Sunday, August 30, 2015

Experience is what enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again. (Earl Wilson)

Summer cycling in Miami is not for sissies. Thankfully, we are on the slow slide into fall. It will take a month or so, but fall is on the way.

We've spent our summer working on small but important goals. Things we needed to have in place for traveling with our bikes. You see, life being what it is, for several years our travels have been somewhat limited. But those times are now history. We are back traveling around Florida and nearby states with our bicycles. We are exploring new roads and new towns and revisiting old favorites. To do this easily, I needed to be able to ride my road bike clipped in without having to wear ankle supports which are hot, uncomfortable, and butt-ugly. We both needed to pace ourselves better when riding by ourselves, remembering to take turns being the guy in front (pulling). We settled on a very flexible 5-mile rotation schedule. We kept our ride length to metric centuries (62 miles) over the first months of summer. In mid-summer we stepped down to 50-mile rides, a ride length we'll keep until the worst of the heat and humidity ends. It doesn't guarantee freedom from heat-related problems, but it helps.

This fall we are adding a new type of touring. Al likes staying in one location rather than moving every night or two. I like touring that moves you through a whole area, not just the distance achievable by loop rides from a base hotel. So we're working on a compromise. Stay in one hotel and move the bikes by car to the start point of loop routes, each farther and farther from our hotel. Our first try at this will be the Florida Panhandle. We're staying in a hotel on the eastern edge of the Panhandle, but our rides will take us over the entire length of the Panhandle, all the way to the Alabama border. If it works, it will give our credit-card touring a new dimension and open up new possibilities.

And that is always fun.