Friday, September 11, 2015


Rain was heading our way. We decided to create a route of 15-20 mile loops around our hotel. After each loop, we could decide if we would chance another loop. First we would head north to the other side of the Apalachicola River and visit the little town of Eastpoint. We would do a loop on back roads on the north side of the river, then head back south of Apalachicola toward Cape San Blas for a loop. We’d get a lot of nice scenery, and we could check out a couple of restaurants that interested us. So after a leisurely breakfast, we pedaled off. We took back streets to the river, then crisscrossed the downtown area. Recent years have been good to Apalachicola. The historic district has gentrified and turned into an appealing little tourist town.

We pedaled on, crossing the bridges and causeways, heading over the river to Eastpoint. We passed some modest gated communities, but mostly we saw pleasant small homes with the kind of waterfront views only mansions have in Miami. Rural living does have its good points. The vehicle of choice in front of most homes was the ubiquitous pickup truck.

We pedaled down to a boat ramp, watched a couple of boats being put in, and turned around to pedal back over the causeway. Pedal, pedal, snap!, whirr-rrr-rrr, (clink).

Oh, crap. I couldn’t believe it: My chain just broke. I stood over my bike staring at it as Al pedaled back to me.

Do we have a chain tool? Do we know how to use a chain tool? Do we care if we have a chain tool? We talked briefly (maybe 2 nanoseconds) before saying, "A bike shop can fix this!" Al rode off with a little wave. He’d go get our car. I’d walk, pushing the bike, until he came back.

My little walk wasn’t without interest. I watched an eagle catch a fish, enjoyed a close fly-over by a pelican, and took some photos of the bay. Soon Al was there with the car. He put my bike on the bike rack and we headed back to Apalachicola.

And guess what? There’s no bike shop in Apalachicola or any of the nearby towns! (Crap.) The nearest reliable bike shop is about 80 miles away in Tallahassee.

So we set off to Tallahassee with the bike. By this point our mood had improved. There wasn’t much we could do about the situation, so we set about enjoying the trip to Tallahassee and making plans for dinner. Dinner in a charming little restaurant we saw on our bike ride today.

All’s well that ends well.

(Miles today: 27.1)