Wednesday, I did the same route as last week -- more or less -- but in reverse. You'll have to tell me if it looks prettier this way.
Yeah, it's dark at 5:30 am on Tamiami Trail. But the road is nice and empty.
By the time I got on Golden Gate Boulevard, the sun was coming up. It was maybe 6:15 am, and everybody was heading towards town for work. I felt a little guilty to be out riding ... but just a little.
I took Randall Boulevard out to Desoto Boulevard. Once on Desoto, it was much more quiet.
They've about got the paving done on Oil Well Road, including a bike lane for almost five miles to Ave Maria. The sun was shining on Ave Maria, as if Cecil B. DeMille was their director or marketing. And maybe he is.
I stopped at the Sunniland Store and re-filled everything. I had thought that it might be hot, so brought a small Camelbak and filled it with ice. It turns out that was all I needed, thanks to the could cover I had for the first 70 miles.
This was one of the few times that the sun came out, as I was heading through the panther refuge.
Although this was the "windward" stretch of the route, it was easy to maintain a good speed. I actually averaged 19 mph for the full 110 miles.
This guy obviously went faster. I kept seeing this Collier County Sheriff's Deputy, and he and I would wave at one another. It really makes you feel good knowing that there's a cop out there keeping an eye on you ... or, it made me feel good.
I love these trees just north of Jerome. They may be cypress, but they look more like fir trees. If I had access to the internet, I would look them up.
Last time, I just stopped at the store on the corner of US 41 and Florida 29, but this day I went on into Everglades City.
This is such a neat town. I spent 20 minutes talking to John at the Marathon store. We decided that it's just a slower pace of life down there, which makes things a heck of a lot more fun.
Unfortunately, the sun came out while I was talking to John. When I started north on Florida 29, it was definitely getting warmer.
Of course, related to this was the return of the wind. It was at my back, making it easy to cruise along at over 21 mph. I saw my cop friend again, but he didn't give me a ticket.
I skipped Marco Island, since that would've gotten me a full 200 kilometers and I needed to get back home. Besides, 110 miles -- with a tailwind for the last 30 -- was plenty.