Friday 12th April, 2013. Cabin 4, Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Florida (about half way between Miami and Daytona)
Well as we’ve been over in the USA for over a week now, we thought it was time we let people know how we are going on. After Dave Hindle dropped us off at Manchester Airport (thanks pal), the Delta Airlines flights were ok, but we eventually reached Miami an hour or so late at around 8.30pm local time. No problem with the transfer to the hotel and then straight to bed. Miami is a huge modern city, very clean and prosperous and it positively glints in the hot Florida sunshine. The temperatures were up in the mid 80’s, quite a contrast with the Manchester we left behind at not much above freezing. We spent three days in Miami Beach, looking round the city, collecting the bikes, and paddling in the warm Atlantic Ocean which was just across the road from our hotel. As most people will know, due to Sandi’s MS, she can’t ride a regular bike any longer, so she has bought a tricycle, with a handy electric motor attached to it. On a full charge, this will give us around 20 miles, plus whatever distance she can manage to pedal. The battery is recharged every night wherever we happen to be staying, so we have a further 20 miles range for the following day. Fortunately there are enough motels around (so far!) to accommodate our limited range. I have bought a traditional workhorse bike and carry all our belongings in front (thanks Pete Hindle) and rear panniers. We’ve been on the road five days now and covered just under 100 miles. Temperatures have been fairly constant in the 80’s, with a burning sun, so perhaps it’s a good thing we are not aiming to do 60 miles a day!
The route so far has in all honesty, been a bit dull, as we have ridden out of the greater Miami area, passing row upon row of magnificent concrete and steel hotels and condo’s, populated by the very well to do. We’ve also passed many magnificent family homes – god knows what they cost- with three cars on the drive and a massive motorboat moored on the creek opposite. However we’ve now left Miami behind and are seeing a bit more of the Atlantic, which seems surprisingly blue. We’ve just taken our first day off from cycling to spend two nights in a “cabin” at this state park. Cabin does it no justice whatsoever, as it has all mod cons including air conditioning, but it is very peaceful away form the busy highway. This afternoon we experienced our first Florida thunderstorm which was very spectacular indeed, with tremendous lightning, deafening claps of thunder, and heavy rain. We just got back from a canoe ride up the local river in time. Anyway, it’s back on the road tomorrow for us as we’ve still got 2181 miles to go before we get to Boston.
Peter and Sandi Browning