Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sweaty Cycling Fun and Wonderful Plants

If you plan to ride your bike in Florida in the summer, you have to accept that you are going to sweat...a lot.

Al and I have always devoted summer to water skiing. When the warm weather came this year, however, we decided we were just having too much fun cycling to put it aside until cool weather returned in the fall. We decided to do both, water skiing and cycling, this summer.

To achieve that we realized we had to adopt new biking routines for the hot weather. The salts in sweat are not friendly to bike gear. Everything now gets rinsed down and dried after rides: riding sandals, helmets, and bikes (handlebar tape, seat, frame). This new addition to our routine takes a few minutes, but it is fairly easy. Of course, there is no change for taking care of clothes and gloves post ride: the clothes washer.

A fun surprise this week was right outside out house. We have a century plant (agave plant) by the mailbox at the street. A flower stalk has emerged and is rapidly growing taller. It will continue to grow to a height of about 20-25 feet. Once the bloom ends, the plant dies. What a way to go, don't you think?

A final image. The little rural town in which we live has the majority of the world's caladium fields. The town is billed as the "Caladium Capital of the World". What you ask is a caladium? Well, it is a ornament plant which is hardy here in zone 10 but is grown as a bulb or as a house plant in chillier climes. Needless to say, it is a favorite plant around homes here. Just down the street from us the morning sun made one garden bed particularly lovely. Now imagine a whole field of these beauties!