Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Other Road That....

Yesterday’s ride, for me, was all about recovery. Having ridden pretty hard on both Monday and Tuesday, and considering the ride I also did on Saturday, my legs and … more sensitive areas … were ready for something a bit more relaxed. It takes two to tandem, so I joined MG for a relaxed pace riding through some of the neighborhoods out here in the Pensacola Beach area. Many of the houses have been repaired and/or rebuilt since the devastation of the hurricanes, but there are a large number of homes that look very damaged. Some are being worked on now. Some look abandoned.

To be fair, though, those home owners may just be waiting for their turn. The supply of labor available since the hurricanes has been very tight. My own brother had to wait quite a while to have his roof repaired following the storms, and at a premium price. Capitalism is alive and well in the Gulf region.

Nonetheless, we saw a great number of houses that MG just loved. Being the beach, I pointed out to her that maybe the broken down trailer home on one lot was more in our affordability range, though I wouldn’t even guarantee that.

It was a pleasant twelve mile ride, though, and just the thing my legs needed. We followed it up with several laps in the pool (heated indoor).

This morning I got up to find that the winds were almost non-existent. This provided my chance to make a westerly excursion without the fear of having to spend the return trip battling the wind. I rode through Pensacola Beach and took the road that once went all the way out to Fort Pickens. I used to visit Fort Pickens on every trip I made to the area, but I haven’t been there in quite a number of years. A storm in the ‘90s took out a lot of the road at some point back then, and I’m not sure they’d ever recovered before the more recent storms came through.

I got to (and went around) the gate similar to the one east of the condo where automobile traffic must stop. From there I rode maybe a mile or two to where the old toll booth used to be (it used to cost a few bucks to go to the fort, though I generally went on my brother’s annual membership pass). Not far past the booth is where the pavement gave way and the first portage started. But what a portage. I couldn’t even see the other end of the former pavement. There was a sign at the pavement’s end telling hikers and cyclists that the round trip to the fort from that point was 14 miles, of which 1.5 miles would require cyclists to carry their bikes. It also cautioned people to have water, sunscreen, et cetera.

I turned back.

What little wind there was today came from the North, so it didn’t really cause me any trouble on either the trip toward or from the fort. I decided to just ride on back to the condo, but when I got near it I found that I was several miles short of 20, which is what I like to keep as a minimum when I go out on a road ride right now (the minimum increases during the warmer months). I rode on out to the gate east of the condo, then turned and headed back. I recorded 21 miles when I got back. That will do nicely.

Trivia Time

The Rules are still in effect. Please email your answers to bgoab at mindspring dot com, and remember, you have a whole week to turn in your answers.

1. Who starred as James Bond in the very first film version of Casino Royale?

2. In the TV special, what profession did Rudolph’s elf friend want to pursue instead of making toys?

3. ‘Elf’ is the name of a French company. What do they sell (main product)?

4. According to the song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, Superior, it’s said, never gives up her dead when _____________?

5. The Chicago World‘s Fair saw the debut of a wondrous new invention which has spawned scaled down copies at almost every amusement park and traveling carnival in the nation, possibly even the world. What is it?

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