Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just returned from a trip to Key West Fl. I rented a hybrid Trek 700. Ronni rented a Cruiser. The attendant at the bike shop said they don't rent many touring or road bikes because there is very little demand for them since most of the bicyclists just want to "putter" around the island. I haven't ridden a bicycle that large in about 5 years. It was like riding a dinosaur. It reminded me of my old Specialized Crossroad that is now in the possession of my youngest son in Carbondale.
One of my objectives while vacationing was to determine if I could ride from Homestead Fl. to Key West and I found it would, indeed, be possible. In addition to using the bike as my principle means of touring Key West, I also took two trips close to Marathon Key and back for a total of approx. 40 miles. I was surprised at how many of the smaller keys between Key West and Marathon actually had bike paths on them. The only shoulder riding was between the keys and they were as large as and in some cases larger than those we rode during the cross country trip. So, it looks like I will be doing that ride in the future. The only real difficulty would be crossing the "7 mile bridge". While the shoulder is wide enough, it was littered with more rubbish than what we encountered riding the interstates in the Southwest. Many flat tires, or punctures, would be expected during that part of the trip. The other difficulty would be that there is no "bail out" area to the right. There is only a retaining wall followed by a quick and hasty plunge into the Gulf of Mexico. Extra care must be taken here. However, on the drive back to West Palm Beach, a biker was actually traversing the "7 mile bridge" so I is definitely a possibility.
I talked to Hank over the holidays and he indicated he is still interested in biking the East Coast with the Cross Roads group. Regardless of his decision I am pretty sure I will do this ride. Because it ends in Daytona, I plan on continuing and finishing at Key West. Now, the only real detriment would be how my right knee holds out. As you all have seen, since my knee surgery in 1996 I wear a knee wrap while I bike and, for the most part, it does a fine job of stabilizing my knee. However, in about the last month it has really troubled me and it looks like I will need to see my specialist and determine a course of treatment. I am not looking forward to the dreaded.....K---R----------. But we'll see.
On another note, for some odd reason, I continue getting requests for me to present my cross country Power Point presentation to various groups. I recently tweaked it and presented it to the Washington Historical Society featuring many of the historical spots I visited. In September the Tazewell County Retired Teachers Association would like me to present at their monthly meeting and they insisted they pay me. I will of course decline any financial remuneration and defer it to the Central Illinois Alzheimer's association. That is about it for this and now I have to go shovel about 17 inches of snow!!!


  1. "I talked to Hank over the holidays and he indicated he is still interested in biking the East Coast with the Cross Roads group. Regardless of his decision I am pretty sure I will do this ride."


  2. We must have been in Florida at about the same time - Susan and I were in Pompano. I managed a bit of riding, most of it on A1A between Lauderdale and Palm Beach. And came back home to about 4 feet of snow in the drive - back to the trainer in front of the TV. I am also very tempted by the East Coast ride - will see if I can get my roomie interested....

  3. Bob, flew into West Palm Beach, and stayed in Fl Lauderdale before heading to Key West, Actually stayed in Palm Beach two days befor flying home. Would have been great to have seen you.