A hurricane is on the way, but a few couples gather in Someplace Special, Mt. Dora, Florida ahead of the Southern Tandem Rally to ride and socialize.
It’s an unofficial pre-tour and we are lucky to be invited. Laura and Earle share some of the best riding in central Florida, as well as their hospitality and knowledge of the area.
You can tell I am off-duty because I forget my camera on our first day of riding. It’s a shame because the 30 or more lakes do provide many (missed) photo opportunities. The highlight of the 40 mile ride is Thrill Hill – a screaming downhill followed by a “leg screaming” uphill. We lunch at the Mt. Dora brewery, and I DO have a picture for that!
Our second day on the bike is our hardest day of riding because we will visit with Sugarloaf Mountain (the highest elevation in central Florida – I’m almost embarrassed to tell you it’s 312 feet), and a climb up “the wall”. Both of these climbs do feature grades of about 12%.
After lunch we take a walk to visit the starry night house. The Van Gogh-esque paint job was the subject of a dispute between the city and the homeowner. The homeowner won. Power to the people!
What could possibly top that? Ice cream!
Speaking of food, this photo of my Bento Box at dinner is too pretty to leave out of the post.
Meanwhile hurricane Michael has been approaching the Florida panhandle and messing with plans for the 40th Southern Tandem Rally (as well as screwing with millions of people in the region). We spend our free time watching the Weather Channel and waiting.
Our final pre-tour ride is cloudy and windy, but for the third straight day we avoid any rain and totally enjoy being out on our tandem with 4 other couples. We visit the seaplane city of Tavares, the seat of Lake County.
The scenery around the “little Pyrenees” is one of the best parts of the ride.
Thanks to Laura and Earle for organizing this intimate, fun event.
Next up, The Southern Tandem Rally in Venice, Florida.
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