I’m taking my Doctor’s advice who cautioned me about my advancing years and moving along at a hermit crab’s pace. He is an OBGYN. Just because my child bearing years are behind me doesn’t mean I am so advanced. After taking a rest day yesterday I rode 36 miles today from Gulf Shores AL to Pensacola FL.
Welcome to Florida
I came to an intersection and Knuckle Head said to turn right. I saw a detour sign and figure we better have a conference. I sat down on a concrete island at the intersection in a thin line of shade offered by a utility pole. Within seconds I was being mauled by fire ants. They were biting me in the butt through my shorts. I figured the only solution was to get back on and ride with the natural squirming motion on the seat satisfying my itching.
Finishing My Ride in Pensacola for the Day
The roads were flat and smooth, and the day was hot and humid. I figured I could use a little bath after the ride.
The Fat Rider Floats
Day 77 stats: Rode 36.07 miles at 12.1 mph, Max= 16 mph, Cal=1399, (Returned some of those at Peg Leg Pete’s), Ave heart rate=129, Max heart rate=158, Ascent=295′, Descent=289′, Max elevation=81′ (over causeway), Min elevation=12′, Ave temp was 79 degrees. I have ridden 2461 miles in 64 days of riding. Rode 2:59 out of 3:54 today.
My legs are sore. (You big baby) Another beautiful day to ride. Partly sunny with a sea breeze. On to the “infamous” Dauphin Island. Fortunately there was only a light breeze when I rode over the causeway to the island. There is a good shoulder on the causeway but it is high and only has small walls on the sides, well below the seat of my uni. It gave me the hebe gebes.
Starting Over Dauphin Island Causeway
Approaching the Bridge
I Thought Alabama was flat.
I made it over the causeway and rode up to the ferry line just as it started loading. My support crew arrived just behind me and we proceeded onto the ferry to cross the Mobile Bay.
Crossing Mobile Bay by Ferry (cheater)
We camped on Dauphin Island the night before I arrived by unicycle. I spent the night there once before, but that’s another story. We Stopped at the Pelican Pub to prove a guy can have just one beer there. My crew convinced me to have another, but we managed to escape after just two. That wasn’t the case the last time I visited the establishment.
Pelican Pub The scene of the crime
Just on beer or two
Pelican Pub Dock
After crossing the bay I rode another 20 miles to Gulf Shores Al. I could see my crew was drooling over the beach so to avoid a mutiny I declared we would take a break tomorrow and give the crew some R&R. Really it was the rider who needed the R&R, but don’t tell the crew. Can you blame us.
Gulf Shores Beach. Can you blame us?
Day 76 Stats: Rode 30.58 miles at 12.2 mph, Max speed=16 mph, Calories=1211, Ave Heart rate=119, Max heart rate=157, Ascent=246, Descent=226, Max elevation=114, Min elevation= -8, After riding 63 days I have covered 2425 miles.
Today my legs protested about the mileage I rode yesterday. I am in such poor shape, even though the roads were smooth and flat I was only able to ride for 2:35, covering 30 miles.
The day was a bit more humid but mercifully overcast. There was enough of a breeze in my face much of the time that my quads thought I was riding up hill. Tomorrow should be a short riding day as I plan to assault the infamous Dauphin Island. Then connect with a ferry to cross the Mobile Bay.
Stats for riding day 62: Rode 30.01 miles at 11.7 mph, Max= 16.1 mph, Calories=1156, Ave Heart rate= 129, Max Heart rate= 155, Ascent=446, Descent=551, Max elevation=125, Min elevatioin= 10′, Rode for 2:35, over 3:12. Ave Temp=74 degrees.
Let the games begin. It’s October 8th and I started stage two where I left off from stage one on May 12th. My GPS said I started in the same place I left off, but my legs, lungs, heart, balance, and stamina started a ways back in the trip. A long ways back.
But it was a beautiful day to ride. The sun was shining (I had to use sunscreen for the first time since I left Ohio) the temp. was a cool 60 degrees and the breeze was still asleep. The roads were mostly smooth and relatively flat. What more could I ask for. After about 20 miles I was asking for a motor.
I wasn’t pushing on this first day back but to tell you how slow I was riding, I was passed by a house. I had never been passed by a house before. Every house I ever saw along the way I always passed. I was tooling along on a two lane highway with no shoulder when I saw something very huge in my tiny rear view mirror. I hugged the side of the road as close as I could when a house drove by me. To be fair it was only half a house, with the other half in hot pursuit. I suppose one half was trying to catch the other which may explain why they were moving so fast. If the house had a garage I would have been tempted to pull in and take a break.
I did ride a little farther than I planned for the first day and made it to Alabama. I hope I don’t regret my ambition tomorrow.
Alabama State Line
Day 61 stats. I rode 36.7 miles averaging 12.2 mph, Max speed 16.2 mph, calories= 1547, Ave heart rate=135, (very out of shape), Max heart rate=155, Ascent= 617′, Descent= 604′, Max elevation=36′, Min elevation= -70′ (blub blub) Riding time was 3:01, Total time on the road= 4:06
It is Sunday October 6 and I hoped to begin stage two of my ride by the 7th, but I cought wind of a southern belle headed my way. I haven’t met her but I couldn’t help delaying my ride on her account. Her name is Karen. I hear she won’t be around long and I plan to start my as soon as she leaves town.
It has been 5 weeks since I postponed my unicycle ride across the country to seek assistance in deporting my stowaways leishmaniasis Panamensis. After receiving infusion treatments of Amphotericin B for three weeks the lesion on my leg began to heal. Now it is nearly completely healed and has formed into an interesting scar.
Leishmaniasis before Treatment as compared to a quarter
Leishmaniasis Scar after healing
I am back riding my unicycle again, but due to other commitments this summer it looks like I won’t resume my unicycle adventure until mid October. In the mean time I have regattas to sail, the national unicycle convention and competition in July, and a river expedition on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in September.
Thanks again for everyone who supported my efforts. Tune in again in October to pick up where I left off.