Goodbye Florida, Hello Georgia!

Day 17 – Jacksonville Beach, FL to St Mary’s, GA

Today I felt a whole lot better than I did Monday! Good thing because I rode a little over 50 miles today.

There were still some ups and downs on the day, however. The great parts were:

  1. The early morning breeze and cooler (80 degree) weather.
  2. There was a big chunk of the ride that was on a bike path that led through the northeast Florida canopy. This always makes the riding more enjoyable and usually more shaded.
  3. No more love bugs!
  4. I took a boat across a river.
  5. Ice cold blended strawberry lemonade over halfway through the ride at Starbucks.
  6. Conversations with others about my trip. Not just on my random stops but also while riding. I’ve had a few bikers going the opposite way yell “where you going?!” I yell back “Canada!” Then they say something like, “wow, good for you. Good luck!”
  7. Southern hospitality! A guy in an RV from North Carolina pulled up to camp at the same time as me and he wanted to pay for my nights stay. $30! Thanks Steve!
  8. Campsite pool! I pushed little kids aside to jump in that pool to cool off.
Amelia Island trail in Northeast Florida
Boat ride across St John’s River

The rough parts of the day:

  1. Rode on the sketchiest leg of my journey so far. There was construction on US 200 headed west from Amelia Island that had cement divider blocks on both sides on the two lanes headed west. Large trucks, cars, trailers and loggers we’re all fighting to get by me. People were cutting each other off, honking, and getting too close for comfort to me. This lasted for a good 5 miles or so. Definitely had me gripping my handlebars tightly and pedaling as fast as I could!
  2. The heat! By the time I got to my campsite, the weather said it was 97 but feels like 104. That’s why that 80 degrees this morning was so nice!
In Georgia, on a search for peaches

Day 18 – St Mary’s to Brunswick, GA

Sitting around a table for breakfast, after I was finishing an unhealthy amount of complimentary waffles, biscuits and sausage gravy, all the old folks from their RVs piled in the room for breakfast also. The cook announced to everyone I was riding to Canada.

Everyone was in awe and asked me all sorts of questions about my ride. People had ideas for my safety and jokes about where I was going to ride, but all we’re happy to meet me and wished me the best of luck. It was a great start to the morning, and I left there later than I was planning to.

Second serving of complimentary biscuits, gravy, and waffles.

My ride was along US 17 pretty much all the way to Brunswick. There wasn’t much of a shoulder to ride on, but luckily the traffic was very light. About every minute a car would wiz past at [suppose to be] 55 mph. This shoulder was still larger than the sketchy construction site yesterday!

Riding along US 17

I stopped a couple miles short of my destination to grab a subway sub inside of a gas station. Filled up on the sub, ice water and a full phone charge. Met a guy in there that had to be pushing 80 telling me stories of when he walked the Appalachian Trail when he was in his 60s. I tell ya, all the old people in Georgia are just the best!

Blythe Island County Park

Filling my soul

After settling into my primitive camp site, and being bugged by some big yellow flies that bite, I took my naked bicycle into town and ate (again) at sista’s kitchen which served a buffet of soul food. After I had more than enough fried chicken, okra, and corn bread, I biked over to Hop Soul Brewery. Man my spirit is filled with all this soul!

Primitive camping at Blythe Island County Park

Hop Soul Brewery was also a buffet, but of beer! They have a self serve beer wall where you load a card with how ever much money you want on it ( I did $10 with a 20% discount) and it charges you by the ounce. It is a pretty cool idea, but takes away the interaction between the bartender (there is none) and the customer (me). Luckily this place is a pizzaria also which may take away from the awkwardness of individual people sitting in a booth drinking beer. This is a place to go to with friends or family, not solo.

Hop Soul beer buffet

Aside from that, their beer was pretty tasty, especially their double IPAs, and myself as a bartender pours pretty generously!

Stats:

  • Day 17 – 50.85 miles in 4 hours 28 minutes
  • Day 18 – 52.6 miles in 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Total miles to date: 710.36 miles!

Accommodation:

  • Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park
  • Jacksonville North/St Mary’s KOA Holiday
  • Blythe Island County Park

Breweries:

2 Comments on “Goodbye Florida, Hello Georgia!”

  1. You’ve cut 30 mins or more off your 50 mile times when comparing the first week of the trip.I hope that means your ready to start taking those big hills now!

    • My legs are definitely getting stronger! Not sure I’ll ever be totally ready for the hills though!

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