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4 May 2018, 9:45 PM CT, DeFuniak Springs, FL

My ride has begun, my first one since 2015. You are likely to find me a bit nostalgic on this ride. I have had some difficulties getting this ride done. As I said in my Intro, I had planned to do it in 2016 and then 2017 and now it is finally happening in 2018. Because I anticipate it will be difficult in the future to do such a big ride, I am treating this ride as if it is my last Transcontinental Ride. If I can do another in the future, Great. If it does not work out, so be it. (That's the second time I have said "so be it". I wonder why.)

Hanna always joins me in a picture at the beginning of my ride. And here she is, waving her hanky.

It was 10 years ago, in 2008, that I did my first transcontinental ride, Route 66, when Hanna bid me Bon Voyage with a hanky. I asked her to help me reproduce my send off picture from 2008, waving a hanky. Why wave a hanky? That was a custom in the old days to send people off on a voyage, especially in Europe. Hanna is European, German, a Berliner, a traditionalist.


So, I was happy to have her send me off once again.

I got off at 8:00 AM. Not bad. I rode up the Florida Turnpike, and took my first break at Fort Drum Service Plaza.

There is absolutely nothing significant about this picture, I just wanted to show you my bike again.

Everything continued to go fine, my second stop was to be in Wildwood, where the Turnpike ends as it meets I-75. I was getting tired, so I stopped at another service plaza about 20 miles before Wildwood, just to walk around the bike and continue. As I was approaching the spot where I was going to park for five or ten few minutes, I got hit in the face with a blast of water. What a shock! I had ridden through one of those car windshield washers without realizing it. That will teach me to not get too absorbed with where I am going to park! The bike was wet. I was wet. It did feel refreshing, though. It was about 85° or so.

I took off again, holding my head over to the side of the bike to get the wind to blow all the water off my face shield. On to Wildwood to get gas and something to snack on.

The question of the day. Did I do it? If you don't know what I am talking about, you have not read my older Ride Travelogues.

Leaving Wildwood the traffic on I-75 was terrible. It took me an hour to go 15 miles. After the stop and go was gone, the traffic still continued to be heavy all the way to I-10. Riding on I-10 was pleasant. I had planned to stop in Tallahassee to take another picture of the Florida Capitol, but decided to skip it having already lost an hour with the traffic problem. It was 5:30 PM and I was sure traffic would be terrible in the capitol city during rush hour on a Friday afternoon. Maybe I will take a picture on my way back home. I have taken pictures of the Florida Capitol several times, but my general rule is that I have to do it each time.

I did lots of stops today. I was on the road 11 1/2 hours. I rode 538 miles. That's a lot, I have not ridden that many miles in one day since my US Northwest Ride in 2013. I guess the old boy is not done in yet. I must have made at least ten stops. Here's one earlier today where I was especially careful and looked where I was going all the time, unlike the windshield washer fiasco.

If you cannot read the yellow sign, click on the picture.

So now I am in DeFuniak Springs. I have put the bike to bed and it is time for me to put me to bed.

But first, I have to show you the send off picture for my Route 66 Ride in 2008 that I was trying to reproduce.

As you can see, everything is exactly the same, except my bike is different, my jacket is different, Hanna's dress is different, the plants are different, the trees are different. Like I said, exactly the same.

And, no, I did not do it. I am following my Doctor's orders.

See you tomorrow, probably somewhere in Texas.

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