Lithia Springs Park, FL to St. Petersburg, FL
Total Miles: 1789
I woke up today at around 6 but didn’t get out of my tent until 6:45 because I was lazy and I do what I want. My fabulously friendly neighbors weren’t up and around yet so I didn’t get a chance to thank them again this morning for their kind generosity. I left them a not on top of the cooler, though, when I placed it back in their camp. And so I set off into the morning with my water bottles full of icy water and my mind high on the thought of a short, easy ride today. Two things that make this guy really, really happy. The morning was a perfect mixture of refreshingly cool air and warm sunshine. I stopped in at a Wawa to get myself something to eat a few miles down the road. For those of you that don’t recognize the word Wawa, I’m truly sorry. It’s perhaps the greatest gas station/convenience store to ever exist; a shining beacon of hope in an otherwise dreary world; a sparkling ray of golden sunshine on a cloudy day; a verdant oasis of happiness in a sad, cruel desert. Yes. It’s that good. And so was the breakfast burrito I ate.
After eating my glorious burrito I set off again, just pedaling along, minding my own business when I hear the raucous war-cry of my feared nemesis ahead. Shit. Florida had lulled me into a star of complacency with their well behaved, manicured pupperonis. This beast, however, was neither. He lumbered off his stoop with gleaming intent of murder in his eyes as I readied my water cannon in defense. Our battle arena just so happened to land in a place where there was a slight incline in the road, I won’t go as far as to say a hill—elevation and Florida are two things that don’t belong in the same sentence—but it was still a bit much for me to try and run. My adrenaline is f!@#ing pumping at this point, this guy was big, but right when he got to about 15 feet from the road he lets out this loud ARRRHHH and falls over. Wtf? Did my Jedi mind powers finally start working? Did the stress of this encounter suddenly activate my mutant gene? Possibly. More likely, though, he had one of those shock collars that deliver a giant dose of GTFO whenever they leave the yard. Still. James – 1. Death Beast – 0.
So after my friendly encounter with the doggo the rest of the miles when smashingly. I was riding through the city mostly but the traffic was light and there were excellent bike lanes. About 6 miles from my destination I’m about to cross this really long bridge and I feel my bike start to act funny. I look down and, of course, I have a flat. In my god damned rear tire. I’ve ridden almost 1800 miles and my front tire had given me no trouble at all. None. It’s ironic, too, because I was so terribly inept at messing with the rear tire when I started the trip and now I’m a fucking expert. I had that bad boy off, slapped a new tube on there and was back on the road in less than 15 minutes. Jiffy Lube ain’t got shit on me.
I get to my destination for the day, my BFF4L Amber’s place, lock up my bike and immediately head to the pool where I proceed to swim and lay in the sun for a few hours. It’s a constant struggle to try and keep this farmers tan at bay. I’m not even close to winning, but I’m trying. So that was my day. I’m taking the next 3 days off. Yes. I said 3. It’s time for a vacation in the middle of my vacation. I will be back, though. So, as always, stay tuned for the next edition of James and his Bike!