Day 47: Madison, Florida, to High Springs, Florida

Nick: “Boy, if you were going to pick three guys who look exactly the same as they did in high school …”

I think Nick and I have both gained about 20 pounds, and Tony’s six inches taller and 40 pounds bulkier, but we all pretty much have the same haircuts. Mine being just a general mess. But now, Tony’s a successful entrepreneur, Nick’s traveling all over the globe as an engineer, and I’m working for BCM doing a job no one ever told me existed. This is officially one of those things I never thought I’d be doing with these guys 13 years after I graduated high school, if you would have asked me in 1997.

We have been taking a hatchet to the Adventure Cycling Association route since we detoured to Niceville, only getting back on it for a few miles here and there. Today, we got a nice surprise when we happened upon about 10 miles of bike path next to highway 27 heading into Fort White. We ended up riding about 70 miles today.

We also picked up a fourth person for the last 120 miles into St. Augustine — Robin, who we met at the convenience store in Fort White, and who makes our trip sound like a warmup ride. She’s riding a huge loop around America, starting in Seattle, riding down the west coast, then across to St. Augustine, then up the east coast, then back home across Canada. It sounds like she’ll ride with us as long as she can stand our jokes.

After we had been talking to Robin for a few minutes, a young man approached us and said, “This is going to sound weird, but could I ask you to flex your calves?” Of course we will! He actually felt my calves, and then explained that he was really “into calves,” but couldn’t ride a bike because of his posture. Then it was kind of awkward for a second.

Not nearly as awkward as the exchange I had with the guy outside the CVS pharmacy in Silsbee, Texas, which started after I noticed he had rolled the window of his pickup down and was staring at me.

Me: How you doin?
Guy: Where y’all from?
Me: I’m from Denver, and my buddy’s from Chicago.
Guy: *continues to stare*
Me: Yep, we’re riding our bikes across America.
Guy: *continues to stare*
Me: Yeah, we started in San Diego near the beginning of February.
Guy: *continues to stare*
Me: Yep, it’s a long trip.
Guy: *continues to stare*
Me: All right.

Then I went in the store and he stared at Tony for a couple of minutes, saying nothing, and his wife and daughter came out of the store and they drove off.

So at least the guy groping my calves was friendly. I guess.

We have about an 80-mile day tomorrow, and then a 40-mile day into St. Augustine on Thursday, and then the ride is over. Tony’s going to fly out on Friday morning to catch the University of Northern Iowa-Michigan State game in St. Louis, and I’ll hang out with Nick in St. Augustine for a couple days and try to process this whole thing.

It’s funny, this time next week, I won’t be ending the day checking into a hotel I didn’t pay for, and feeling like I accomplished something because I crossed another chunk of biking off the map of the U.S. I won’t have to fill my water bottles or pack all my stuff into a bag and tie it down to a bike trailer, and I won’t have to put sunscreen on, or chamois butter, and I won’t be wearing a pair of cycling bibs all day, and stuffing myself past full at every meal.

I’m looking forward to that now, but I bet you a million dollars I’ll miss this a couple days after it’s over.

Time for bike tricks!

Only $149.99 at the I-10 truck stop near Madison, Florida. If you like severed heads, I highly recommend it.

Lunch.

Nick: "I'm just blowing people's minds with these slow-moving-vehicle triangles and the Flash Gordon t-shirt."

Free puppies near Beachville, Florida! Which is nowhere near a beach. I got this shot, but I missed the one of Tony getting chased out of the yard by a hostile dachsund.

-Brendan

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8 responses to “Day 47: Madison, Florida, to High Springs, Florida

  1. Rock on!!!!!

  2. two more days, can you believe it?

  3. Yeah, pretty much look exactly like you did in high school…. but doing much cooler things ~:)

    SO happy you are on the home stretch! With extra company!!

    I’m going to miss this blog though… Are you going to keep blogging to keep us all in the BCM adventures in Denver?? Maybe at least once a week?

    Wishing you all the best!

  4. Almost there! Make sure you eat the mayo sexy. I want pictures.

  5. I like your bike trick. I can’t believe some guy felt your calves and you didn’t tell me on the phone last night!

  6. Aaron & Krista

    So, would it be an ackward moment in our friendship if I wanted to feel your calves? Please let me know if I should ask or not, just sayin.

    I bet you will miss it within days of finishing. Being mentally driven for that long just doesn’t cease when the journey is over.

    You’ve truly lived up to your tattoo. How many times did you look down at it and then find the need to keep going???!!!

  7. You guys are awesome. I’m so proud of you both and can’t wait to see all the pictures and hear all about the trip at some point. Tony – I’ll be in St Louis for the game. Who knows – maybe I’ll see you! Swift riding tomorrow –
    Emily

  8. Think a travel slide/lecture seminar is in order when you return. Maybe at the Museum of Natural History or someplace historic! Need something to read every morning so keep blogging for all of us fans!

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