After a brief early meet to discuss the 70 mile cycling day ahead, our group of 40 riders learned that we would enjoy one section of shade, plenty of bike lanes and even wide shoulders depending on your definition of wide. The collective sounds of clipping shoes to pedals, GPS devices alerting turn signals and groans making contact with the saddle meant this was day 3 with a long ride ahead. It was time to ride, to take in the gentle sea breezes from the southeast while listening to the surf crashing port-side.
Our first stop was for shade, and of course we had to take a picture of this phenomena in Florida, and enjoy temps a few degrees cooler than open sunshine. Then, we didn’t want to leave the shade– but we did — and found ourselves drinking down water bottles and a much faster rate than anticipated.
A distraction to the water issue was needed, and one of our riders spotted a sign for coral — to which we decided was a must-see. We detoured into the Coral Park, walked to the beach, and found chunks of coral washed ashore. This presented a new photo op, a dance with the waves to see if we could climb the coral before getting soaked by the surf, and all of that stratergerie took some time. In the end, our rider Kate claimed the coral prize — and the concern about lack of water was long gone.
Returning to cycling, we waited on several drawbridges over the ICW to open, and once given the all-clear we quickly rode over the parts with the grates, avoiding looking through to the water below. Beyond the bridges, cycling returned to conversations with fellow riders, checking in to make sure we had applied enough sunscreen and guessing the mileage to the lunch stop. For some reason, ‘two more miles to go’ seemed like 20, and just like that, we were eating food and back in our happy places.
Returning to our wheels we finished the day in awe of how lucky we are to be on this pioneer ride – taking in each wide-eyed moment with a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
Peace, Love, Out,
Read more: Exploring by Bike
Start to Finish: Hutchinson Island to Delray Beach
Why Ride? To raise awareness and funding for the East Coast Greenway from Maine to Key West