Quincy, FL to Madison, FL
680 ft of climbing
Wednesday was a beautiful day for a ride. It was cooler from the time we woke up and the humidity was down. It was slightly hazy and all around pleasant.
Our plan to eat breakfast at the B&B and then ride to lunch fifty or so miles down the road didn't work out too well. When our host asked if we would like a muffin, bagel or toast, I asked if that was the extent of breakfast. He said yes and I asked for a bagel and a muffin. He said, "are you sure, the muffin is Texas sized". I said, "yes, both please", and did some quick math to determine we would be lucky to get eight hundred calories out of our morning meal. That's enough to go about fifteen miles. Maybe twenty if it's flat with a tail wind.
I think we were alone at the inn and there was little incentive to provide us the hot breakfast that we had read commendations about in the hall. Oh well, Tallahassee was only twenty five miles or so down the road.
We rode into Tallahassee and immediately began our search for food. In the five miles we rode through town, a town of one hundred and fifty thousand people I might add, we saw not one sit down restaurant. It was exclusively fast food. As we neared the edge of town, on the far side, we finally picked a fried chicken place. It was Lindy's Fried Chicken, a local place. That or Wendy's, McDonalds, Burger King, or Taco Bell.
We left our early lunch feeling sluggish and more full than we were. It was heavy food.
It took awhile to get back up to speed. The map directed us to the St. Marks bike trail. It was two lanes, through the woods, nicely paved, that looked to go on for miles. We needed to turn after six or so. The trail runs parallel to Woodville Highway and in many places the cross streets didn't come through to the bike trail.
We settled into a rocking groove with the absolute flatness and complete protection from any wind. It wasn't windy anyway. We cranked up the iPods and flew. We were probably going twenty three miles per hour. Miles pass quickly at that speed. We passed a county line sign and I stopped to say I thought we may have gone too far. We decided to cruise a bit further and look for crossroads. We came to a couple of young men standing trailside and stopped to ask if we'd missed the turnoff. They said "you passed Woodville five miles ago".
We turned around and I said to Chris, "remember, peoples' perceptions of distance are rarely correct". We have found that people, almost without exception over judge distance.
We made it back to the county line sign and had to go another two miles or so. We had added a little over seven miles to our day. Oh well, the scenery and the riding were nice. I told Chris I would be very pleased to end the ride with lost miles in the single digits.
We made our turn and pressed on. We quickly rode into rolling hills and although we were pouring sweat, as usual, it felt much cooler than it had since we entered Florida.
I am coming to realized Florida is a very large state. I am most familiar with Southern Florida, Ft. Lauderdale and points South. Several trips to Orlando and the Atlantic coast East of there, Daytona, Cocoa Beach, Canaveral, and such have always left me with the impression that the state is not really Southern but rather Southeastern. The part of Florida we are riding across is very Southern. One of the last bastions of racial segregation too. We've seen more swamp and Spanish Moss since Pensacola than we did in Mississippi or Alabama.
It is not as friendly a place as those we've visited either. The people of color are much quicker to ask about our adventure and are generally more pleasant to interact with than those of a paler complexion. I can almost feel resent in the air. This is of course not exclusively true and as a generalization is by nature false but it is our experience.
We rode on through the day and came to Madison around eight o'clock. It's good to be in the new time zone. It stays light until nine. I have a travelers' advisory. Google Maps consistently displays locations of businesses incorrectly. Often by as many as six or seven miles. That's pretty significant when you are self propelled. Our route runs close to the I-10 and the chain motels are often near the interstate rather than in the towns we pass through. We try local first but sometimes, like in the case of Madison, the motels are exclusively near the interstate rather than in town as Google Maps indicated for Super 8 Motel. We ended up having to ride another five miles off route for a place to stay. It worked out because there's a Denny's next door and they can't screw breakfast up too badly. Even at ten o'clock at night.
Back to the room and in bed.
Countdown t minus two days and counting. I feel the culmination of our efforts coming.
More to come.