Kerry's Chronicles: 1000-mile checkup - Two Far 2016 - Florida to Ontario: A Round Trip - CycleBlaze

June 19, 2016

Kerry's Chronicles: 1000-mile checkup

Today was the end of our third week on the road. Jeanna, Alain and Viktoriya have been providing daily updates of our travels as well as lots of great photos. I am too lazy for that. However, here is my perspective on the trip so far.

During the three weeks, we have traveled over 1100 miles and have had only one rainy day. The first two weeks were very hot and some of the days were long, but over-all we have been very fortunate with the weather. For the most part, we have been very fortunate with the roads and traffic volumes as well. We are using Adventure Cycling Association routes as the backbone of our trip. (We are currently on their Atlantic Coast Route). They tend to route you on lesser traveled roads and avoid major highways whenever possible. Consequentially, we have been mostly on back roads enjoying the southern agrarian scenery.

It has been interesting to see the crops change as we head north. In Florida, we saw orange groves and some corn. Georgia brought us corn, soybeans, tobacco, onions, cotton, peanuts and pecan groves.South Carolina had corn, soybeans, tobacco and cotton. In North Carolina, we saw corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat, LOTS of tobacco and our first sage.We have also seen 3 crops being harvested. In Georgia, we saw onions that had been plowed up and drying in the fields. In North Carolina we saw large combines in the fields harvesting wheat and sage.As we head north, we are also noticing more newly planted fields, where the corn and soybeans are just beginning to sprout.

Having said all of that, the biggest agricultural crop in the south appears to be pine trees. We have seen log trucks on practically every road we have been on and have passed vast tracts of landwhere the trees have been harvested, as well as tracts where the trees are planted in perfectly straight rows as if it were corn.

As far as the bikes go, everything has been going fine. There have been no breakdowns and our bike has only had one flat since we met up at New Smyrna Beach.We were lucky, as our flat happened on a shady stretch of a back road that had little traffic.The Abbate’s haven’t fared as well. They have had 2 flats since meeting up. The first was in a very bad spot as it occurred at the top of a long bridge.As there was no safe way to change a tire there, they had to walk the bike over the remainder of the bridge to find a safe location to deal with the situation.Their second flat occurred in a much more convenient location - it was discovered while we were still at a McDonald’s, so Alain had a nice clean safe place to change the tire.We are both using the exact same tires (Continental Gator Hardshell), so I guess the flats are just the luck of the draw. However, I do feel bad, because I had bragged how much I liked those tires and how few flat I have had since I started using them as couple of year back.After his last flat, I suspect Alain was wishing he hadn’t listened to my recommendation.

I have enjoyed having the Gates Belt Drive System very much and I just smile every time Alain has to clean and lube his chain.Besides wiping down the bike a couple of times, the only maintenance I have done is to rotate the tires on our last rest day.Never having a tandem before, I do not know what kind of mileage I will get, but I am planning to rotate the tires every 1000 miles so they will wear evenly and thus extend their life.

The Abbate’s have been great travelling companions. We still have a long way to go, but so far there has not been one moment of aggravation or tension between us (or if there has been, they are hiding it well). We are together most days from about 6 AM to 9 or 10 PM and I do mean together. In the mornings, we eat breakfast together and then get on the bikes. We stay together while we ride and they are very patient when Jeanna and I want to take a break. We do think they are somewhat crazy because they love long rides (think 750 miles in less than 4 days) and will ride 30 to 50 miles between breaks.Not so with the Team S – we like to take a break every 10 to 15 miles and I get really cranky if I have to go much further than that.They are very tolerant and say nothing when we take our frequent beaks so I can guzzle a Diet Coke. After we get checked in to our hotel, we will meet again for dinner. Jeanna and Alain will then work together on this journal and then we will spend the rest of the evening playing cards and talking about the day’s events and discussing what’s on tap for tomorrow.

Life on the road has fallen into a very comfortable routine in which we all look forward to the next day’s adventures.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 0
Comment on this entry Comment 0