Sunday, March 17, 2013

Wrapping Up This Tour

Atlantic ocean sunrise

 Jesus proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem. As he drew near to Bethpage and Bethany at the place called Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples. He said, "Go into the village opposite you, and as you enter it you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. And if anyone should ask you, 'Why are you untying it? you will answer,'The Master has need of it.'" So those who had been sent off found everything just as he told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying this colt?" They answered, "The Master has need of it." So they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the colt, and helped Jesus to mount. As he rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road; and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed:
"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest."
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." He said in reply, "I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!"

Luke 19:28-40

Curious Shorebird
I've had the opportunity to witness some majestic sunrises over the Atlantic ocean in Florida.

I'm wrapping this tour up in south Florida, and this will be my last blog. Thank you for living with me thru my dreams as they manifested into reality. It's been a pleasure sharing my stories and life with you and hopefully, you'll read all 79 of my posts.

Perhaps I'll tour more in the future. I'm toying with the idea of exploring America's Pacific northwest next. I'd work my way to the east coast from there. Northeastern America is one place I'd like to learn more about. God willing, more cycling tours will happen, but it's all in the dream phase now. At least that doesn't cost me anything. If my dreams become a reality, I'll compose more blogs. So be on the lookout for more to come. Time will tell.

Nesting local bird
1833 SE Fed Hwy, Stuart
I camped less in south Florida and spent my nights in hostels in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Although Miami is considered one of the most bike friendly cities in America, you always need to exercise caution as a cyclist.

I saw tennis phenom Serena Williams driving a cream colored convertible Mercedes Benz on Biscayne Blvd in Miami. I learned from locals she frequents these parts, so I put the pieces together. I didn't want to distract her from the road by giving her a 'shoutout' while cycling because she was busy texting and driving.

Hopefully you found my blog educational and inspirational. I believe that touring by bicycle is the best way to travel. It's environmentally friendly and a excellent way to improve your cardiovascular health.

You can email me at fsts61@gmail if you have questions, concerns or issues in bicycle touring. 

Port St Lucie family...Carl & Helen

Great Products 8771 SE Bridge Rd, Hobe Sound

A few Fort Lauderdale yachts
Good selections 1001 E Sunrise Blvd. Ft Lauderdale
Best staff 1800 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
South Florida beach scene
Downtown Miami over picturesque waters
South Florida sunset...priceless!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Treasure Coast

Local Pelican holding down the fort

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. But early in the mourning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such a woman. So what do you say?" They said this to test him, so they could  have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he bent  down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, "Woman, where are they?Has no one condemned you?" She replied, "No one, sir." Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more."

                                                                             John 8:1-11

340 King St. Cocoa Village, FL...great product-better staff

Hats off to Gerry McDade for hosting me and showing around his wintering grounds in Rockledge, FL. He owns Backcountry Travel Service in Blowing Rock, NC and gives hiking, motorcycle or vehicle tours there during the summer. He can be reached at MCDADE@MAILSTATION.COM.
Rockledge host and tour guide Gerry McDade

Quality Staff 1007 Rockledge Dr., Rockledge, FL

Moving south down Florida's east coast, I found Hwy 1 and the A1A to be the most direct routes. There are many east/west bridges to traverse between these two thoughfares that take you over Florida's Intracoastal Waterway. Ocean water dominates this region but there is a thin strip of land on the far east side, that's generally where you'll find the A1A.

The A1A is Florida's premier road to travel north-south and get the best scenery. I endorse it as the best coastal road in America for cycling because it's flat, picturesque with excellent bike and pedestrian lanes. Lot's of high end real estate along this peninsula as well.  HWY 1 the commercial road and has more traffic, it lies west of the A1A.

