The day began with great excitement for our “relatively” short 55-mile cycling day. We mounted our bikes and traveled together for several miles before the smoothly paved road ended and we began to travel on very hard packed dirt that ultimately led us to a sand roadway. It was at this point that we all encountered the great laugh of the day. Paul and Dan were scouting the road together when their conversation was abruptly ended as the wheels of their bikes got stuck in some soft sand. For a brief moment they stopped dead in the sand and then both of them toppled over in unison. To witness these two strong riders lying on their sides with their bikes on top of them, well it was just too funny.
The remainder of the day was spent biking through The Suwannee County. We saw beautiful family farms with livestock and 10-20 acre sized farms. We also biked by some of the most magnificent vegetable farms growing tomatoes, squash and peanuts.
One ongoing observation regarding the typically “spot on” navigation and directions, is that when we go ‘off route” and think we will shorten a ride by five miles, at the end of the day we find that we have actually biked an additional 6 miles! To quote former President Bush, “that sounds like fuzzy math.” Just shy of the end of today’s ride we happened upon an ice cream shop. Kate, an ice-cream addict, broke out the sheckles and everyone pedaled off with a big smile and a belly full of carbs.
We finished our ride in the early afternoon and immediately went into bike cleaning and maintenance mode. All of this took place behind the Holiday Inn, Lake City. We wish to note that if you are in need of a place to stay in Lake City, then this is the place! The staff was very accommodating and the bartender poured with a very heavy hand.
For dinner, we dined on pizza and salads from a highly recommended local shop that delivered to the hotel lobby. We also dined with an old high school buddy of John McLaren. Steve and his wife Sheila drove three hours down from Plains, Ga. and held court as Steve told tales of his days with the Secret Service.
By 8:00 p.m. we all retired to our rooms for a good nights rest in preparation for Sunday’s 90-mile ride. Isn’t Sunday supposed to be a day of rest?