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365 Miles of Florida Springs

Chris and I were talking last night about all the bicycle commuting I've done throughout the years. Even before we were married, I used to ride to work. It's been through so many varied conditions.
  • rain
  • pitch-darkness
  • freezing weather
  • 100 degree heat
  • fog
In general, I try to avoid extremes like lightning, hurricanes, thunderstorms, etc. And that has worked well.

Recently, though, I was able to accomplish one of my lifelong goals ... a multi-day bicycle tour. My ultimate dream has always been to bike across America. And although this trip didn't accomplish that goal, it is a definite step in the right direction. Most importantly, this shorter bike trip let me know that my original idea is absolutely possible. Which is a great thing to know!

Anyhow...

Chris and the girls decided to humor me, and agreed to a 7 day bicycle tour. We'll be sharing a whole lot more about our trip, but I wanted to share some info about our time on the road.

First of all, here was the area we cycled around for the week. The best way to describe it... a HUGE circle around Gainesville, Florida. I think we missed every single large community in the entire area. I never realized there were so many small towns in Florida without decent sized grocery stores.
Map provided by www.MapmyRide.com

Map provided by Florida State Parks

We ended up grinding out about 365 miles total. That was with very little training and preparation. Although the maximum elevation of 350 feet certainly helped make this task easier. Our main goal of the tour was to explore the 'Florida Springs'. Our focus was based on the tour laid out on GORP's Florida Springs Bike Tour.

The map above is a general route that we took. It is not exact, but close to it and does not show some of the side trips that we took. We biked all of the 'red' marked areas. And we rented a vehicle to shorten the trip by bike (aka - saving the sanity of our children) and cut off about another 80-90 miles from the trip.


Of course, we took dozens of pictures and we'll throw a bunch of those up soon. I just wanted to share a bit with you right away.

One thing real quick - the girls did amazingly well. And they were SO strong. It was a real delight to see Kaitlyn push through some of the physical demands we threw at her. She did AWESOME! And Keeley was great, pushing me from behind on the tandem. She gave me the 'go' juice to push up some of the steeper hills we encountered.



Talk soon!
Al
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