"We are what we repeatedly do.Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit"


Patriotic watertower in Cocoa, FL

View of Florida's Intracoastal waterway

Florida winter sunset

Best Cupcakes in Vero Beach @ 712 21st St

Monday, March 4, 2013


Hamming it up at Kennedy Space Center

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So to them Jesus addressed this parable: "A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."' So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.' But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of the music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, 'Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, 'Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.' He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'"

                                                                                    Luke 15:1-3, 11-32   

A fun afternoon at Kennedy Space Center
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex was a tremendous experience for me. This facility is south of Titusville (east of HWY 1). Here, you can find a rich display of the history of America's Space Program. Several retired rocketships are displayed and if you get there early enough, you can ride a bus out to where the latest launches are being prepared. Don't miss the opportunity to take a simulated ride on the Space Shuttle.

Because I was a late comer at the gate, I was able to return the next day and spend more time at The United States Astronaut Hall Of Fame a few miles west of the Kennedy Space Center for free! This location is a part of the package and has a retired Space Shuttle out front. There, I developed a better understanding of the Apollo and Gemini missions.

    "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, can achieve"

                                 John Paul Getty 
Historical remnants of America's Space program on display at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Lot's of artifacts that have traveled in outer space on display here.
Many new technologies and products have been invented and developed thanks to the space program. A few that are forerunners in my mind is window tinting and the telecommunications industries. Certainly, the U.S. Defense Department has been able to work with more accuracy due to satellite imagery and today, our weather forecasts better than ever!

To my understanding, for every dollar spent on the Space Program, $4-$7 has been generated and put back into the economy thru new technologies and products.
Retired Space Shuttle on Florida's Space Coast
President John F. Kennedy's vision for space exploration has been instrumental in establishing Florida's Space Coast.
The Kennedy Space Center is strategically placed between two large bodies of water on Florida's intracoastal waterway. To the east of this lies the Atlantic Ocean and to the west, the Indian River. These large bodies of water provide a nice buffer for rocketships to descend into if they fail to reach outerspace on schedule. 
How will NASA lead our future?

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be be lighted"

This facility is a few miles west of the Visitor Complex.

There are many issues regarding the Space Program that raises my concerns. First and foremost is concern for the environment. Every time there is a launch, millions of pounds of fuel is burned and the vibrations and sound effect the region for miles in every direction. Many astronauts have lost their lives on the job including the Challenger and Columbia tragedies. Are the risks worth the rewards? I think it's a very personal issue. There is certainly a lot to learn about America's Space Program. Education is essential to make sound choices about where we want to go with this in our future, is a good place to start.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Moving East Again

Attractive Florida Peacock
Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. Jesus said to them in reply "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them-do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!"

And he told them  this parable: "There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in an orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, 'For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?' He said to him in reply, 'Sir, leave it for for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.'"

                                                                        Luke 13:1-9
Fish Sculpture in Orlando's west side
Orlando hosts Dustin, Douglas & Nick 

 I felt I had to catch up with childhood friend Nick during my visit to Orlando, I found it to be time well spent. I had the opportunity to meet his wife Debbie and their 4 children Richy, Dustin, Douglas and Robby. Nick has been a part of the Campus Crusade for Christ ministries for more than 9 years in the Orlando area and it was refreshing and energizing to reconnect with him.

Part of touring is not to stay in one place for to long. That's why I've decided to head back east toward the bigger water and more populated Atlantic ocean side of Florida. I plan to complete this excursion in Fort Lauderdale with a cruise thru the Panama Canal that will take me back to San Diego (where I started).

  I took HWY 50 E out of Orlando to Titusville. Although I didn't have any problems on this road, I was told by some local folks that this is the one of the deadliest stretches of road in America for bikers. Many bicycle fatalities on record (especially around the town of Christmas, FL). It seemed like good road to me with ample shoulder and a smooth surface. However: after speaking with the local Sheriff's department and reconfirming the perils of this road, I decided to stay off it at night. If you decide to travel this road or any road after sunset, be sure to have lights in good working order on your bike because this road is very dark.

'Swampy' The World's largest Gator @ Jungle Adventures in Christmas, FL

Beautiful Central Florida Waterway

Airboat Travelers living large on the water
Helpful service staff at 2204 Edgewater Dr., Orlando
Yup, this is a live wild alligator I photographed from a bridge (he jumped in the water before I got closer).

