Archive for May 1st, 2009

Coast to Coast and back in 2 days

I wanted to do one more serious training ride on the Seiran recumbent bike. There was always this idea of riding coast to coast in South Florida, and this Tuesday and Wednesday (Apr 28-29) would be good weather, albeit with a strong Easterly wind. The first day would be a lot of fun – I love long tailwind rides – but how about coming back into the wind the next day?

Google Map of route across Florida

Google Map of route across Florida

As expected, day 1 was great, with average speed over 30 km/h and a total of almost 9 hrs on the bike. Crossing the bridge to Sanibel Island in the late afternoon was a real highlight.

Toll Bridge across to Sanibel Island

Toll Bridge across to Sanibel Island

I stayed at a hotel in Ft. Myers, where I shared my room with my recumbent 🙂 Next morning at sunrise I was on the road again starting to battle the wind. First I took a wrong turn – Hwy 82 East instead of Hwy 80 East – so I had to cut North through Lehigh Acres to get back to the correct route. All along, my wife and friends were following my progress on my SPOT tracking page…

Day 2 was harder; one central section between Labelle and Clewiston was a bit dangerous as there is no shoulder and there was increased traffic due to a temporary closure of I75 (Alligator Alley) because of smoke caused by some brush fires. Once I chose to run off the road into the grass because the trucks from behind – good thing I have my rear-view helmet mirror – wouldn’t slow down and there were other trucks coming the opposite way – not the place you want to be with the bike…

Coming back on the levee at Lake Okeechobee

Coming back on the levee at lake Okeechobee

The last 40km I rode the Palm Tran bus as I did many times before. Still, I had ridden 175 km into the wind for 8 hrs! After a total of 425 km and 17 hrs on the bike in 2 days I now feel ready for the long stretches of the Alaska Highway!

With my new Flip Mino HD mini digital video recorder I captured some HD footage and did some editing on the iMac at home. Here is a 4 min HD video of Day 1 of the trip:

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