What Is Your Quest?
De Leon Springs, FL to Groveland, FL
Much like the rare bear sighting, I didn’t see much of my Warm Showers hosts, Karlos and Edith. Just to be clear, it’s not that we were avoiding each other, it was just the result of the timing of my stay. Between their later arrival last night and my planned early departure this morning, there wasn’t much time for a prolonged visit. However, Karlos was kind enough to make breakfast of bacon and eggs (which were excellent) and there was enough time to have a bit of a chat with both Karlos and Edith before my riding day began. Definitely another successful Warm Showers experience.My bike was ready to roll around 8:30, so roll we did. Today was to be a big day. Not so much from a mileage perspective but rather from where I hoped to end up by end of the day. The destination was only 100 km (60 miles) away and, if all went well, I would be returning to Quest Air by mid afternoon.
Unlike yesterday’s experience on the sand dune road, all went well today. Very well. Karlos had “warned” me that I would notice a change in my pace during today’s ride as I would be encountering more hills than I had lately. Of course, that’s somewhat relative considering I haven’t seen any hills for quite a while. That said, my pace was definitely slower today but the hills were certainly manageable. Plus, the excitement of returning to Quest Air kept me motivated.
I found much of today’s ride to be very scenic. The last few days have been very straight and very flat so the addition of a few hills – plus a plethora of orange trees – made for a very enjoyable ride. It also made me really want an orange. I resisted the temptation to help myself to the many that I passed. Did I mention that it was another beautiful day of 28C (82F)? I could so get used to this. Then again, I think I already have.
From a navigation standpoint, today was also easy as I was primarily on two highways – 44 and 19. Both were very bicycle friendly. Much of the ride had a designated bicycle lane and, when it didn’t, the shoulder was more than adequate.Despite the hills and the heat, I really found myself pushing rather hard during the final hour of the ride. There was no need for such silliness, but the thought of being so close to my next major destination was too much to contain. And so, at 2:09 I arrived at Quest Air. In some ways it was hard to believe. Four months (and two days) after leaving Toronto, Ontario and two months (and seven days) since leaving St. John’s, Newfoundland, phase two of my quest was complete. Uh. So, now what do I do?
Well, for starters I unpacked my gear, got my tent set up and relaxed while watching some hang gliders takeoff and land. I was tempted to go for a flight but after a hot day on the bike I thought I would just take it easy. While watching some of the other pilots fly, I met Greg who lives near the field. We had a somewhat extended chat about my trip, my bike, gliding, and so on.
The remainder of the afternoon was very relaxing. At one point, while I was walking across the field back to my tent, I just looked around at everything. The sky. The clouds. The trees. The gliders. Yes, this is a good place to be.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but today was a great day.
Distance travelled: 102.00 km
Time on bike: 4:15:44
Maximum speed: 46.55 km/h
Average speed: 23.80 km/h