It’s Tuesday. Eight days into the epic ride. And, things have changed. Again.
On the positive side, I’ve had two great days of riding, with perfect weather in 60s and 70s and bright and beautiful skies. I was able to do 50 to 60 miles each day arriving at our destination by 3:00 p.m. This was exactly the plan.
What changed? A couple things. First, two days of pretty strong headwinds 10-20 yesterday and about 5-10 today caused the rides to be tough but still doable. Second, a missing partner. Tom got a call from his house-flipping business partner back in NJ about troubles in payment of contractors which called for immediate financing. He said he had to go back to take care of it. That’s all I know. Right now he’s on an Amtrak heading home with his bike.
Tom is an older dude nearing 80 and one tough independent rider. He’s set in his ways but makes good company. While I did the Keys, he started April 11 from Ft. Lauderdale and had not rested any days, doing over 200 miles more than me.
What we both learned is that although he did this ride himself about six years ago, he might not have been up to it now. Or maybe not at the pace we planned. We did not really end up riding together in the end because he simply went at a pace about 1/3 slower than mine. It became a classic Tortoise and the Hare. We went out together and he went his way and I went mine meeting at the end of the day. Not that we could not work with that but it held me back and I think he was self-conscious about it.
All that might not have anything to do with his dropping out but I can’t help but feel it contributed to packing it in.
There are lots of good things to say about the ride so far, including staying at airbnbs, meeting interesting people, visiting strange places, experiencing great food and dealing with biking issues. All that will have to wait for another day.
I’m solo from now on. There’s work to be done if I’m going to get back to Jersey. That’s the plan.