Friday, November 14, 2014

I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them. (Mark Twain)

An overnight bicycle trip is couples therapy on wheels.

We decided to trial run our road bike short-trip luggage on an overnight to the Florida Keys. We picked a destination around 65 miles from home, Bay Harbor Lodge on the southern part of Key Largo. Not too expensive, but with pleasant touches we enjoy.

We rolled the bikes through our building's lobby, waved goodbye to the lobby staff, and headed down the road. The weather was perfect. A nice tailwind all the way to the Keys. After dropping off our little luggage bags in our room, we rode around Key Largo, finally ending up at the grocery. We wanted to buy a picnic meal for our dinner, as well as Gatorade for the ride home. We ran into three guys who were bike camping. When the guys pedaled off, we joked about our memories of riding fully-loaded touring bikes. (Credit card touring isn't as adventurous but it is a whole lot easier.) Back at our lodging we eyed the kayaks and paddle-boats but opted to do some reading instead. We wandered out to the Lodge's waterfront and watched the sun set. It was a perfect day.

The next day began with clouds and spotty showers. Our luck was good, though, and the rain was always over someone else. Soon the clouds were gone. The ride home was into the wind. We slowed our pace and took 3-mile turns pulling. Ten miles from home Al finally fixed a minor problem I was having with my rear luggage rack, and we rolled up to our building's front door with big smiles on our faces.

Like I said, taking an overnight bicycle trip is couples therapy on wheels. You still quibble about the same silly things you always do. But by the end of the trip you remember why you like the other guy so much, even after a lot of years and a lot of trips.