First day in riding shorts
Jan. 9, 2023

By Wayne Wilson

Florida is supposed to be a tropical paradise. I’ve done 5 or 6 Winter bicycle rides here and none have been balmy starts.

Saturday was chilly; Sunday was downright cold, 37 degrees as we rolled out of Crawfordville. Today, we started out of Perry, Florida at 52 degrees and I shed the long riding pants.

Forty-eight miles later we rolled into First Baptist, Cross City, Florida. The elevation was almost flat and we averaged 14.8 mph, an easy ride into a 70 degree finish.

Some of us stopped at McDonald’s for a quick lunch as we walked to the fire station for showers. Prepped for tomorrow and the church provided an early dinner.  A couple cooked some fantastic pulled pork barbecue, coleslaw, and the best baked beans ever. 

Now, back to the ride. An alternating pace line was not needed like yesterday.  Dan Hepp used his e-bike to “pull” Gary Schroeder, Adam Hardin, and me along at a good easy pace. The wind cooperated and we simply glided into Cross City. 

The land was flat with lots of pine trees, some harvested, filling heavy-laden trailers that created turbulence as they passed.  The road sides were soft and swampy but no alligators in sight. Lots of small road-kill but nothing dramatic like the wild hog we saw yesterday.

Overall, an easy ride appreciating the beauty of God’s creation and the blessing of being able to do this. Looking forward to a similar experience with tomorrow’s 85 miles. 

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