We survived the canal side run, then rode down around the town of “Hole in the Wall”, which was aptly named! We stopped for a brief lunch at Wendy’s where the Beast ran into a school group on a class trip and gave them flyers about our ride. They were very excited to hear about our adventure and the Beast was more than happy to share.
We got back on bikes and headed out to Route 80 East, a road travelled mostly by truck drivers that outnumber cars 5 to 1, at least. Luckily, truck drivers have consistently been super courteous to us. Knowing how hard it is for the big guys to pull their rigs to a stop, it refreshes my faith in mankind when they do so … and then wave to us. (of course, some of them only wave with one finger, but at least the thought is there, right?).
Route 80 was mostly farms and not a convenience store or gas station for miles. After 20 miles of hard riding in the heat AND rationing our water bottles … we ran out of water. We checked out google maps and sure enough there was nothing for at least 10 miles. I gave in to my pride and pulled into Hundley Farms. We parked our bikes in the shade and Frankenbutt got Coco out for a walk. I entered the office and was immediately greeted by a cool wall of air conditioning. I sighed, took a breath and called out “Hello?” Within seconds, a nice gentleman appeared and asked if he could help me.
We ran water out to Frankenbutt and Coco and then I went back into thank the wonderful man. His name is John of Hundley Farms and he was even willing to pose for a picture for tonight’s blog. He told me how his family has been in the farming business for 3 generations, growing sugar cane, sweet corn and green beans amongst other vegetables. John, if you are reading this, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! John also passed us later down the road and wished us well.
We continued down Route 80 East towards West Palm Beach and little by little civilization converged upon us. Our spirits were lifted as we started seeing more signs for West Palm Beach. Finally, we turned onto Forest Hills Boulevard and started pedaling the final 6 miles in heavy rush hour traffic. We kept our communication up and managed to maneuver through each intersection unscathed. There was one annoying driver who was busily talking on her cell phone and rolled right into the path in front of us. I shouted to her and she looked at me. She obviously didn’t know whether to go forward or backward. We just biked around her … she continued talking on the cell phone.
As we came upon a beautiful home with sprinklers on, I just couldn’t resist. I slowed my bike down and put my arm out to get a quick cool down. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m not graceful. I ran into the low wall that bordered the beautiful lawn with the sprinklers that did cool me down as the wall scraped my leg up. It was still worth it. As we started back up, a lady was coming down the path towards us and I apologized for taking up so much room on the path.
She said, “no problem. I came to see you.” I was confused because I didn’t recognize her and she introduced herself as Elena. She said she had seen us on Southern Boulevard and called her sister to have her google us. When she learned what we were doing, she stopped to see if we’d like to come to her home and get a shower. What a nice offer! At that point, we were about 3 miles from the track and eager to call it a day. We thanked her and gave her a flyer about our ride. We told her to follow us on our blog, so hello, Elena! And thank you for your kindness!
A week ago, an article about our ride ran in one of the Tampa area newspapers and the writer said we’d be camping at BMX tracks and “relying on the kindness of strangers”. I was a bit put off by that originally because we take pride in making our own way in life. Even when our business collapsed, we didn’t borrow a dime from anyone. Today proved that there are times we need to rely on the kindness of strangers. Thanks again, John. You’re right; you don’t know how important water is until you need it and don’t have it.
We arrived to smiles and kindness here at Okeeheelee BMX in West Palm Beach. We've enjoyed so many offers from the track director, assistant track director, and the entire crew here at Okeeheelee. Tonight I typed this blog while sitting in their air conditioned office. It feels like home here. It's going to be tough to leave this Saturday as we head for Clemmons, NC.