Saturday, May 31, 2008

Poised For The Ocean2Gulf Bill Fox Ride

Vero Beach,FL -- It's about 8 p.m. and I'm settled in a Howard Johnson motel on US 1 only two miles or so from the Atlantic Ocean. I hope to be on the road at 4 a.m. for a quick ride to the ocean, a ceremonial dip in the ocean waters and a prayer for Bill Fox.

Then, I'll turn the bike west and start biking for Tampa, Clearwater Beach and the Gulf of Mexico -- some 170+ miles away. It's a day to honor the memory of Bill Fox, a long-distance bicyclist who died June 1, 2002, six years ago, in the mid-Hudson Valley about 60 miles north of New York City.

The weather looks ideal for June 1 -- pleasant winds off the ocean from the east and south that should serve as tailwinds pushing me toward the Tampa Bay area. There's a small chance for an isolated shower and the temps should hit the 90s by late morning. But overall, it looks like a toasty and clear day to bike.

I'm looking forward to meeting Steve Swiger, my SAG-man, about 35-40 miles into the journey in Yeehaw Junction. Steve has a laptop, so I'll be blogging along the Ocean2Gulf Bill Fox ride Sunday.

Many thanks to fellow Tampa cyclist Ellen Pierson, who drive with me and her mom to Vero Beach. Ellen and I left Tampa about 11 a.m. and picked up her mom Ruthie at their Orlando house and then we headed to Vero Beach. But not before we pulled over at a park in Sebastian, FL to view the shuttle blastoff from Capa Caneveral about 50 miles to the north at 5:03 pm.

We shared a wonderful dinner at a grill restaurant on the ocean in Vero Beach, before Ellen wished me well and dropped me off at the Howard Johnson inn. You might recall that Ellen is the local Tampa ringleader for the Police Unity Tour, a fundraiser bike ride of law enforcement staffers from around the country to raise money to build a law enforcement memorial in Washington,D.C. It's a good cause and I'm happy to support Ellen's efforts.

I'll be up early Sunday. See you tomorrow on the road.

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