Category Archives: bicycle touring

6/10/15 Glades/Lauderdale/Miami/Glades 3 Day Tour

Day 3 Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
39.6 miles

IMG_6473Fancy breakfast in The Grove.

 

IMG_6475There’s some really great infrastructure along the path.

 

IMG_6478Very cool taking the trails long distances.

 

 

IMG_6480Beautiful!

 

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IMG_6490Whaaaaaat!?!?

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Awesome bikepath network!

 

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Two bedroom/two bath apartment for $800 a month!?!? We are defo not in Key West!

 

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6/9/15 Glades/Lauderdale/Miami/Glades 3 Day Tour

Day 2 Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Fort Lauderdale to Miami

 

IMG_6443Rest and shade along Miami Mid Beach

IMG_6444We waited out a serious downpour. Wet. Very wet. Drinking beer was waaay better than getting wet. Really wet!

 

 

IMG_6450Not too bad on the bridge detour. Not great either tho’!

 

IMG_6451Yay Gramps! Reppin’ Key West!

 

IMG_6453On the fun side of the Wynwood Brewery bar window!

 

IMG_6454The Chilly obligatory keg pic when visiting a brewery. Thanks Alonda!

 

IMG_6457Sunset in the city.

 

IMG_6458Yummy

 

IMG_6459Aaand back on the outside!

 

IMG_6460Yay Shawn, one of our hosts!

IMG_6462The doggys like Eddy!

 

6/10/15 Glades/Lauderdale/Miami/Glades 3 Day Tour

6/8/15 Glades/Lauderdale/Miami/Glades 3 Day Tour

Day 1 Monday, June 8th, 2015
39.6 miles and some Tri-Rail action too!

My friend Eddy and I decided to escape the sandbar of Key West and drive up to the mainland and enjoy an urban 3 day bicycle tour. The general plan was to leave Key Weird after work and drive to the Everglades Hostel for the night, stash my van at a nearby Warmshowers host, use Tri-Rail to get to Fort Lauderdale and ride back to my van over 3 days.

IMG_6390The grounds of the Everglades Hostel are super fresh and there are lots of places to chill, climb or climb and chill!  The cargo nets go a bit higher up! There are also many cool little nooks to enjoy at ground level including a naturally spring fed swimming hole.

IMG_6391Coffee’d up and packing up. I took my lighter Soma Double Cross, Blue, rather than my touring bike. Eddy had his Jamis Aurora. We both carried only a single rear pannier as we were sleeping at a hostel, a Warmshowers host and a friend’s house. Fast and light!

IMG_6392That would suck! But homeboy looks pretty dang happy about it. I wonder what’s in his backpack!?!?

IMG_6393We drove a few miles to Gabrielle’s farm, a Warmshowers host who was kind enough to let me just park somewhere safe for a few days. Lots and lots of fruits and flowers and beauty on her farm!

IMG_6396Ghost bike we passed soon after starting our ride in an agricultural area. “In loving memory of Jesse Martin. Born October 21, 1993. Went to be with the Lord August 21, 2013” I haven’t been able to find anything on the interwebs about what happened.

IMG_6397We soon reached the M Path which is also a busway and pretty much traffic free though not particularly scenic.

IMG_6398Eddy has dreamed of seeing the Coral Castle, built by a fellow Latvian. We planned our route to visit and tour the property.

IMG_6410Latvian suntanning bed!

 

 

IMG_6413Sundial measurements.

 

IMG_6416Sundial.

IMG_6419Latvians, then and now!

IMG_6423The June sun in South Florida is no joke. I prefer to cover up rather than wear sunblock. We felt like bicycle insurgents invading Miami from the south!

IMG_6424Awesome bicycle crossroads.

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IMG_6432Under the train and  paralleling the always congested Route 1.

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No stop sign. And there’s not burning hospitals and the world coming to an end! Not just for Portland, Oregon or states that are not Florida. Why does Key West City management suck so much?!

IMG_6435And then there is the area near the airport, at rush hour. Not fun on bicycles and not even room to pass. Yay exhaust fumes and exhaust heat!

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Day two here!

7 Mile Bridge Ride 2015

imageTrying to be seen by drivers while simultaneously trying to hide from the sun! Arrrr!  MM15. At 5:30PM.  Yeah, it was a late start to go from Key Weird MM0 up to Knight’s Key at MM47.

