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East Coast Greenway (2019): Melbourne Beach to Hutchinson Island for 70 miles

Bike headlamps blinking white…check
Rear lights blinking red…check
Phones charged…check
Snacks stuffed in pockets….check
Sunscreen slathered…check
Worries about lack of preparation for 70 miles of riding…check
Worries about a lack of tailwind….check

And that was all it took for 40 riders to roll out beginning around oh eight hundred and kick those worries goodbye.  It was time to get lost in the moment of bicycling, exploring, working the magic with your bike pals and taking in every chance to become easily distracted.  Just north of the Sebastian Inlet, we had to check out a sanctuary for loggerhead turtles.  This prompted a stop at the museum, a quick dose of turtle education, an opportunity to find some shade and a chance to nosh on left-over remnants from breakfast.   Welcome to bicycling Florida along the East Coast Greenway!

A1A parallels the Atlantic Ocean, and when not blocked by buildings or dunes, we had opportunities to watch the waves crash to shore.  When riding in traffic, letting your focus meander to breathtaking views could be a recipe for distracted-bicycling — yet due to a bike / multi-use path apart from traffic — we could ride care-free.  We watched the small lizards dart in front of our bike wheels, marveling at their speed and hoping they wouldn’t jump on our legs — they didn’t — and soon we had tallied up 50 miles.  It was time for lunch at Sharkey’s in Ft Pierce and a much needed break from the bike saddle.

After lunch we rode over two Causeways — both over the ICW.  The first Causeway required extreme focus due to high speed vehicles whizzing by and the open grates in the mid section that liked to take your bike on a wobble.  This is where my entire front light fixture separated from my bike and dove into the middle lane of oncoming traffic.  This is where my bike mates behind me stopped the oncoming vehicle and retrieved my broken parts.  It was over-the-top heroic of course, but I had to make a special mention — a shout out to Bad Ass Cave Dave — the same person who rode his bicycle a top a submarine 1 year earlier in plain sight of armed guards.  The second Causeway we opted to ride in the pedestrian section — a narrow path large enough for a single bike and a short guardrail that barely prevented you from being blown overdeck by the crosswinds.  We braved the Causeways, Cause there is no other Way to get to the barrier island that would be our destination for the night – Hutchinson Island.  From there, we returned to an off-road path, and more distracted-bicycling, taking in the sights, and the homes, especially the homes decked in blue paint and dolled up by blue beer bottles — and couldn’t think of a better way to spend our day.

Cool house designed with much personality

Takiin’ a drink break – not much shade in Florida

So many opportunities to explore the wildlife

Fellow riders queing up in the AM before the ride begins


Andy Andy takes a breather

The day begins with some core workout


Oh the core!

Peace, Love, Out,

Favorite Sights: The Atlantic Ocean
Favorite Cycling Segments: A1A from Ft. Pierce Jetty Park on south
Least favorite cycling segments: Seaway Drive Causeway in Ft. Pierce
Favorite Food: Veggie sammie from Sharkey’s in Ft Pierce
Surprises along the WAY:  Blue home decorated with blue bottles
The Route:
Distance: 71 miles
Start to Finish: Melbourne Beach to Hutchinson Island
Why Ride? To raise awareness and funding for the East Coast Greenway from Maine to Key West

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