(Actually we’re twenty miles past Chattahoochee in Quincy but I wanted to use one of these great Florida place names.)

20121021-164807.jpg DON’T TEXT AND FLY

Notice the cell phone falling from the witch’s hand. We are very much aware of the texting and driving problem these days. Inattentive drivers present a special problem to vulnerable bicyclists. We had a particularly close encounter this morning in the town of Marianna. We don’t know if this guy was texting behind the wheel, but someone hit our safety pennant at about 30 mph. That means he was within 24 inches of clipping one or both of us on the shoulder. At 30 mph that would hurt! The pennant is attached to a fiberglass rod which slapped the side of his car with a loud SNAP! I hope the close encounter left a long scratch on his shiny, black paint job. Serves the S.O.B. right. I was hoping he would pull over to complain about the scratch then I would have let him know what I think of people who are willing to risk bicyclists’ lives rather than slow down for a few seconds to change lanes.

Not counting the near miss with that car it has been a wonderful day. The weather is sunny, the temperature moderate. We are feeling our oats. Our muscles are firm and our bellies are flat. Mary weighed herself today and she’s down to 128 lbs. and more of that is muscle than ever before. She hasn’t seen numbers like that in many, many years. I’m very proud of her (and I love the way she looks!)

The scenery is so-so these days. I have to remind myself from time to time that we’re in Florida because the landscape hasn’t much changed since east Texas. We do appreciate the flat terrain however. We did 68 miles today by 3:00 PM. We discussed continuing on to Tallahassee at 86 miles but decided against it because it would have screwed up the itinerary for the rest of the week. The point is we felt great after 68 miles.

20121021-172252.jpgBANANA-PEANUT BUTTER TACO

We stopped at Blondie’s Gas and Grocery in Grand Ridge for lunch. Mary ordered some stuff from the deli but I had one of my favorites, the banana-peanut butter taco, one of Chef Lief’s specialties.

Perhaps the readers would like to know what two buff bike riders eat on a cross-country ride (perhaps they wouldn’t but I’ll tell you anyway): Our diet can be divided into motel days and camp days. On motel days we gorge on the free breakfasts most motels offer these days. They may make a profit on the room charge but my breakfast bill alone would be $25 at a regular breakfast diner (e.g. two bowls raisin bran, three glasses orange juice, four sweet rolls, two bananas, one cup coffee, one cup hot chocolate, two waffles.) For lunch I eat Pop Tarts and peanut butter tacos then wash it down with Mountain Dew (which Mary calls my Golden Elixir.) Our favorite supper dining is Wendy’s or Subway.

On camp days we breakfast on oatmeal, hot chocolate/coffee, and Pop Tarts. Lunch is similar to motel day lunch. Supper is a mixture of Knorr Spanish Rice and corn slopped on tortillas or chili and salsa with something sweet for dessert (Pop Tarts?)

It’s looking like we’ll wrap this ride up by Thursday or Friday in St. Augustine. We plan to ship the bicycle home, rent a car, drive up to Virginia to visit with Nick and family for a few days and then fly home.