Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Answer, My Friend, Is Blowing in the Wind!

Some days, the engine gets much more of a workout than other days!
Today was one of those days!

 A Glimpse from Glenn

This was one tough day for us. Riding into headwinds. 
Crossing the bridge at Apalachicola was slow going.  It reminded 
me of the 7 mile bridge in the Keys. This time I didn't have my 
much appreciated SAG person to shuttle us back and forth to
 take advantage of the wind or at least not to suffer because of 
it.  I asked Jim if we could just stop and camp but he has a thing 
about Florida critters so he declined. We had our eyes on the 
lookout for bear considering all the signs we had seen. 
I chose to go this way rather than the route Adventure 
Cycling suggested. That headed north after Pensacola and
I preferred to hug the shoreline. We got our last glimpse 
of the gulf today. Considering how difficult it was to get 
across the bridge, and that was only 20+ miles from the 
beginning, I actually wondered if we would make it. It was 
great to have a biking buddy today!  He was a true inspiration. 
Just watching his legs pump challenged me to go stroke for 
stroke. I can appreciate after two days of hauling gear why 
people without support are pleased to do 40-50 miles a day.  
But more than that it truly makes me appreciate Lynn. 
Thanks, Pal, you are the greatest and I love you very much.
I could not have undertaken this journey 
we began in 2009 without you. 

Carrabelle, a small town southwest of Tallahassee in 
Franklin County, was little more than a small fishing village 
when military leaders decided to use the terrain around
it as an amphibious training base.

A charming fishing town, maybe a little more Cape Cod than Deep South,
 Apalachicola offers terrific seafood, lovely waterfront parks, enchanting
inns and the opportunity to glimpse the Florida Panhandle's oyster,
 timber and fishing history from ground level. 

Enjoying the last few miles of Gulf views before heading inland

Must be some avid baseball fans to have this on their front lawn!

The John Gorrie Bridge carries US 98 and US 319 over the Apalachicola Bay. 
It connects Apalachicola, Florida with Eastpoint, Florida. The original John Gorrie
Bridge was built in 1935, replacing a ferry service between the two towns. 

Say goodbye to Rte. 98

Which way to go?

The Mouth of the Apalachicola River

For all of our Atlanta friends, this is where the 
Chattahoochee River empties!

Saw lots of signs but no critters!

Glenn and Jim arrived in Crawfordville, FL at 4:30 PM.

Thanks to Trip Advisor, we knew that there were no restaurants
or grocery stores in this town.  The front desk let us know, when
Lynn called, that Hungry Howie's Pizza does deliver to the hotel!
Sure beats another Peanut Butter Sandwich!

Today was a very tough day for Glenn and Jim.
The stats don't really tell the story of their exhausting day!

In 7:00:34 of riding time they covered 73.3 miles!
The wind and the heavy trailer kept their speed down to 10.46 mph  
with the maximum speed being 18.18 (down a bridge, no doubt).
They expended 2804 calories and ascended 1916 feet.

Today was the official end of the "Pedaling the
 Panhandle" Section of the ride!  The Panhandle
is an informal term used to describe the Northwest
part of Florida, a strip of land approximately 200 miles
long and 50 to 100 miles wide lying between Alabama,
the Gulf of Mexico, Georgia and the Apalachicola River.
Mission accomplished!  Now to make it to the Atlantic Ocean!

Again we have the flip side of the day
as Lynn, Laurie and Wendy wind up their stay in Seaside!

Back on SAG duty tomorrow!

Laurie at Lunch overlooking the gulf!
Breezy and bright!

Wendy, Laurie and Lynn
Yes, we are Cool and Casual while at the Coast!

Wow...that's strong wording!
Is there something about ALL CAPITALS
meaning one is yelling!?!?!

A few days ago, I asked if anyone could suggest something that
I could buy with my 11 cent winnings from the casino.
Wendy found something!   These penny candies are only 10 cents each.
I have a penny to spare!

This blog would not be complete without a photo 
of Truman's home before we leave Seaside.

While the correct address for the Truman House is 31 Natchez Street, 
located on the white picket fence in front, Truman Burbank’s home in the
 movie was #36. The homeowners kept the number as a memento from 
the film and both can been seen today.

Seaside's Artist Colony
 Ruskin Place includes : 
a business district, a residential neighborhood, 
a vacation destination and an event venue

Although we were not with Glenn and Jim today, clearly
our thoughts were with them.  We couldn't wander too far
without a bicycle, a bicycle sign, or a bicycle souvenir in sight to 
remind us of their journey for today!

Jim's sister, Kate, has been sharing the blog with her friend, Ken,
each morning.  Today Kate passed this note from him on to us!
Ken - thanks for following the ride.  Jim and Glenn would be
honored to have you ride with them! 

"Thank you for sharing this.  Long ride while pulling a cart with supplies.  
Beautiful pictures with a perfectly clear blue sky (severe clear). 
Such a wonderful adventure. Then they get up the next morning and do it 
again.......oh my!  Can't wait to meet these two."

    Jottings from Jim

So let's address the elephant in the room.  You all want to know, so there is no need to beat around the bush.  Yes, my butt hurts.  The technical term is "sit bones", call it what you will.  The good news is that it only hurts when I am in the saddle.  The bad news, that has been about 7 hours each day.  

It appears that I no longer have a fear of heights... I am now fully petrified.  High atop the John Gorrie bridge, a stiff 20 mph cross wind erratically pushed us right, toward the precipice, while speeding trucks added intermittent drafts pulling us left, toward them.  Apparently I am too big for my bridges... just a fat 6'1" sail to catch the wind.  There was an upside, however.  I was very glad to be back pedaling between the boring pine trees.

We do this ride in memory of Ian, and he was once again on my mind today.  I like to imagine him riding along with us.  After all, this is his home state...He might very well have come along.  And at 20, he'd be strong and full of stamina, setting a pace difficult for us to match, then pulling over to let us catch up.  It helps me keep going.  I also like to imagine that we are his eyes, seeing all these beautiful places for him.  All the miles Glenn has ridden, all those wonderful sights and sounds and smells, I like to imagine that they are not simply in memory of Ian, and on his behalf... but literally for him in some way.  
Like we are his surrogates during this ride.  

So I am tired, my butt hurts, and the bridge really freaked me out.  

I am having the time of my life.

As many of you know, we lost our nephew, Ian Besner, to Leukemia nine years ago.  Ian was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in January 2006, one week before his 11th birthday and he passed away on May 31. Ian was an extraordinary boy who shared his joy and love of life with everyone who met him. 

Glenn and Jim have dedicated their time, energy and bicycling adventures 
to I Care I Cure in order to help raise awareness and funds for research 
for targeted and less toxic cures and treatments for childhood cancer.
Your support is so important and so very much appreciated!


  1. You all are wonderful. Today's post really showed the struggles , the joys, the relationships, the determination and the motivations. A truly moving blog today. God bless you all and keep you safe.

    1. Thanks, Melinda! I'm so glad that you were touched by this post. Your description is perfect! xoxoxoxo


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