Friday, March 4, 2011
DeFuniak Springs to Pensacola: started the morning in the fog again, which makes for a cool ride. I wear a long sleeve athletic shirt under my always visible iridescent yellow jersey. Also started with my rain jacket of the same yellow. It was Hwy 90 almost the whole day; just put my head down and peddled the relatively flat road. Cycling map went off 90 at one point but by staying on it I saved 5 miles which would be important for this day. I ate at 10:00 and 2:00 again with snacks in between and that seems to work for fuel and rest. By 1:00 I was at 60 miles so I was on track. Starting at Milton the traffic became difficult: 4 lanes, which is okay because there is a shoulder but lots of traffic and many streets and business lots going onto the Hwy. That is a dangerous combination, cars turning off and onto the road in front or behind you. I am amazed at the number of drivers who are turning onto the road who are talking on the phone. I look them in the eye to make sure they are looking and give thank you wave passing by. Sometimes they just pull out. When this happens there is another wave I want to give, but is not advisable on a bike and alone. It's really important to be very polite on a bike!! Then the road was a 10 mile race track entering Pensacola with lots of traffic. The 16 miles along scenic Hwy and through Pensacola was great and I finished at NAS Pensacola where I started my career as a Navy Pilot. I'm staying on base and considering tomorrow off. So observations for the day: along this part of the route you could play Bingo almost any night of the week but Wednesdays look the best. A 6-day observation: do you know how many "cutesy" names people can come up with to name hair salons, even in the middle of nowhere! And, I have only had 2 minor dog chasing incidents. But one was what I call the "sneaky dog"; after passing their house they run as fast as they can from behind you and do not bark until on your tire. Happened once on the last trip and already this trip. The surprise scares the $&@/ out of you. I scream and peddle really fast; you'd be surprised how fast you can go. I did stop at a bike shop just outside the base. Before I left I had gearing (rear cassette, small and middle chain wheel, chain and cables) replaced along with tires. After about 250 miles I started to have shifting problems; rough shifting in the 2 lowest gears of all chain wheels which I knew was stretched cables which I could pretty much adjust myself, but then I could not use my 3 highest gears. The chain would just bounce all over. The bike shop fixed it, (hopefully fixed it). There is another bike shop in 20 miles but then none for a few hundred miles. That's the technical update for the riders. I still had plenty of gears to work with but want them all! Which later I will definitely need.
Posted by Dan at 8:44 AM