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Friendly White Swan in downtown Orlando

Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went to the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the men men standing with him. As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." But he did not know what he was saying. While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my chosen Son; listen to him." After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.

                                                                              Luke 9:28b-36

Urban map of Orlando's Cady trail (A bicycle/pedestrian friendly way to get around town).

Skilled bike technician 'Lance' at Winter Park Cycles 3014 Corrine Dr, Orlando

Well this city really lived up to my expectations and exceeded them in most ways. I've encountered many people in this city who live by faith in God and who have shared theirs with me in words and actions. The Orlando Magic is the name of the NBA franchise here and after all, this city is the home to Disney world. What a great place to dream big and hope for the best. I've felt a stronger connection with higher powers than my own imagination in Orlando. I don't know if it's from the power of the prayers of others or what, but it's good to be surrounded by good Karma.

City planners have developed a variety of bicycle and foot friendly trails throughout the city that have made Orlando the most bike friendly city I've experienced. A few of the more popular urban trails are the Cady Trail, Orange Blossom Trail, Wikiva Trail and Florida Trail. Although many trails are still being developed; I understand that a goal of the city is to complete a concentric ring of trail and to link it to other bike trails in central Florida.

The weather's been great here! I've been informed by locals that this is the best time of year to be in Florida. Hurricane season begins in June and continues thru November. I understand that the air is thicker, hotter and more humid during those months.

Chilling Out at 3713 E. Colonial Dr (good place to sell your jewelry for cash in Orlando)

Downtown Orlando water fountain

Some local wildlife enjoying downtown Orlando

Black Swan enjoying a downtown Orlando swim.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Going to Orlando

Some tremendous Oceanside vegetation

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch." Simon said in reply, "Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets." When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that the boats were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell to the knees of Jesus and said, "Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man." For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.

                                                                  Luke 5:1-11

Enjoying cycling 'Florida Life on the Road'

Dormant Peacock in Saint Augustine

Altamonte Springs hosts John and Cathy

Tremendous natural estuary waters next to Rt A1A on Florida's northeast coast
Well, it's the dead of winter and I'm in central Florida! I'm having a great time and I think that the weather's got a lot to do with that. Typically, the daytime temperatures reach into the upper 70's to low 80's and at night, don't fall far below 65. Sunshine has been plentiful as well. What a beautiful winter hangout!  Dry weather is what I prefer when I spend most of my nights outside. Putting up a rain fly at camp takes a lot of time, but fortunately I've haven't needed it here in central Florida. I've found many patches of wooded areas to put my hammock up and get a good night's sleep.

Truly, urban trails like these embellish the quality of touring in Florida 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Florida-The Sunshine State

Florida State Flag

Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying: "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, "Isn't this the son Joseph?" He said to them, "Surely you will quote me this proverb, 'Physician, cure yourself,' and say, 'Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'" And said, "Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Indeed, I tell you, there were two widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a sever spread over the entire land. It was to none of these that Elijah was sent but only to widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. Again. there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.

                                                                        Luke 4:21-30

Sign commemorating rich Florida Heritage
One thing I love about cycling in Florida is the flat terrain. The state's elevation averages one foot above sea level. Assuming that; I'm sure there are major flooding issues around here when big storms (like hurricanes) pass thru. You don't have to dig to far down in the earth to find it sandy around here. The beautiful thing about a sandy terrain is quick drainage of water, without a lot of muddy residue.

Lot's of hotel availability here when it's not Racing Season
I had the opportunity to spend some time in Daytona Beach before moving inland toward Orlando. Lot's of beachfront hotels there with low occupancy. That means my money went further in Dayton Beach compared to other inland American destinations I've visited on this tour. I enjoyed two full king size beds with a ocean view for $42.50 per night on the strip. Certainly, the prices of these rooms fluctuate during big events like races (this city is home of the famous Daytona 500) and Spring Break.

This metropolitan Orlando trail is top notch 

This urban trail makes bike travel safer
Orlando is a major stopping place for me on this tour. I have friends here that I've known since childhood.  This city should give me a good feel of central Florida in the heart of the winter season. As far as I'm concerned, there is no other place this time of year.