Back to Day 52

12 Noon

In the No Name Pub on No Name Key. We are 3 miles off route, but so many people told us we should come here. Of course, it took us 5 miles to ride the 3. Bike math sucks.

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As was the case yesterday, we rode a plethora of bike route styles getting to the 7-mile bridge. Everyone back home had been worried about it, so I was extremely nervous. Turns out it has an OK shoulder, so it wasn’t too bad. The old 7-mile bridge is still there, and they are working to re-open it as a pedestrian/bike bridge. I looked at it, and I can see why biking across it prior to 1982 would have been extremely dangerous. Based on this marker, it c!early was an accident waiting to happen.

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Here is the old bridge as seen from the new one.

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Here is the new one – notice the shoulder. Not quite wide enough, slightly messy, but perfectly acceptable.

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After the seven-mile bridge we crossed two little bridges, that due to construction, had very narrow shoulders, but with light traffic they were manageable. And all of the small bridges have new pedestrian/bike bridges that look like they are close to completion. All of the communities in the Keys seem dedicated to the biking thing, and in a few years biking the keys should be quite pleasant.

It started pouring rain about 3 miles before the No Name, so we just rode 5 miles in the rain and are now soaking wet. Of course, the rain stopped as we got here. But now there is lightning, so we will relax and enjoy our pizza. But I must comment on Google map’s shortcomings when it comes to bike directions. It doesn’t distinguish between road bikes and mountain bikes, so it often takes us off road. Today it cost us two wet miles. It’s been worse.

5 PM

We stopped at a gas station 10 miles out of Key West so Dana could call work, and I took pictures because I thought it was cool to see chickens in a gas station. Now that we are in Key West, we realize that there are chickens everywhere. Silly tourist.

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I still think the baby chicken was cool

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After that, our last 10 miles were surprisingly stressful. I just kept praying that nothing would go wrong. We just wanted to get there. To be done. The last mile was the worst. And then…

Can you say anticlimax? Here we are at mile marker 0.

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The coolest thing about this picture is the guy who took it. He was in line in front of me at the quickie mart in Marathon this morning. He was having trouble buying gas for his motorcycle, and as he came out of the store he saw our bikes and offered to trade. Don’t think I wasn’t temped. Around halfway through our day he passed us on rt. 1 and waved. And when we got mile marker 0, there he was with his buddy. We didn’t think to take their picture, hopefully we will see them later.

Then we rode down to the southernmost place in the U.S. Turns out it’s a big tourist spot, and there’s a long line for the photo op. Honking cars, crying kids, the whole shebang. So we just took pictures from a few feet back

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And here is a kapok tree

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And its historic marker

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And here we are, soggy and dirty and tired. The big thrill is knowing that we don’t have to stuff our crap back into plastic bags tomorrow. I suppose we knew better than to expect balloons, but it would have been nice. We will spend a few days here without the bikes – I really want to see the Hemingway house. The ferry to Ft. Myers leaves Thursday at 6:00.

This will probably be my last blog for a few days. I want no responsibility for a while. I may blog on the ferry, not sure yet. And we will both blog when we get home. But before we go, we’d like to thank our sponsors: Gatorade, Ibuprofen, Sportique Century Riding Cream, Bacitracin, Deep Woods Off, Benadryl, and 50 SPF sunscreen.

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Thanks for following us on our adventure!

On to Goodbye Florida

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