RandoGirl, the RandoDaughter, and I went up to Nashville this week to begin the relocation process. RandoGirl starts her new job up there this week, and the RandoDaughter will leave at the end of the week to start her senior year of college.
We stopped in Atlanta for a couple of days to see family, finally getting in to Nashville Thursday. Most of Friday was spent getting RandoGirl and the RandoDaughter moved into the apartment that we will be living in for the next few months, and then going out to look at prospective properties on which we may build our house.
I was able to go by Gran Fondo -- the world's greatest bicycle shop -- and pick up my Lynskey. I'd shipped it there from Ithaca on my way out of town, and Gran Fondo had put it together, cleaned it up, and tweaked some stuff. That enabled me to go for a ride Saturday.
Rolling out at dawn, I soon saw things that we just did not have back in Naples.
Sure, Naples has Peace, Love and Little Donuts -- which is really cool and has some great donuts -- but there's nothing like a hot Krispy Kreme just off the assembly line. If you want to run cool, you need some heavy, heavy fuel.
There were a lot of these. They're called "empty roads that actually go somewhere." Far too many of the roads in southwest Florida that go anywhere are six lanes, maybe with a bike lane, and are full of cars (unless you get on them at 4 am). The empty roads just go through neighborhoods: Boring!
Sure, there are deer in Florida, but you don't see a lot of them running loose in Naples. These three were just kind of hanging out at the edge of the road on North Berry's Chapel Road.
Hills. Florida doesn't really have any that are worth the name. Here you are looking at the descent down North Berry's Chapel, which brings you to a nice three-quarter mile climb up Lynnwood Road. Nothing in Florida comes close.
More empty roads -- the kind that let a couple of guys just ride along, side-by-side but not bumping shoulders, talking about the week at work, or their kids, or whatever. Maybe you can do that on multi-use trails in southwest Florida, but it just ain't the same.
Old friends. I like my new friends in Naples, too, but RandoGirl said it best. "When I pulled into the parking lot, I just felt all this warmth from folks as they welcomed us back."
I felt the same thing later on during the ride. Just a few of us were going down Carter's Creek Pike, and I was sitting back and listening to old friends talk about stuff while I watched the green rolling hills shimmer in the morning heat and it struck me that I was back where I was meant to be. I was home again.