Dee enjoying the Greenway outside of Titusville, FL
What a difference a day makes! At this time last night I was truly worried. We had biked into strong winds the last 20 miles of an 84-mile day. It was hot and the winds were defeating, then Dee reported the same northerly winds were forecast for the next two days. The sun has been relentless and my skin is fried. I climbed into bed with chills, mentally and physically spent, and worried that maybe this trip was just too much. (Dee, characteristically, was doing fine, you should know. I’ve known this woman for 32 years and she’s a bit super human.)
This morning we left our little roadside motel without even the comfort of a cup of coffee before hitting the road. Our aim was to ride as much as we could in the relative cool of the morning when the wind would be as gentle as possible. We climbed over a bridge back over to the mainland, turned right and headed north. It was a beautiful morning.
Good morning from Melbourne, looking back at the bridge we just crossed.
The first 20 miles were delightful. We rode along the West Bank of the Indian River enjoying the views and along a bike lane of Route 1 enjoying bits of shade from trees along the road. At 20 miles, just before entering Cocoa, we spotted the Tilted Cup and enjoyed a delicious breakfast right on our route. Well fueled, we headed for Titusville, the temperature continuing to rise. Next stop was the Village Inn, at mile 38, where it was free pie day! Dee loves bargains as much as my husband does. It was a perfect treat: sharing a slice of strawberry rhubarb with vanilla ice cream, ice coffee, and ice water for our water bottles.
Titusville is embracing trails these days, after years of being known for its Kennedy Space Center. We enjoyed the longest stretch of greenway yet, a beautiful wide path that took us maybe 20 miles north.
Gary Norman, a local greenway enthusiast, gave us some local knowledge, including that we’d find a little tent up the way in Mayville selling drinks and snacks to cyclists. We found it and loved it — ice-cold Gatorade and water on the honor system.
Please note how I am wearing as much clothes as I can stand in the heat to keep the sun off my arms and quads. Dee has gone the opposite way, opting for as little clothing as possible: a sun dress with an open back. Today I told her that when she gets home to Rhode Island and it’s a nice hot day, I want her to go for a run in a long sleeved shirt and capris and feel a little of my pain.
Economic development along the East Coast Greenway comes in all forms.
All in all, our 76-mile day was a good one. I am climbing into bed at the Best Western with less heat rash, slightly sore quads, and a renewed sense that this crazy journey is possible. With 450 miles behind us, we have met coastal Florida up close and personally (two more days of riding here before we cross into Georgia) and we’re excited to be heading for St. Augustine tomorrow. Cheerio!