Sunday, June 21, 2015

Jupiter in June

We had a true treat this past weekend. A fun weekend of riding with friends. The focus was on fun. Not miles. Not speed. Not training. Fun. 

Juno Pier (Photo by Larry Morat)
Less than a two hour drive north up the coast from Miami is the small coastal city of Jupiter. Al and I packed our bikes on the car and headed up to Jupiter Friday afternoon. We arrived a few hours before the rest of the group. We loved the location. The hotel was right on the intercoastal waterway. And on a fabulous paved recreational trail that we'd heard about but never seen.

Everyone gathered at breakfast in the hotel's lobby Saturday morning. Outside the sky was a bright clear blue. There was a light breeze. The forecast was for a hot and humid day. Our plan was to head north to Hobe Sound, make a turn around, ride south to Ocean Reef Park, turn around and head north to Juno Pier, then continue on to our hotel. At a bit after 7:30 it was pedals up, and we were off. There were about a dozen of us.

Juno Pier
Gawking at the fish under Juno Pier.
Pedal, pedal, pedal. What a great route! Traffic was light. There was a wide bike lane. The views of the intercoastal waterway and later the beaches were superb. Was it hot? Of course. It's summer in Florida. But this route had a fair amount of canopy and shade. There were beach parks with covered shelters at the turn-around points. And a Publix grocery store for air conditioning, cold water, and a mid-ride treat. (A fellow rider shared cold cubes of crisp watermelon with everyone. Delicious.)

Pedal, pedal, pedal. We pulled into Ocean Reef Park. A group was grilling something mouthwatering in a covered picnic area. We pulled into the shade of the trees near the boardwalk to the beach and mingled and chatted in the cool shade. Then it was off down the road again.

Part of the group on Juno Pier
Pedal, pedal, pedal. We pulled up to the Juno Pier. Part of the group gathered in a shaded area near the street to sort out a mechanical. The rest of the group headed out onto the pier to enjoy the views and the ocean breeze.

The paved path (Riverwalk)
Back on our bikes, it was a short ride to Riverwalk, the paved recreational path that ran back to our hotel. We headed to our rooms and cleaned up, then met back up for a great lunch at The Dune Dog. After lunch the group scattered, some to the pool, some to the beach, some to rooms for a nap. That evening we walked down Riverwalk, crossing the intercoastal, wandering through a yacht club then on to a nearby restaurant. Good company. Good food. Good conversation.

Sunday was a easy pedal before everyone parted ways. We rode through Jupiter and Tequesta, touching the borders of adjacent cities. Midway we made a stop at the Jupiter Donut Factory (Hours: "6:00 am until sold out".) It was definitely worth the stop. Then we continued our ride through the residential areas, down the beaches, and back to our hotel.

Al and I were heading home. Others were hitting the beach and the pool.

It was a perfect summer day.