Spring Training or Enjoying the Warmth of Florida

We just have to get away from the rain and cold in the ATL and friends in Florida provide the perfect opportunity.  We are getting used to celebrating Valentine’s Day with Heidi and Al.

Enjoying the beers at Dog Rose Brewing.

The weather is awesome for our visit and we ride the Palatka trail, through the potato farms near Hastings and in the Palm Coast.

Heidi and Al on their almost-new Co-Motion.
The newly-tilled ground smells like potatoes.

Next up, a visit with Coast 2 Coast friends Mary and Andrew in The Villages.

While in the Villages we do the Saturday morning tandem ride with the Florida Panthers.

What happens when a train blocks the road? An impromptu party.

We have a fun time meeting some new people.

On to Ocala and some riding on the Santos and Withlacoochee trails.

The bridge that crosses I-75.

If you build them, we will come. Bike trails, that is.

On our way to the trails, we spot an interesting ice cream store. Because of record heat and in the interest of research, we must investigate the offerings.

Ice cream aside, have a new motto here at Tandempalooza…

When in Dunnellon, check out The Front Porch, where it’s all about the pie.  This is our third visit.  They were closed the other two times. A tip: don’t go on a Monday!

Here’s the house specialty, the cherry bodacious pie.

It’s got cherries, pineapple and walnuts on a graham cracker crust. Think ambrosia without the coconut. Split it with your favorite tandem partner. It lives up to its name.

We visit with Ocala’s newest residents, Laura and Earle.

Cell phones take crappy pictures at night. We enjoy two bar visits and two dinners with Team Reynolds on the historic Ocala square. For you historians, this part of Ocala was rebuilt out of brick after a fire in 1883, giving the town the nickname “Brick City”.

For our final ride, we leave the trails and visit magnificent horse country where the spreads are as impressive as the roads are smooth.

There are horse farms everywhere. Some bozos at the Florida DOT want to put a highway through here, but so far the residents have persevered.

The head wind for the last dozen miles tires us out, but does not dampen our spirits.

We hadn’t planned to stay this long, but the weather back home looked dreary all week, so we kept extending our stay and we are glad we did.  

Here is our by the numbers:
11 days out of town
9 rides (with almost no discomfort in the damaged elbow/wrist area)
288 total miles
1 slice of heaven (I mean cherry bodacious pie!)

Next up: We’re out there having fun, in the warm California sun. (You get extra credit if you recognize the line from a song by The Rivieras.)

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9 thoughts on “Spring Training or Enjoying the Warmth of Florida

  1. So glad to hear that you are fully recovered or nearly fully recovered. We are so looking forward to seeing and riding with you. It has rained here 14 out of the last 20 days and been windy and/or cold so we haven’t managed more than 1 ride a week. We better get busy so you don’t whoop our butts when you get here. Roger – I love the beard.

  2. So happy you are riding again, Eve! Best cycling in FL. We will be there at then end of this week for a month or so of riding. Do it every year.

  3. Enjoyed seeing you both. Next time we will be riding. Unpacking boxes will be behind us. Glad the bones have healed and you are getting the miles in. Enjoy!

  4. Florida is a great place for spring training. Didn’t know there was a potato capital there! Joyce’s fav way to eat is “sweets first”. So glad the arm is healing well. Good genes for sure! Roger’s new look was so different, didn’t recognize. Looking good Roger! See ya’ll in a few. :):)

  5. We’re in Ocala this weekend! We love the Santos trail. Next time you head this way, be sure to let us know! Would love to see you both!

  6. It is good to know that the team’s “dessert radar” is still working so well. 🙂

    Happy and safe riding. Glad to know that you have mended so well.

  7. “The girls are frisky in old Frisco…”

    I’ll use my extra credit for pie, though riding the motorcycle to Julian for a slice of apple will have to wait – they had 8” of snow this week.
    Glad the arm is doing better!

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