Whoa! I’m remembering what “Old Blue Eyes” once said. Big time.
“Riding high in April. Shot down in … (April?)”
So, today, Wednesday, April 11, started out great. This is the first full day on the bike!
I left the airbnb in Plantation, FL and headed south on almost a straight line for 30 miles. An early disappointment was the roads which were busy and randomly friendly to bikes, Some had dedicated lanes, some not even a shoulder. Some speedy, some pleasurably slow. Then the best part was the southern Miami area where there was a nice well kept bike trail for about 10 miles called the Old Cutler Road.
The shit part started right after that ended and I, thinking the omniscient Google would always pick the best routes, decided to follow their suggest route which looked out-of-the-way and peaceful. That may be true but there’s more to pay for that.
Looking at the Google map to get to Key Largo takes a coastal route without any highway but it does not tell you that it’s a long 30 mile dusty trail in the middle of no man’s land, Biscayne National Park and miles and miles of mangroves following a canal. Presumably, this is the Everglades or something like it.
I’ll totally blame Google for this day’s woes. Once I got on the trail I suddenly realized that I need more of a pickup truck or fat bike to ride this stuff. My Ex Pat is designed to tow and take some weight and bounce but this was ridiculous, Rocks, millions of pebbles, ditches, all took its toll on the bike until I broke a bolt holding the rear rack to the frame. Then finally near the end of this torture I flatted after hitting some severe rocks.
The final straw as the flat was very difficult to fix as the tire was too tight to get on the rim. After an hour of trying I finally got it on only to have the new tube blow out. I was 1000 feet from hitting the road again but it was not to be.
Its getting near 5 pm and I still have another 25 miles to go so I did what any sane person would do these days and call a Uber. Pedro arrive in about 15 minutes and delivered me to Key Largo my destination (almost, since I was so beat my plan to camp was replaced with a room, somewhere, anywhere). That place was the Key West Inn (in Key Largo). I will not go into rating this right now because I’m not sure how you can rate this place. Maybe more on this later.
Anyway, I’m in Key Largo. I have a broken bike. But its nothing that can’t be fixed. 🙂 However, I’ve got to get that done before I can do anything and this will set my schedule back. I’m going to sleep on what are my next steps. The trip goes on. Meanwhile, here’s where I had dinner and caught a little of the Keys mojo at Sharkey’s. More on that tomorrow.
Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully a better one. No one said this would be easy. In a perverse way, I like the new challenge of improvising solutions and remembering that even the best plans of men oft go awry. I’m totally in my McGiver role right now.