|Trans USA Cycling Tour pg 13
Send me a note just to say you
|This is the Trans-USA Cycling Tour for Bill
continued June 25th -37th Final Day
I was close to the coast. Geography alert!!!
Jacksonville is not on the Coast.
Jacksonville also provided a navigation challenge.
To cross the bay created by the river you had to
cross 1 of 3 bridges and they were marked as
interstate highways and according to Florida
statues prohibit pedestrians and bicycles. They
are also narrow old bridges that didn't have any
room for a bike to cross. I turned back on my
first bridge approach and searched for a safer
bridge to cross. I found one a little further south
that was "safer", but not really safe to cross. It
intersected HWY 10 that was going east towards
the coast. I started to get more comments from
people that had noticed the sign on my bike. At
stop lights some asked me where I was coming
from, others just honked and gave me a thumbs
up. Some of the more progressive types said,
"keep on pedaling". I started to realize more and
more that there was a pretty good mileage
difference between Jacksonville and the coast.
After about 8 miles I started to see beach signs
and started to pedal like a MF, I had a
tremendous amount of energy, and I was
electrified. I was zipping along at 22 - 23 miles
an hour. I started to see palm trees and then a
beach community. I was rolling into Jupiter
Beach and the water was straight away. I reached
the end of a brick path and the sand started next
to a lifeguard office. I was carrying the full 65
pounds on the back of the bike. I didn't
dismount. I just put my feat on the sand and
started to walk my bike and myself to the ocean.
It was just as hard to get my bike through the
sand on the other side of continent at Seal Beach.
I took steps about 10 inches long and just enjoyed
the moment. I imagine I looked a little geeky, but
I was geeked up. The sand started to get hard
from the effect of the tide that had withdrawn.
The bike started to role easier and I began to look
for someone to take a picture. I called on a nice
young female who was listening to some tunes
and sunbathing on the beach with her boyfriend.
She said "sure". I said I wanted to get a picture
with the bike touching the water. I rolled the bike
to the water with shoes ankle deep in water (did it
matter any more). She took a couple of pictures.
Having seen the sign on the back of the bike she
asked, "are you finishing or just starting your
trip?" When I told her I was just finishing she
offered her congratulations. I told her thanks and
that I needed a beer. I took a little time to absorb
the moment and began to walk my bike back
across the beach. As I approached the brick
walk way her boyfriend came running up to me
and offered me a cold Miller Lite they were
smuggling on the beach and some
congratulations. I offered my thanks and walked
to the parking lot of the hotel next to the
walkway. I popped the beer and drank it down
like a cold soda. I realized the trip was over as
quickly as the beverage. Both quenched a thirst,
...........................one was from the heat of the
day the other started 33 years ago.
continued on page 14
|The first view of Jacksonville. The
beach was still a ways off.
|Billy boy dippin the bike at Jupiter Beach,
FL with a 33 year old grin