Good heavens. It’s the Ides of November already. Even though in practice, Ides typically refers to the month of March, I find it a romantic notion to suggest that every month has a half-way mark. I’m half-way thru the Month of November. Time to settle my debts from the first half of the month and look ahead to the finish of my ride. (All good Romans settled their debts on the Ides of March, we have been given one extra month by the IRS.) What stands out to me at this point is that I’m carrying too much gear. Time to unload some of this stuff that I’m no longer using and make my load a bit lighter for the remainder of my journey. I’m going to do that today.
Ever since I left East Texas its been cold. Unseasonably cold. There have been many days when the temperature was 20 degrees below average. To put it another way, I can only remember three days of cycling when I was pleasantly warm while riding. All of this goes to the fact that I have been staying in hotels for most of that way. Some of them nice, some of them not so nice, but all of them have had a roof, some form of heat, and most (but not all) have had a hot shower.
With 282 miles remaining to reach St. Augustine, I’ve decided there is no point in trying to camp between here and there. The weather is not showing signs of getting any better, so I think it is safe to unload my camping gear, send that home, and in the process lighten my load significantly. There is a big difference between riding a bike that is carrying just its rider, and riding a bike that is carrying its rider plus a ton of camping equipment, clothing, and miscellaneous stuff that comes with you on an extended tour. It will actually be fun to complete the tour carrying less gear. To see if that is even possible, I’ll need to spend the rest of the morning figuring out the logistics. I’m calling today a day of rest.
I have discovered the miracle diet. Take 22 pounds of gear off your bike and ship it home. As the fellow in the UPS store said to me, “you’re no longer carrying a toddler around with you.” I thought that was funny. Even if I got rid of everything, including the bike, I’d still be accompanied by a toddler (me).
Tomorrow begins my four day dash to the coast. I will arrive on the 19th. That is a very special day as I have alluded to in earlier posts. I’m not going to go into it right now. I will have more to say about that on the 19th. Here is how I’m going to get there:
Tallahassee to Madison 58 miles
Madison to High Springs 77 miles*
High Springs to Palatka 68 miles
Palatka to St. Augustin 40 miles
A day of rest. Prepping for the remainder of my trip.