Back to Day 47

8 AM

Sorry about last night – it didn’t seem right to ignore our hosts while I blogged.

Yesterday…

Our day started with my rear tire going flat just as we left the hotel, so we sat in the motel parking lot and fixed it. It was sort of serendipitous, because while we were there we realized that we’d left our water bottles in the room. Once my tube was replaced, we rode to the ocean in Palm Beach and Lake Worth. Miles and miles of mansions.

Here’s a sign you never see in Westford

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The problem with the pretty roads in the rich towns was that there were no convenience stores. so we stopped at a lemonade stand and bought drinks from kids. Then one mile later – of course – we found a gas station. It had a cool old Texaco sign

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and soft seats for a nice butt break.

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I was surprised to see historic markers, but we did. Here is the old schoolhouse historic marker

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and the historic schoolhouse

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And we saw these wonderful pine trees

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and their historic marker

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We rode onto Delray Beach, where we called Fred. He had offered to pick us up on-route and drive us to his house about 7 miles inland. We decided that he would drive north on A1A, we would ride south, and eventually he would see us – we’re kind of hard to miss. As we were riding, a spoke on Dana’s front wheel broke, making his bike unridable. So again serendipity was on our side, because all we had to do was wait for Fred there instead of meeting him somewhere up the road.  Luckily he got to us before the thunderstorm did.

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Fred took us to a nice lunch spot in Mizner Park, then to a bike shop where they fixed Dana’s spoke. The entire time we were in the car, the rain was coming down in buckets and we could see lightning everywhere.

So with two intact bicycles, we got to Fred’s house, showered, and the four of us hung out for a while, chatting and watching TV and Googling random bits of trivia. Then we went out for Cuban food, which is really good around here and we can’t get it at home. Then we watched three episodes of The IT Crowd on Netflix in their home theater.

Right now Fred and I are watching the morning news and chatting – we just compared our memories on a plethora of old family photos. Dana and Dot are still asleep. It’s supposed to storm this morning, so we will leave here when it is safe.

1:30 PM

At the Sunshine Bagel Bistro in Pompano Beach, sharing a pastrami sandwich. We are soaking wet, waiting for the rain to stop.

When Dana finally woke up this morning he was raring to go on a bike ride. He insisted that the storm we were waiting was never going to happen. So immediately after breakfast with Fred and Dorothy, we headed out. But first we took a picture – I meant to take a picture at The Little Havana Restaurant last night, but I forgot.

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Fred drove us back on route, and  we made it an entire 5 miles before we got hit by a storm. So we took shelter in a big garage and watched it rain

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and rain

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and rain

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Another cyclist joined us for a while. Turns out he’s from Brooklyn so we chatted about riding in NYC. Then the lightning let up, so we figured we’d ride in the rain. I instantly had another flat – the front tire this time – seems I picked up a little metal shaving somehow. So we sat in the rain and Dana changed it while I patched two previously flattened tubes.

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Sorry for this bad, boring picture, but I needed proof that I could do something useful, since I have now had SEVEN tire problems to Dana’s one.

7:30 PM

The score is now 7-2, but we’ll get to that later.

After our sandwich, we rode to Ft. Lauderdale, and saw the Swimming Hall of Fame:

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We were still soaking wet, with water sloshing in our shoes, mud running down our backs, grit everywhere. Our brakes were making funny noises and didn’t work very well. Then we had to go off route to get around the airport, and the route Google Maps sent us on went through about 6 miles of highways and industrial roads and generally nasty, scary, ugly ickiness. But just as we got out of the ickiness, just before yet another draw bridge, we saw this amazing, huge lizard – he was almost two feet long!

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Then we both freaked out a little going over the bridge because the metal grates were extremely slippery from the rain and we almost fell over. Then we rode through Hollywood, which has a park where it seems a lot of people abandon cats. We can never let Katie come here, because when she was four we told her she could keep any wild animal that she could catch, and I’m sure she could catch these cats pretty easily.

Then we got to the boardwalk on Hollywood Beach. It was beautiful, people playing on the beach, cycling on the boardwalk, all that nice, wholesome beach stuff. We saw a cruise ship just off-shore

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And then Dana’s front tire got a flat, and he got really grumpy.

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And he started muttering about wanting to go to South Beach tonight, but the rain and the tire problems had wasted time. While we were fixing the tire, a couple stopped to talk with us, and they agreed that South Beach is a must see. However, they implied that we might as well see it during the day, because we probably wouldn’t feel comfortable in the bars and nightclubs. (Translation: we are old and not terribly well dressed.)

After Dana fixed his tire we took a nice picture of the boardwalk

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and continued on, hoping to make it to South Beach.

However, by the time we got to North Miami Beach, it became clear that we weren’t going to make it to South Beach – about 12 miles further. It was already after 6 PM, and the road we were on – Collins Avenue – is scary and I was getting wimpy. So we got a hotel room, cleaned up, and now we are both less cranky.

Tomorrow we will ride through South Beach, and hopefully go on an airboat ride. With any luck Collins Avenue is nicer earlier in the day, although I doubt it.

On to Day 49

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