- to track online our current location, see instructions on the Ride the Nation Route plan page
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- check out our Monday blog on www.bmxmania.com for exclusive details you won’t find here
Riding through Jacksonville reinforced what Michelle Messing had warned us about: Jacksonville is not a bike friendly city. We seldom had a bike lane, the sidewalks were in terrible disrepair and generally speaking, the drivers did not recognize or respect bicyclists. One truck came so close that I got scared and fell to the right off my bike. The good news is that Jacksonville does have one terrific place to ride bikes: Jacksonville BMX! The Michelle Messing family and the Donnell Wright family are working hard to keep Jax BMX a great place to be a cyclist. Their kindness and generosity towards us made it tough to leave. Can’t wait to see you guys in the months ahead! Keep up the great work.
Yesterday evening, we were given Hydro Flasks by Stuntlifeinc.com. They are double wall aluminum water bottles and claim to keep cold beverages cold for 24 hours; hot beverages warm for 12 hours. We filled all of our regular water bottles with ice and water before leaving the hotel. We also filled the 3 hydro flasks with ice and water and purposely did not drink from them untili we arrived in Georgia. Not only were our drinks still cold, the ice was still frozen! Mind you, today wasn’t as hot as most days we’ve ridden through, so, I will continue to monitor its effectiveness and keep our readers posted.
Once we cleared Jacksonville, we found ourselves following our Bike specific GPS up Route 1/Route 301 North out of the flat lands of Florida. All the while, the soulful sound of Ray Charles singing “Georgia on my mind” played in my head. It was quite nice!
We searched but could not find a Comfort Inn within reasonable riding distance so we booked the only semi-decent hotel in town called the “Relax Inn”. It wasn’t horrible but it certainly wasn’t close to the beautiful suite Jacksonville BMX lined up for us. There were no local restaurants open, except a Pizza Hut Express, so we ordered and had 2 pizzas delivered.
Soon after eating, I spoke with my daughter, the Editor, who told me that her grandfather (her dad’s father) had passed away. She was a bit upset and I tried to comfort her. I wished I was there with her and could wrap my arms around her and hold her while she cried. I hope she found comfort later that evening in one of her dorm friends.
As I was winding down for the night, I received a phone call from Norwegian Cruise Lines regarding a promotion where kids sail free. With a promise that we can cancel without penalty, I put a well-priced cruise on the EPIC on hold. (Sheena, it sails Nov. 12th out of Miami, wanna go???? Call NCL and ask for Harlan in Reservations if you do; FYI, there will probably be snow on the ground in Canada by then and you know it’ll be sunny in FLORIDA!)
We found out we had no Wifi connection available in the room and my cell. Phone signal was so weak, we couldn’t tether. So, this morning, I’m at a McDonald’s with free Wifi posting this blog. I promise I will soon get the evening posting back on track. Sorry to our readers for the delays.
On to Lexington, SC for Tuesday night practice on May 10th and then Clemmons, NC for the Dixieland National! (PS- Michelle, LOVE THE AQUAFORE OINTMENT!)