Showing posts with label Pinellas County. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pinellas County. Show all posts

Monday, July 15, 2019

Wind At My Back, Friends Pulling Me Forward

I was up at 4:45 because I was keyed up about beating the heat on my cycling trip home.  I would be riding from Tarpon Springs to Inverness, a ride of over 80 miles.  It had been a few years since I had ridden that far, I was a bit nervous.

It was predicted to be 95 degrees, humid, and sunny on Sunday.  I packed two thermoses of ice water, a bottle of Gatorade, and a baggie with salty pretzels and nuts.  If I am smart and keep re-filling my waters, I should be ok.

My neck had stopped hurting during my day of rest.  I had bought a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide and was swishing it around my chipped tooth two and three times a day.  It had done the trick!

Sunday morning is a good time to travel by bike.  The traffic is lighter because many sleep in or sit in church pews.

I assembled my things and got them all packed on the bike and was riding by 5:30 in the dark.  I was glad I had packed my front light and a flashing back light because it was very dark when I departed Ellen's home.



I took a different route to get back on the Pinellas trail, going down the sidewalk on Hwy 19 instead of the narrow shoulder on Alternate 19.  It worked well.  It helped that I had ridden this area several times because there are several dis-connected trails on Google called the Pinellas Trail.

As I rode the sky became a light blue-grey and I watched bats fluttering to fill their stomachs before returning to their roost to sleep the day away.

Sometimes when I stopped I posted on Facebook to let my friends know I was making progress toward home.  It was cool to have them cheering me on.  As I headed up the Sun Coast Trail I realized I was being pushed along by a nice tail wind.  YEAH!!

Shortly after I got on the trail two young men heading my way on their racing bikes must have touched wheels.  One went flying and crashing.  They were about 200 feet from me at the time.  I could see that the guy that crashed was in pain, and his buddy was ignoring that and trying to get him up off the ground.  When I arrived the guy on the ground was asking for an ambulance and his buddy was trying to talk him out of it.

I called 911 only, here is stupid me, not hearing anything and going hello? hello?  I hung up.  The 911 operator called me back and I still couldn't hear.  I then remembered I had been listening to a book on my phone with my earphones.  I had taken the earbuds from my ears as I was approaching the accident.  I unplugged the earphones and could hear the 911 operator.  We were about a mile north of the Starkey Park Trail intersection.

It was clear the guy on the ground (who was sitting up by then) was bleeding bright red blood from his mouth and had hit his head.  He told us he thought he had broken his jaw.

I left after the ambulance was on its way and a trail ranger had stopped to help.


As I rode away I had two thoughts.

  1.  I sure am glad I ride a trike.  
  2. Your life can change in an instant.  You can lose ability, change life direction and trajectory, and even die.  We like to think we are secure and that the ability or the lifestyle we have now will continue, but the only thing for sure is that things do NOT remain the same.
At Hwy 50 I turned toward Brooksville and stopped for refreshment.

I was feeling good!  My friend, Robyn, who had helped me find a Sister on the Fly to stay with the last two nights, had messaged me that she could come get me if I ran out of steam.  It was so nice to have that option.  Maybe I would have felt awful without that option.

It was getting mighty hot in the sun, but I had made it to Brooksville around noon.  The Good Neighbor Trail and the Withlacoochee Trail were ahead of me and they both would have some shade.



My legs were feeling good, it was just the heat that was becoming difficult.  I would stop in the shade, read some more encouraging posts on Facebook, and keep pedaling.  Wetting down my shirt at Townsend park I decided to go straight to downtown Inverness and visit the Ice Cream Doctor.





Thanks to everyone that followed my journey here and on Facebook and boosted me up with messages, emails, thoughts and prayers.  You ROCK!

About 85 miles.  Not bad for a 66 year old widow lady.


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Rested Enough?

Ellen has been a gracious hostess.  She has made me feel welcome and engaged me in lots of great conversation.  I have basqued in the aircondtioning, soaked in the food and beverages, and loved on Stinky the cat.

Tonight, after cooking dinner for my hosts and making a mess of their kitchen and stove, I have wheeled out my trike and locked it up, ready to roll in the morning.  All the bags have been hauled back in because there is a lot of theft in the area.  I will have to re-assemble things in the morning.

I am setting the alarm for 5 a.m.   It is going to be a hot day so I would like to be through the SunCoast trail by noon.  We'll see.  I did NOT arrange for a stop/sleepover part way.  Years ago, George and I rode the whole way from Inverness to Tarpon Springs.  83 miles.  Can I do it now in this heat?  I have packed nuts and salty snacks, a bottle of Gatorade and two thermoses of ice water.  There will be gas stations and restaurants and parks along the way for refilling the waters and refueling.  Since George and I rode to Tarpon, we moved 5 more miles away... 88 miles.

Several friends ride over 100 miles several times a year.  Preston rode his trike 100 miles in one day for every week of the year just a few short years ago.  Dana Thomas recently biked across Florida in summer heat.  Over 100 miles.  I am only 66, I got this!   Just the same, I might put a shout out for possible lodging in Brooksville just in case.

Today Ellen and I tried walking but it got too hot in the sun and we turned around (95 and humid).

Ellen took care of her husband living with dementia.  Now she is caring for her 93 year old Mom that has some short-term memory loss.  As we talked I have learned that her adult life has been about caring for others.  Children, foster children, homeless people, disabled old dogs, and me, all under the her momma-bird wings.

I hope to see her and Amy again at a Sister's on the Fly event.











Cautious Hope for Post COVID

Greetings from Inverness, Florida.   I am back home and very much enjoying springtime in Florida.  My garden is happy, the monarchs are flut...