Saturday, October 15, 2011

Two great members of the support team Robin and Carol

Taking a break in the sand on highway A1A

Riding with "Bubba and his babes"

View of ocean during ride on A1A

Srolling along Datona Beach

Larry receiving CrossRoads ma[

Day 25

Distance-53 miles- total miles with rest day riding, and backtracking because of a few wrong turns-1679 miles

Weather-perfect with a 10-15 miles tail wind

Today was the last riding day for the East Coast ride. St. Augustine to Datona Beach for a total of 53 miles. Now, you would think that after riding over one thousand six hundred miles the last day would be one of a leisurely nature. Well, you be the judge. Their was a tailwind of 10-15 mph and the morning temperature in St Augustine was 59 degrees. So, conditions were ripe for our group to ride in a very conservative nature and enjoy the sights of central Florida. We started out in a moderately fast pace of 17-18 mph. The individual leading our pace line was trying to stay with the riders who usually ride faster. It wasn't long before we were riding 20-21 mph on what was to be our last riding day. Not to be trifled with, the group of faster riders increased their speed to be sure we would not catch them and so it went until the first SAG at mile 23. Even with stops in the small towns along the way, our average speed was over 20 mph. At the SAG, I determined that I would not continue in this manner since I had already missed at least one good photo op. So I was happy to join Hank and his crew to finish out the final 20 miles.

One interesting observation I made is that when riding mile after mile of ocean views I never get bored while riding mile after mile between trees gets very boring. Someone needs to do the research and explain why that is so.

Now for the rest of the story. Ten miles from the end of a 1,650 mile ride, I broke a spoke on my rear tire. That caused the tire to go out of "true". Basically that means the tire is warped and will rub on the support bars and brakes. How depressing. Only 10 miles from the end and I would have to "bump" into our final destination in Datona Beach. Suddenly, I had an epiphany. I would release my rear breaks. After doing so the tire spun and barely scrapped the support bar. So, I felt I could make 10 miles before the tire wore through and caused a puncture. I was off like a bolt of lightning. A slow bolt notwithstanding. While I had no rear break, and I certainly do not recommend anyone not ride with both brakes functioning properly, I had adequate breaking power with my front break. The good news is that I was able to navigate my way to the hotel and complete the ride without "bumping" the last ten miles. After a long walk on the beach, a couple of "dehydrating" drinks and a swim we were treated to a fine banquet to celebrate the end of the journey. Tomorrow I will summarize the East Coast ride.

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