I’m in Tallahassee, Florida right now. I could wax poetic about deep thoughts from a moderately uncomfortable saddle, a wasp sting outside of Gainesville that continues to grow by the day, or perhaps how much you learn from being inexplicably hot, thirsty, and tired, with no particular place to go. By choice. But instead, I will remark quickly on:
Florida’s roadkill scene:
This is a thing when you’re on a bicycle on the shoulder of country roads. Snakes, snakes, and more snakes. Turtles. Armadillos. Beer cans. Of all of the above, the only thing that I’ve actually seen alive was one box turtle gnawing on a flower, one of the only reasons to keep pedaling on a particularly grueling mile seventy-something of an eighty-plus day.
Alachua, Florida. I see you. Main Street Pies, the absolute greatest establishment on earth. Bar none. Refused to provide me with a price for my meal and packed me a couple of scary-good brownies for the road. Again, reasons to keep going. The odds and ends from hosts thus far have been as varied as their passions (pirate re-enactments and computer geeks) but all-in-all, nothing beats ballin’ on a budget. And by that, I mean pinching pennies to sleep on the floor and ordering the biggest and most ridiculously delicious meals imaginable. All for the lowest price negotiable. There is definitely something to be said for laying it all on the table and hoping that fellow human beings return the favor.
A loaded touring bike is a very different beast from the sleek twelve-ish pound ride I really call home. My bike and belongings weigh in somewhere around seventy pounds, with the aerodynamic efficiency of a Honda Element, if not worse. Seventy miles on this thing equals at least twice that amount on a road bike, and moves about half as quickly.
Not being able to decide what to write about
It always feels like I don’t really have time to do anything meaningful on computers. This is only my second time using one since I left. Catching glimpses of sporting events on TV the last couple of days (only in Gatorville and Noletown) has really been torture fit for Greek gods, but I suppose that this is exactly what I signed up for.
Nobody has air conditioning in northern Florida, one of the wildest revelations of all time, especially given the triple-digit humidity factor. Twenty-four seven, three-sixty-five. I suppose some people have it, but they aren’t the types who are likely to host bearded degenerates on short notice. I don’t think I’ve stopped sweating since I left Texas. That seems like a weird claim to make in late August/early September, but Texas felt good compared to this.
There’s a friendly black cat begging for my attention as I type, so I suppose this is all for now. He’s actually sitting on my arms now. Excuse you, Professor Plum…
Much love from the road, 250 miles down, ???? more to go. This is about the journey, not the finish line. Obnoxiously true cliche.