We continued our ride towards Charlotte BMX in Punta Gorda, knowing we had plenty of time before the 6-8pm practice started. Along the way, we stopped in a few bicycle stores, this time just for looking at the latest items on the market. We stopped @ Louie’s Bicycle Shop where Donna and her brother talked old school bikes with Frankenbutt. Coco enjoyed a stroll in the grass and some fresh water while Frankenbutt test rode a Fuji touring style bike. He really liked the way it felt and is fantasizing about the day he will own one of his own. He said it was quite a change jumping from a 118 lb. bike onto a 20 lb. bike loaded with cool features like extra spoke holders, built into the frame.
Eventually, we got back on our bikes and meandered towards Punta Gorda, noting that there were a few scattered dark clouds forming. Unfazed by the impending weather, Frankenbutt spotted the Bicycle Center just outside of Punta Gorda and suggested we stop again. The Beast and I were ready for a break so we agreed. We all took turns checking out the store as Rob, the bicycle mechanic, gave us tips on the last 6 miles of riding to the Punta Gorda track address. Thanks, Rob! We did as you said and arrived safely.
As soon as we arrived, I spotted Amanda Carr’s signature hairdo that girls from the 70’s would have died for! She greeted us with a beautiful smile and welcomed us to her track. I have to say that it is a beautiful track! Before you even see the track surface, you see that all the buildings on the property have been painted a beautiful sunny yellow and the fence is a bright white. It reminds me of being in the Caribbean. We parked our bikes and let her know that the Charlotte Sun newspaper arranged for a reporter to cover our story and she said she’d be available if there were any questions for her.
Barbara from the Charlotte Sun arrived by 6pm and began asking about our ride and we told her how we are riding to promote the best sport on earth: BMX. She took pics of our bikes and the Beast on the track and we talked a little more, as the track parents started arriving. The clouds were darkening overhead and we wrapped up the interview as the first rain drops began to fall. The article with pics should run this Wednesday in the Charlotte Sun.
Cindy at the Concession stand let us know that they were probably closing the track but offered to cook us whatever we wanted before they left. She made us some fabulous cheeseburgers and we also gathered some snacks for the evening ahead. She and every one of the Punta Gorda track team made us feel welcome and spoiled. Knowing we were camping here for the night, they left the bathroom unlocked and gave us the gate code for getting in and out. Many of them were strangers before we arrived this evening but they made us feel like Charlotte BMX was our home track. Thank you to all of the Punta Gorda Charlotte BMX crew! You are top notch! Hope to see you all in West Palm Beach for the Gator Classic this coming weekend.
Well, it’s still raining and it’s dark out. Time to roll out the sleeping bags, find the contact lens case and call it a day. Frankenbutt, the Beast and Coco are all settled in the tent and it’s time for me to come in and take up the last 2 cubic inches of spare space! Tomorrow we start riding towards West Palm Beach, FL with a plan to arrive either Thursday evening or Friday morning.