Day 1:  Jacksonville to St Augustine

Day 1: Jacksonville to St Augustine

1) Amtrak train 91, the Silver Star, from DC to Jacksonville was 2.5 hours late -- arriving at 9.05a.  But it was PERFECT as I didn’t realize how late the sun came up in Florida (7:22 AM).  6.37a woulda been a bit much.

Amtrak warned us (via their website) of the delays. Amtrak doesn’t own the rail lines down south so when there’s traffic; there’s nothing they can do.

Amtrak warned us (via their website) of the delays. Amtrak doesn’t own the rail lines down south so when there’s traffic; there’s nothing they can do.

2) A late departure means missing some of the scenery leaving DC due to darkness.  It’s always fun when the Amtrak is in the middle of the highway as it is in Richmond and then the small town stations are worth peeking out the window for.  Underrated is the view of the Raleigh skyline. I didn’t know Raleigh had a skyline.

I didn’t have time to grab my camera: The pic is from Google

I didn’t have time to grab my camera: The pic is from Google

3) My friend Michael, who lives in Jax and paced me down to St. Augustine two years ago, met me at the station.  We had breakfast, and he kindly drove me to A1A. It greatly simplified my day.

In 2017, Michael did 37 centuries. I don’t think i've done 37 centuries. Maybe. I stopped counting. But definitely not in one year!!

In 2017, Michael did 37 centuries. I don’t think i've done 37 centuries. Maybe. I stopped counting. But definitely not in one year!!

4) 2018 was not a good bike year for me.  I actually think the last time I rode a bike is the one I rented in Chicago for my girlfriend’s marathon (I don’t run).  That was October.  

5) It’s a straight shot down A1A from Ponte Vedra Beach to St Augustine.  The major highlights, beyond the coastline, are the two bridge crossings in and out of St Augustine.  Other than that, you just pedaling and breathing. Beachfront property dots the road with the occasional gas station for supplies.

6) Once in Historic St. Augustine, I stopped at Meehan’s Irish pub in St Augustine for a beverage and to write some notes on my phone.  Then brief stops at the Fountain of Youth and the before leaving.  I need that Fountain for real though.  

7) On the way to the hotel, I got stuck on the drawbridge.  There was a cyclist there who told me he recently retired and has done 12000 miles a year since 2015.  He was 72. And his bike wasn’t near as nice as mine. I was impressed.

8) I came across a lighthouse . . . but in tourist country, you gotta pay to get close.  GTFOH! Nah man...pay for a lighthouse? Pass.

9) The beach at St Augustine is pretty amazing.  No clearwater, that’s on the west side of the state, but long interrupted, un-commercialized beachfront is pretty nice.  I grabbed some seafood from the Sunset Grille and then watched the tour down under.

Bonus: The music?  Today is the 45th anniversary of Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark. So I started there.  Then switched to rap as I get ready for my college class at George Mason.  Mostly Young Dolph (cuz his name reminds me of Eric Dolphy) and Young Scooter.  I’m sure Joni would be Ok with the company.

My fave Joni lyriscs, from “Down to You” :  Everything comes and goes Marked by lovers and styles of clothes Things that you held high And told yourself were true Lost or changing as the days come down to you Down to you

My fave Joni lyriscs, from “Down to You” :

Everything comes and goes
Marked by lovers and styles of clothes
Things that you held high
And told yourself were true
Lost or changing as the days come down to you
Down to you

Day 2 & 3: St. Augustine to Daytona Beach then to DeLand

Day 2 & 3: St. Augustine to Daytona Beach then to DeLand

Three Ways to Maintain Mental Focus on the Indoor Bike

Three Ways to Maintain Mental Focus on the Indoor Bike