East coast Bike Tour Day 1

First Day! Key West to Big Pine Key

My wonderful wife made the tiresome 8 hour drive from Tampa to Key West to push me off for the start of my ride. We ventured out in Key West and enjoyed the 2 brewpubs on the island – waterfront brewery and first flight brewery – which was a perfect way to start Traveling Brewski!

First brewery on the tour!

We found a delicious lobster roll and then went to a recommended desert restaurant called ‘Better than Sex’, and they we’re good, but I don’t know if they we’re that good! We camped out that night at Leo’s campground for the first time in our marriage, and we still loved each other in the morning.

Breakfast with my beautiful wife before my first day on the saddle.

Driving over to the southern most point in the US, I was starting to get a bit nervous. Who decides to ride their bike 3,000 miles for fun?! I started thinking of the few fears that crept up in the weeks leading up to the trip:

  1. What if I get eaten by a bear?
  2. What if I get too tired of it all and quit before I reach Canada?
  3. Will my wife hate me for being gone for 3 months?
  4. Will my dog (who is 15 years old) still be alive when I get back?
  5. What if I run out of money?
  6. Will I smell terrible the whole trip? ( Definitely my biggest fear outside of this trip)
  7. Will my butt and legs even survive?

After getting the bike loaded up, though, I couldn’t stop smiling. I knew this would be tough both physically and mentally, but I was up for the challenge, I am ready!

Am I ready though? This is the first time that I have actually riden my bike fully loaded with all my stuff and I hardly trained without the stuff added on! Only a handful of times did I ride my bike long distance leading up to the trip with 48 miles being the longest and I was hurting on that ride! On day 4 I am suppose to do 67 miles from Key Largo to Miami Beach! Once my bike was loaded up and we are ready to take a picture and leave, me and my wife Clarissa looked at each other and said wow that’s heavy!

Before I added any water, I had weighed my bags and tent and they weighed in at 48 lb. Then the water probably added another 10 to 15 pounds easily. Clarissa then said it wasn’t too late to get back in the car and ride home with her, and bless her soul I know she wanted me to! Sorry babe!

We took our picture at the southernmost point, said goodbye to Clarissa, and I was off! Not sure who cried more, I just tried not to show it.

Start of the ride!

The ride was flat obviously with many bridges and through many different keys. My destination was Big Pine Key. there are only a couple times that I had to ride on the shoulder of the street, most of the time there was a designated bike path which was great.

12 miles in, I’m feeling great, have a huge smile on my face, and like I’m standing still, two old ladies cruise right by me hardly pedaling and carrying on a conversation. I didn’t think I was going that slow! Turns out I was averaging just over 10 miles per hour. I didn’t speed up though I was enjoying my leisure ride with an extra 60 lb of weight added on.

Made it to my campsite at Big Pine Key fishing lodge and it is beautiful here! Not many people, I’ve got shade, and I’m right on the water with a nice breeze. It’s a perfect second night camping.

Big Pine Key campground and my sign that my wife made me.

The only issue I have is getting the very first iPad that Apple ever made to work for me. And so far it has not, I should have tested that out before too.

First night of laundry.

Stats for day 1:

  • 30.28 miles
  • 2 hours 55 minutes riding
  • 18 bridges crossed

Accommodation:

  • Leo’s campground
  • Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge

Breweries:

8 Comments on “East coast Bike Tour Day 1”

  1. Good luck man! Excited to follow you along the way. If you need some music to ride to along the way, check out the instrumentals on my website!

    • Thanks Brandon! I will definitely take a look at your music, as I had no idea you made music!

  2. This is great! I admire you both; I hope to do this one day and your list of fears sure hit home. Good luck! and much fun.

  3. Really looking forward to following your journey. I would love to do a trip like this one day so I’ll be taking notes. I’m in Tampa also!
    Safe travels and please keep posting!

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