Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hitting the Road Again

I have been resting up in St Johns Florida near Jacksonville for three weeks now. During my cross country ride I lost a lot of weight and I wore my body out a bit so I stayed here to try to regain some weight and let my body heal. It seems to have worked for me. I have regained about five pounds. My leg that I injured when I had a seizure and fell on the side of the road about a month ago is feeling much better now. I no longer feel like there is a tear in the muscles any more but it is really stiff when the day first starts out. I have tried to stretch it out and massage it to try to get it feeling better but it hasn't helped very much yet. I will continue to try to stretch more often on the road this time. I am packing my bags and lubing my bike today. My laundry is clean and I have things packed where I think I will remember where they are when I need them without having to unpack everything all the time looking for stuff. I stocked up on inner tubes in case of flats and I bought a new higher quality air pump than the cheap one I had to buy at Walmart. This one actually will pump the tire all the way up unlike the piece of shit plastic one Walmart sold. I have some food packed up so that I am able to live more frugally for the rest of the month. I don't have any money coming in until the third of July so I am cutting it close with my funds. All the bike repairs and new pump and tubes added up to over $200 which puts a crimp on my spending. I am lucky that Nancy has let me stay here which has saved me a lot of money in living costs. I feel very calm as I get ready to ride again. The last couple of weeks I have been having pain problems and the daily bike riding seems to help lower the pain. I was going to rest another week but due to the pain I am hitting the road again a bit earlier than I had planned. I would have liked to regain 15 to 20 pounds but the five pounds will have to be my cushion now. My plans are still up in the air as far as my route. I studied the ACA maps which I followed very closely so far and compared their route with other options and all it did was confuse me. There is a new route being built called the East Coast Greenway. It is only about 25% finished but some of its routes look tempting to me. I might end up doing some sort of combination of the two. It is kind of daunting to try to choose a route that isn't already a proven bike route because if you make a mistake in choices and end up on a route that just is not good for a bike it can be a lot of backtracking to get back to a better route. Bikers need better maps that show shoulder width and things like that on the maps. The ACA maps have all the right info but they often seem to have random choices for routes and sometimes go a long way off route just to go past a landmark or for whatever reason. Sometimes I just want the shorter more direct route as long as it is safe for a bike. Google does bike maps now but they are irritating because they end up with too many route changes and they get hard to follow. One google route I checked yesterday had 42 turns in a 30 mile ride. That is uncalled for in my opinion. I will just take my chances and ride some combination of intuition and map information mixed with lots of questions from locals. Such is the life of a wandering biker....

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