Another good day, but still a lot of pedaling to go!
By David Freeze
This was a day that I winged from the start! I got up before 5 to be ready ahead of first light. I had to add air to the back tire for the third straight day and made plans for that too.
I headed out the door, rode out to the highway and turned right and started riding. Within about 3 miles, I pulled over because there were no US 90 East signs. I asked Siri and she told me to go back to town and get on 90 West. That was sort of dumb, because as it turned out, all I had to do was just keep going according to the Google Assistant. About 5 miles into the ride, I had the sign, the right road and a nickname for 90 East listed as the Old Spanish Trail. That started a whole day of riding the same road and will see it more as I head east.
Most of the Alabama portion of 90 East had rumble strips but I rode in the lane because traffic wasn’t heavy. About 20 miles into the day, I found the “Welcome to Florida” sign. The area was beautifully landscaped, the bike lane widened and the rumble strips vanished. Very soon, I-10 intersected the area and it became very busy. Miles and miles of rolling hills and a great bike lane.
I entered Escambria County and crossed the river by the same name. My first big goal was the town of Milton and the Truly Spokin’ bike shop. I had asked Matt to take a look at the tire and tube and see if there was still some metal or glass in it. They found a wire, likely the kind that comes from steel belted tires, and pulled it out. A tube change, a few adjustments and I was back on the road.
My challenge for the rest of the afternoon was to find lodging for the evening and ride another 30 miles. I got both, the final 30 miles of an 81 mile day and a room in the Crestview Inn in Crestview. I did ask for a WiFi check and to see the room first, and all turned out well.
I have been asked what I eat out of convenience stores when they are the only option. As an example tonight, I got two Breyer’s ice creams, usually about half the price of the others. I get something like egg salad and chips, plenty of ice or water and a couple other snacks. Tonight, the clerk rang up the sandwich and a big Smart Water at way too much. I pointed out her error based on shelf pricing and she fixed both cheerfully.
Now back to where we stand on the overall miles remaining. As of tonight, there are 440 miles remaining and more than 2,600 complete. Like a reader said the other night, we can’t ride a straight line to get to St. Augustine. I am still 28 miles from finishing off the last map of the sixth series. All 409.5 miles remain on the complete seventh series. My goal is about 5-6 riding days remaining.
By the way, I have already eaten all that food, easily. I will still have more and I am drinking water and lemonade in great quantities.
Milton is a town that I would like to see again. It was incorporated in 1844, ahead of Florida becoming a state the next year. Milton was involved in shipbuilding until the end of the Civil War and survived but the railroad and lumber both evolved into agriculture as the top industry. The US Navy maintains Whiting Field from which I saw several flights this afternoon. There are lots of historic older homes in town too!
Other communities I passed through today were Pace and Holt, all of this on US 90 East. I will be back on it tomorrow.
Enough hills kept me honest today, but the upcoming flatter terrain will be welcome. I’m hoping for a big day tomorrow and closing in on Tallahassee and a town right before it called Midway.
Keep riding along, there’s more excitement in store!