But hey, sometimes late starts are unavoidable in order to take care of responsibilities and yet still go on and do the dam thing like beavers! Woohaaa! My partner also had to bail last minute leaving me alone to wonder if I would still be pedaling by nightfall. Bring it on!  Better than being stuck inside somewhere. I am enjoying my new long sleeve fishing shirt which I use as a cycling shirt down here and whenever I find myself traversing a desert. This one is a Columbia PFG Offshore in a very tropical, bright and appropriate color called Key West! I think this shirt will be going on more adventures.

And while dodging the sun with all sorts of special fishing gear,  I am also trying to be noticed with (3) three very bright rear lights. Super Flashers and Turbo Flashers! Perhaps it was all the morning’s and afternoon’s events seeming to conspire to cancel this trip, but I was feeling more paranoid than usual about being hit and feeling vulnerable in the less safe sections of the ride.

imageMM16.5 Originally a hit and run, the driver, an elderly man, eventually returned to the scene. The person riding the bicycle, Christopher Dyko, was killed. I’ve had a bad feeling on this trip so far. Actually, ever since the 2013 Seven Mile Bridge Ride, where we came upon the aftermath of a van hitting a fellow tourer, I’ve really not fully enjoyed the road shoulder sections of this ride. The person riding a bicycle in that collision was rushed to the hospital and somehow survived with no broken bones, but had massive bruising and abrasions on his body. The van driver admitted to not paying enough attention when he hit the cyclist from behind.

Several miles later, across the street from Boondocks and the 2013 incident, I came across this crash scene. A two car collision on Route 1 that skidded across the shoulder, across the bike path, through a fence and into the mangroves. The problems of distracted driving, drunk driving and driving too fast were very present in my mind for the rest of the ride.
imageThe Key Deer are given special speed limits for the areas where they live and lots of signs and enforcement too.

imageSunset alongside the Old Bahia Honda Bridge was very pretty!  One of the bright sides of the very, very late start. The sun was fully set by the time I got to the southern end of the Seven Mile Bridge and it was fully dark by the time I got to the other end. I was also far more visible in the dark with my (3) three lights than in the daylight. Traffic wasn’t too heavy and I did enjoy the pretty amazing views.

After setting up camp and showering at Knight’s Key Campground I walked over to the massive tiki that is Sunset Grille and Raw Bar for dinner and a few beers.

Packing up before dawn went pretty well. I do wish I coulda had a coffee tho’. I rode up to Route 1 and stopped on the shoulder near the start of the bridge. It was still pretty dark out but there was a little light in the sky.

Three other people had hitched rides up and were riding back to Key West on their go-fast bikes.  We chatted for a bit and all set off together when it was time to take off.
imageTheir peleton of 3,  a single and a group of two, quickly left me in the predawn dust as they raced straight to Key West. There are many ways to enjoy this bridge closure with a bicycle!
imageMy trusty tree friend on the Old Seven Mile Bridge.
imageA perfect sunrise on an empty Seven Mile Bridge. Wow! It is always so dang quiet and peaceful when there’s no one else around. I could clearly hear the waves hitting the pilings and hear the wind that was pushing them. Even the birds were singling and squaking. And I could hear it all peacefully with no traffic to ruin the moment.

imageThe crash scene from yesterday. I decided to also ride straight back and avoid as much traffic as possible, hoping to be in Key West by the time the backed-up traffic was let go after the run was over and packed up.
imageI had a stowaway the entire time! Wow these Arkel Dolphins have room for camping gear and a paquita!! Arkel, available at Chilly’s Bicycle Shop! I have no shame and I do have a full set of Doolphins and a full set of the new Orcas in stock now!

Another trip up the keys by bicycle, and the third year of the tradition of biking up the night before and camping at Knight’s Key. We don’t need cars for this bicycle ride! More blurry photos and shoddy writing from years past:

2014 Seven Mile Bridge Ride

2013 Seven Mile Bridge Ride

In 2012 the Seven Mile Bridge Run was cancelled due to severe thunderstorms throwing hail and lightening  at anyone daring go outside. I chose to make coffee and enjoy the storm from my outdoor patio!

