Lake Worth, FL to Miami Beach, FL
Today begins, as always, with a little bit about last night. I stayed at a place called John Prince Park campground in Lake Worth, Florida. Now I wouldn’t normally complain about a campground’s facilities or lack there of, as I’m perfectly content with nothing but a place to get some water and a patch of ground to pitch my tent. This foul succubus of a park, though, charged 33 bucks a night. 33! They packed as many little “campsites” as they possibly could in the small amount of space that they had but luckily there were not too many people there (which I totally understand in hindsight). The bathrooms were smaller than those I had when I was living on a ship, like I sat down to do my business and had to tuck my knees in like I was on some shitty cheap airliner and it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in the better part of a decade. The showers were FILLED with these tiny little gnats that clung to every available surface and when I was finished I didn’t feel the least bit clean. These things wouldn’t normally bother me while camping but the fact that they charged so much for this place and their facilities looked like that. Hmmm, shake my head. For shame, Fort Worth, for shame. And. To top it all off, once I came back from the showers and was going to get something to eat out of my bag I noticed some treacherous little camp creature had chewed a hole right through the damn thing and had begun munching on my bagels. Screw that place. /end-rant
I woke up this morning not in the best of moods and really didn’t feel like I had much energy. I packed up my camp and got about 5 miles down the road before I decided to stop and get something to eat in the hope that it’d perk me up a bit. Mickey D’s to the rescue! I scarfed down a few delicious, calorie laden breakfast sandwiches and headed out. My helmet batteries died a few minutes after I got going so I didn’t have any music to help keep me motivated but, miraculously, I found myself suddenly full of boundless energy. There was a group of super aerodynamic bicyclists ahead of me and I decided I was going to get in close behind them and pedal along easily in the wake they were creating but once I got there I kept feeling like I was going too slow, that I needed to push myself faster. So I did. The look on each one of their faces as swept past them were all the same: Glance left. DOUBLE TAKE! Look of utter shame and confusion. Imagine driving a Ferrari and some shlub in a beat up Winnebago comes roaring past you. That was me 🙂
Since I had no music I decided to make a game out this. I’d set my sights on some hapless cyclist, mounted on his carbon fiber speedster, decked out in his finest Lycra outfit and I’d make it my mission to make him feel like some granny riding a beach cruiser. 12 times I did this over the next 2 hours. My favorite was a guy who seemed to be struggling up this gentle, sloping hill (if you can even call it that, this is Florida) when I swept past him. He did the same double take as all the rest but when I looked into my rearview mirror I could see his lips mouth, “WTF?”. It made it all worth it. I killed 45 miles with this seek and destroy tactic and the only reason I stopped was I had run out of water. I don’t know what they put in those McMuffins, probably some crack-cocaine derivative, but I had a never ending bottle of rocket sauce propelling me through the morning and it was amazing. Can anybody say, T-T-T-TURTLE POWERUP!!!
So after the Mountain Dew and banana break I was riding through the heavily populated Ft Lauderdale/Miami area and it was pretty dicey there for a while, my map had directed me to hop on a highway that felt suspiciously like an interstate before plopping me onto an even scarier road. No shoulder, whizzing traffic, terrible drivers, the whole shebang. But then, as if by the sweet scaly grace Great Shelled one Himself, I turned off that hell hole of a road and was cruising down this beautiful boardwalk right next to the beach. It was so incredibly perfect. Palm trees, turquoise water, warm sunshine, I had finally arrived in paradise. I rode on the boardwalk for about 5 miles before I returned to normal life on a quiet residential street that I pretty much followed to my destination. What started as a pretty crappy day turned into one of the most fun days of my trip. It’s crazy how life is sometimes.
I’m staying at this sweet hostel right in downtown Miami Beach. For 15 bucks a night I get a comfy bed in a room with a few other fellow travelers, unlimited hot showers, free wifi, free laundry, a place to lock my stuff up and a mere 10 minute walk to the beach. It looked so awesome when I got there that I decided to stay 2 nights and take a for real off day tomorrow to give my body the rest it deserves. Such a hard life, I know. That’s all for now, my devout followers of the Holy Shell. There probably won’t be post tomorrow but, still, stay tuned for the next edition of James and his Bike!