pan y agua
Join Date: Aug 2005
Bikes: Wilier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Co-Motion Robusta; Schwinn Paramount; Motobecane Phantom Cross; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Calfee Dragonfly Tandem
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Racing in the hinterlands
There's already a thread about the Putnam County RR near Palatka Florida yesterday. But I thought I would just touch on some comments outside the race itself.
To understand the setting, you have to understand thre are 2 Floridas. There is the coastal Florida, with beautiful beaches, upscale development, and many transplants. Coastal Florida is not the South.
Then there is inland Florida, which tends to be dirt poor, and more "southern" than say Mississippi.
The Putnam County RR was deep in the "southern" part of Florida.
To my understanding there used to be races in Palatka but not in a number of years. The locals reacted to us like we were alien life forms. Just a few examples:
1) the tack throwing (covered in the other thread)
2) I went into a convenience store, and a little girl asked if I was bike racer, and was very excited to see a real bike racer. Her mother quickly shooed her away, with a look like don't make eye contact with the wierd man.
3) Came out of the store, and 2 teenage girls started talking to me asking how it was to be a bike racer, as I got on my bike and headed off, one asked if you had to wear that stretchy stuff, and grabbed my jersey. I could not ride off fast enough.
4) Number of instances of drivers cursing course marshalls when they were held up all of 10 seconds.
5) In fairness, a few folks asked about the race, how far we were going, etc. in a friendly way.
My conclusion from random observations: Half the County thought we were a total menace, a small portion thought we were just bizarre, and clearly to be avoided, and another portion thought we were a very interesting spectacle.