2011 Seven Mile Bridge Ride

8/22/14 Derailed Boxcars near Rock Lake to La Crosse town park

Day 19 Derailed Boxcars near Rock Lake to La Crosse town park
8/22/14 Friday 44.62 miles

 

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8/20/14 Harrison RV Park to Trestle near Lone Pine Road

Day 17  Harrison RV Park to Trestle near Lone Pine Road
8/20/14 Wednesday 48.25 miles

 

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8/21/14 Trestle near Lone Pine Road to Derailed Boxcars near Rock Lake

8/19/14 Wallace, ID to Harrison RV Park

Day 16 Wallace, ID to Harrison RV Park
8/19/14 Tuesday 50.75 miles

 

 

 

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8/20/14 Harrison RV Park to Trestle near Lone Pine Road

8/18/14 near NorPac RR Tunnel #1 to Wallace, ID

Day 15 near NorPac RR Tunnel #1 to Wallace, ID
8/18/14 Monday 25.11 miles

IMG_0539The night went well.

 

IMG_0540The bearbagged food also went the night unmolested!

 

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IMG_4767Sometimes I like to think I am 😉

 

 

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Manana we ride a bulk of the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes!

8/19/14 Wallace, ID to Harrison RV Park

8/17/14 Saltese to near Borax Tunnel via the Route of the Hiawatha

Day 14 Saltese to near Borax Tunnel
8/17/14 Sunday 41.59 miles

Today we ride the Route of the Hiawathawith seven towering trestles and ten tunnels including the 1.66 mile long Taft Tunnel.

IMG_4763Those are really good numbers!

IMG_0450The trestle across from Mangold’s General Store and Hotel and where the day’s fun truly begins!

IMG_0451Getting up to the trail

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8/18/14 near Borax Tunnel to Wallace, ID

8/16/14 Big Pine Campground to Saltese

Day 13 Big Pine Campground to Saltese
8/16/14 Saturday 66 miles

A very varied day! We started in the Lolo Wilderness on dirt and gravel roads, made it back to the pavement, rode 30 miles west on i90 (both east AND west lanes) and finally made it to Saltese, 66 miles later! There was also some rain, milkshakes and near death by decapitation. Read on for all the details!

IMG_0419The daily routine of packing up is always better when not raining and I remembered to take a campsite photo. Great start to the day, yeah?!

IMG_0420The Champion Ponderosa Pine of Montana and a little Chilly Willy! Big, big, big, big tree!!!

IMG_0427The ride back up the hill wasn’t nearly as bad as we were worried yesterday as we cruised down it, enjoying the coasting. It actually seemed way shorter than we remembered. Here we are about to return to pavement and we are pumping our tires back up to the max inflation legally allowed by law. Or common sense. Or something.

IMG_0430And we’re back on i90 again, exit 66 to exit 61 at Tarkio. Compared to the Overseas Highway in the Keys, this feels super safe! Very wide shoulder.

IMG_0432The next 15 miles of frontage roads sometimes wandered away from the interstate and into wonderfully quiet fields and forest. This was great riding.

IMG_0433Really, really enjoyable riding! I am not sure if this before or after Superior, Montana; but the riding was certainly superior!

IMG_0435Eventually, the pavement turned to gravel and climbed and climbed and climbed enough to prompt us to study our maps and make sure we we on the right track. All seemed good.

IMG_0438 Then the largest climb so far actually crested high enough to bring us up into some rain and wind. The steep gravel descent turned into pavement near the bottom of the hill and we coasted into St. Regis and to a 1950’s style diner with burgers and milkshakes. mmm…..huckleberry milkshakes!

We debated to stay in town  at an expensive private campground (41 miles for the day so far) or to pound out another 25 miles on i90 to Saltese. We finally decided to go for it and walked outside to our bikes. As we started pedaling, the sky started sprinkling. But it soon dried up again.

IMG_0441As the lanes were shifted and the left lane closed, it became very dangerous to be in the right lane. As we approached one bridge crossing with a minimal shoulder, a wide load passed us with a concrete slab overhanging the full shoulder and over the guardrail. Scary. If we had been a minute faster….Fuckshitdamn! Soon we had to switch riding to the left shoulder as it was far, far safer and more removed from traffic and any danger.

IMG_0444Soon we were on the empty and recently paved eastbound lanes and riding west, while cars and trucks were sharing the other set of lanes.This was really nice after the stressful riding earlier with little wiggleroom and very close passing.

IMG_0445Is the Nursery itself historic? Or is this the regular nursery of a Historic Tree? We wondered something to that effect for many miles of these signs.

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This was long awaited as well.

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Home sweet home for the night! Very lucky we even found this place.

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What a day!

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8/17/14 Saltese to near Borax Tunnel