Friday, May 15, 2015

Early Morning on the 7-Mile Bridge

"Ready to get breakfast? I'm thinking the 7-Mile Grill," said Al. I thought it was a great idea.

Half the fun of staying on Big Pine Key is going to breakfast at the 7-Mile Grill. It means riding from Big Pine, past Bahia Honda Key and the state park, then over the 7-Mile Bridge to Marathon. Always beautiful, the trip is even more so with the early morning sun sparkling on the water. And when, I ask you, when can you bike seven miles on a bridge other than here in the Keys?

Before we headed out Al warned me. "It is going to be a headwind all the way to Marathon." Big deal, I thought. I'll do whatever it takes to get to coffee and a good omelet. So off we pedaled.

It wasn't just a little headwind. It was a 20 mph headwind! It wasn't that long a ride. Just 17 miles. But we had to work really hard. We laughed when we found ourselves flying over the bridge at an awesome 9 mph! By the time we wheeled into the parking lot of the 7-Mile Grill we were famished.

Before going back to Big Pine, we rode down the span of the original bridge that leads over to Pigeon Key. Now open only to non-motorized traffic, the old bridge seems too narrow to have been used by cars and large trucks.

The ride back to Big Pine, with the wind now a strong tailwind, was a treat. We were barely working at all and our old bikes were cruising at 20+ mph. I went over the bridge without much effort in my biggest gears. The downhill was a total blast.

We spent the rest of the day pedaling around back roads of Big Pine Key doing some research on possible places to stay on future trips. Because we will be back to ride the 7-Mile Bridge some more.
A span of the old railroad bridge.