be able to say, “I have biked from Bar Harbor to Key West.” I know I should just enjoy the time I have left on the trip. I am doing that. However, two days from the end, it is nearly impossible. I’m just excited.
What was in that slushie? Just look at the back tire. Your front tire is flat. No, your back tire is flat. No, that’s just the wind cutting you down. Someone is turning into this lane. Slow down. No, speed up. There’s a blue dress in the road. Oh, they’re not turning. Just look at the back tire. You’re so hyped up on NOS you might be going blind. Just look at the back tire. That’s all you can see; Peter’s back tire. And white lines on either side. Keep your head down. Just keep planning things for when you get back. Don’t think about how miserable you are. It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity that kills you. What’s going to happen to Highs and Lows after you graduate? What will you tell people when they ask you about this trip? How much further is it? They won’t know. And anything they told you would be disappointing. Hill. What was in that slushie? It tasted like NOS. lightly carbonated. I should wake up early next semester. What should I say when Mr. Benson asks me what art is? What will change for me now that Dr. Thornbury is gone? It’s harder to build speed than to maintain it. And Megan and Ally and Nicole aren’t going to be around either. What should I say when Mr. Benson asks me who my favorite artist is? What should I do after school? I’m not very creative but I can work hard. Just look at the back tire. There are branches in the road. I miss my friends back home. The light is red. The light is green. Drink some water. Never should have got that slushie. Just look at the back tire. When do Chase and Natalie get married? Where does Cameron live now? If I take my glasses off that means I’m ready to stop riding for the day. What camp is Sierra going to? It’s better to do twenty push ups every time you take a break from riding than it is to try and do a thousand on the last day. Florida just looks like all the other states. Break! The light was red. Ok, light’s green, go. I really want to read a book soon. I have had good heroes. I’m excited to see Kevin and Maddie tomorrow! Stopping isn’t really any easier than going, and it’s much more depressing. I need to get my stuff out of the commons as soon as I can after this trip so Zac can get to his stuff when he comes back. There’s glass on the road. Just look at the back tire.
Oh it’s hot, Summerlanders! It’s so hot! Today I could feel someone trying to crush my head while I was riding. Two enormous hands on either side of my face, hot palms pressed against my cheeks, long fat fingers wrapped over my helmet, thumbs on either side of my nose, just under my eyes, and merciless pressure. The word that kept coming to mind was “oppressive.” It’s not bright out, but it’s hot and humid and sweaty. It’s oppressive. And the 32oz slushie I bought titled “warning caffeinated” did not help. I was so tired. But earlier in the day something very special happened. Early in the ride Will and Peter took off way ahead, but I slowed down for a little bit so I could see the land crabs, so I was alone when I passed by a Disney resorts hotel. I remember when I was seven years old, or some such age, most of my extended family and my parents and my sister and I went to Disney World. We took a sleeper train, and the two places were very distinct from each other in my mind. There was a clear sense in which my grandparents’ house was one place and Disney World was another. The two were separate worlds connected by a magic metal shuttle, and that’s how I think of places. England is one planet and to get here from there you must get in a white, winged, metal tube and sit for many hours and the point of departure and point of arrival are not physically connected in any way. The cool thing that happened today was that I realized that I had biked the whole distance of the trip that the train had taken. I have watched the ground passing under my feet for this whole trip and I have proven to my mind that Florida and my grandparents’ house are connected by land. They have a measurable physical relationship to each other and are not separate or distinct at all but are only different loci in a large whole. The point of the class that I proposed to Dr. Thornbury almost a year ago was to witness this unity of location on a more personal and human level than could be experienced in a car. Seeing the hotel today achieved that. The class has now been successful and in my mind it is over. I learned what I was technically supposed to, so now I can finish out these last three days for my own personal reasons and for the sake of a job well done.
92 miles today! We can’t really imagine doing much less at this point. The rides in Florida have been incredible! Easily our favorite so far. There have been so many beautiful sights that we have been somewhat overwhelmed and don’t know when to take pictures. We set a daunting pace for ourselves this final week, but I don’t think we’ll have any problem. At this point we just can’t stop. I’m trying so hard not to let the anticipation and desire to finish distract me from the great parts of Florida. I know what you’re thinking, “but Peter, isn’t it just so horribly harmfully hot?” We’ll, alliteration Avery, it really hasn’t been that bad. Today there were clouds that threatened rain, but only ended up helping us with the sun. That’s right, sometimes the clouds are our friends. The next few days may be a different story, but so far it’s peachy. Tonight we are staying with a really great lady we got in touch with through warmshowers. Ann is really taking care of us in Melbourne. Thanks everyone for the comments and words of encouragement. We really love hearing from you guys. Oh, and If anyone has any ideas of how we can get from key west to Jackson… We are listening
Also, drink mucho mango
Will again! So if you have been reading, you may remember the post about us staying Charleston. Drew and his wife Jenaye put us up. Drew along with his friends biked the East coast as well! Well, another one of the guys that Drew biked with lives in Jacksonville, so we stayed with him last night. At this point we feel like we know the team from CIU really well! His name was Grayson. Grayson was a great guy. He gave some good biking gear for free and fed us dinner and breakfast. We watched soccer with his roommate and went to bed. The next morning Grayson prayed for us and we set off for Daytona Beach. The ride was incredibly gorgeous. I was so overwhelmed by the scenery. We will post pictures from today’s ride soon. Peter’s phone is having technical issues. Josh got a lot of great shots. We biked right along the beach for fifty miles and made it to Troy Ray’s ministry in Daytona. Troy works has a ministry for the poor and needy called Halifax Urban Ministries. He put us up, with tons of food, at their headquarters with some comfortable cots. So comfortable that I am going to bed. Goodnight!
By the way! The countdown deems 5 more days of biking!!!