I started early so I set out for today to be a record distance day. And the conditions were perfect on the coast. The wind was calm and much of the highway was new blacktop so my speed was between 19 and 22 most of the way. Weeeee!!!!
My average speed for the entire trip after todays ride is 16.2 MPH. When I left I was carrying 47 pounds plus my rack. The bike is holding up great. I was very concerned about the weight when I left, but i have adjusted nicely and feel confident about the bike holding up... "knock on wood".
So the ride was smooth all the way to Port St. Joe, a small town, but large enough to have a Starbucks (which I didn't stop at). I was starving and suspecting I had another flat too. So I stopped at the first place I ran into. Hungry Howies was a hasty stop because I was starving, but it was a lucky choice. I at a scrumption meat sub and a hearty greek salad with all the fixin's. I met Chuck, one of the co-owners and a couple of high school soccer kids (Hunter and TJ? - I forget - if you ready this correct me please) who were getting some grubs before practice. Everyone was so nice and made me feel proud of my journey.
I did have a flat too. Damnit! I forgot to check before I packed everything on the bike, which is about a 10 minute ordeal. So I had to unpack everything, change the tube and repack... an extra half hour gone.
36 milles away was Panama City. It was 5:30 and I was determined to make it. And I did with about a 30 minute ride in the dark through a very unfriendly bicycle town. Panama City beats out Tampa easy on the rude to bicycling list. I was for the 1st time concerned for my safety due to someone else's malicious intent. I was heading to Gold's gym anyway, I could use the aggression for my lifting workout. After 115 miles on the bike, i was spent. The workout was just an average effort.
There was no camping in Panama City that I could find. So the Days Inn got me for $65 (which came with all you can eat sour patch kids - a compliment at the front desk) and a continental breakfast. I talked with Cati ( I miss you) and went sleep.
This is typical along the Forgotten Coast. Gorgeous empty beaches!
This scence was gorgeous in person. Below me on the bridge were two dolphins playing with each other, leaping in a unique pattern sometime apart and sometimes in sync. I was in complete awe of this moment. I tried to capture the dolphins... but I am no camera man. Sorry.