Once I got out of Marianna, highway 90 had a nice shoulder.
I passed by this tomato field, and was astounded by the number of tomatoes that were just left there and never harvested. The whole field was like this.
In Chattahoochee. It was too early for lunch by my biological clock, although it was 12 noon as I had just crossed over into Eastern Daylight Time. This picture was taken looking back the way I came. Just beyond the traffic lights was a hill that I climbed to get into town. Who Jimmy Cain was, I had no idea. Local politics?
In Chattahoochee at Dollar General having a Coconut Popsicle, by the moss-covered tree in the parking lot.
The town of Gretna was my lunch stop. There was a cafe inside of the Sunoco station. Lots of choices, besides the special on the board, but I decided to get the plate with meat loaf, mashed potatoes, cabbage, and cobbler. Just $6.99
The lunch special included a drink. I had already eaten about half my lunch when this was taken. There were abundant flies, so I had to keep my hands moving over the food. Kind of like being at Kakaako or Kapiolani park, eating a plate lunch near the trash cans. Good food, I cleaned up every bit.
I was served by Robert, a man who clearly loves his job. He was singing while he worked, even answering questions with a musical lilt at times. It was past peak lunch hour, so he had time to converse with customers. I spent several minutes chatting with him before taking my lunch to the checkout. It seemed that there were many regulars, and everyone knew everyone else. I shared a table with a man named (I think) Wells, who showed me where to turn to get to hwy 268, which was the ACA route.
From Gretna, I called ahead to The Bicycle House, which offers free lodging to cyclists. Scott there advised me not to take Hwy 90, but to follow the ACA route, instead. He said that the shoulder on 90 was inconsistent, and that it was hillier than the back roads. I took his advice, but the ACA route seemed to have the same amount of hills as 90 had earlier in the day. There was consistently no shoulder on highway 268, but then again, there was very little traffic. It was a smooth ride to the outskirts of Tallahassee, where the ACA route joined back onto 90.
My first alligator!
It was roadkill, and not very big, maybe 2 feet long. Still counts.
Google directed me to cross this area of Eugenia way in Tallahassee, where a backhoe was completely blocking the road.
As I was standing there, another cyclist rode past me, so I waited to see what he would do. He got off his bike, and walked it under the arm of the backhoe. I followed.
I struggled with Google’s bike navigation in town, going back and forth until I realized that it wanted me to go into a park and take the bike trail.
At last, I reached the Bicycle House, which was a warehouse in an industrial park.
The Bicycle House is a unique organization, with the sole mission of providing people with transportation and bike servicing regardless of someone’s ability to pay. They service local residents, students, and even the homeless or recently released from prison.
There were also rooms for touring cyclists – free, but donations accepted. Since I was off-season, no one else was staying there. And there was wi-fi, so I could update this blog.
Scott (L), the founder, and Kaley, a volunteer mechanic. Scott was formerly a building designer, before he founded the Bicycle House. He still rides a lot, and advocates for cycling. Kaley is a fine arts (ceramics) major at the local university.
Many of Kaley’s pieces are pressed into service in the House.
Scott is doing the dishes at their outside sink, at what might have once been a loading dock. It also doubled as an outdoor shower.
Normally, cyclists shower at a nearby pool, but that had just closed by the time I got there. So I used the outdoor shower. There were a few joggers and cars going down FAMU way, but the place is so far off the road that privacy was not much of an issue. We warned Kaley, so she could retreat into an inner room, until I knocked on the door a few minutes later.
Scott and Kaley were riding out for dinner, and invited me along. They lent me a bike so I wouldn’t have to carry mine back outside. We got pizza and salad at Gaines Street Pies, then took it over to outside seating at a quiet bar nearby. As we were riding through the streets, multiple people recognized Scott, and stopped him to talk.
Hans joined us at our seating, although he had already eaten. Much of the conversation was about cycling, of course.
The goal for tomorrow is Madison, FL.
Miles today: 74.6