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  1. #1
    In Banff, AB Dwagenheim's Avatar
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    Getting ready for the South Florida loop! 6.1.02

    Well, I thought I would be resting my legs today but I ended up doing another 42 miles. I was up in West Palm Beach and had to find the dealership that the toasted car was at so I could get some important papers. When I wasn't on my bike in the intense sun, I was using the Tri-County Rail system (Tri-Rail) to get around. I should have used it in the first place and then the whole car deal wouldn't have happened. It was a good experience using public trans with a bike. I had to get a permit, which was kind of a big deal, but not really.
    When I got back to Miami I got in touch with Gail, the SERVAS organization interviewer down here. I rode down to her place and we talked for a few hours about the organization and I couldn't help but get excited. I can't wait to meet some of the generous people who have volunteered to open up their home to travelers like me. It should provide me with more worthwhile experiences in each area having someone who is willing to take me in so quickly and possibly show me around. I only wish I could have hooked up with this organization a long time ago!

    So tomorrow will definately be a day of rest, actually to put it a better way, a day of running around like a chicken without a head. I am starting to figure out what was going through Koffee Brown's mind when she was preparing for Italy! I feel somewhat unprepared, even for this short tour, but I think its just from not being experienced. After biking around today, I've determined I am in good enough shape physically. I thought I was really at the end of my rope after a week without any real breaks, but today I felt kind of energized even though I really didn't want to be cycling. Some of the things I am worried about are weather, getting used to cycling all day, trying not to forget anything! It seems like the weather will either be scorching or downpouring, but I am hoping for something in the middle. Maybe a nice overcast skies and cool tailwinds.

    Shawn gave me a call tonight and said he's ready to go. Carl should be riding down here tomorrow and my brother mike seems to have his stuff together. Mike estimated the trip to be about 600 miles! I was thinking that might be more than RAGBRAI! I don't have too much else to say about it other than I am hoping everything goes well and I can learn a lot from this mini-tour so I can go into the big one with confidence.

    Peace

    Dave

    The Plan (subject to change, as always): We'll be starting from Miami going West on Route 41 which will take us across the everglades, through Naples on the West coast and then up North towards Port Charlotte where we'll take Route 17 to Arcadia. Depending on what the crew feels like doing, we might do some outdoorsy stuff around the Peace River before pushing on East on 70. Then its a Diagonal cut Southeast on 710 to the coast. From there its most likely A1A all the way down South to complete the trip.
    www.cyclingtheamericas.org
    Prudoe Bay, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina by bike...eventually. (2/3 done!)
    Support Organic Farming
    Whirrled Peas - No War!

  2. #2
    Queen of the Pea Pile oceanrider's Avatar
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    I use a combo of public trans and cycling to get where I have to go. I understand that to use the system in Dade you have to get some kind of permit. I remember Old Cutler Rd was a nice spot to ride and I thought I'd make a day of it down there with some friends but getting this permit thing... what's involved? I hear the tri-rail route is going to be expanded and we've just qualified for federal public transportation monies that's going to really get things going down here.

    Checking out your map... where the hell is Arcadia? And I was looking for rt 70 and couldn't find it. I want to keep track of your journey.

    So you have places to stay along the way? That's wonderful that people have opened up their homes to you. Hot showers and a/c will be most welcome. Don't forget the heavy duty sunscreen and insect repellant with DEET.

    Later gator bait.

    Kathy

  3. #3
    In Banff, AB Dwagenheim's Avatar
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    For this trip, we're going to be camping. I can't take advantage of this SERVAS org until they get my paper work and send stuff back to me. Thats why I wish I had applied earlier.
    Sorry about the map not being as detailed as my route description! Arcadia is NE of Port Charlotte right at the bend where we're going to start going straight East to the Coast. THAT road is 70. It looks a little confusing, like the straight road east might be 27, but 27 is going North and South and crosses 70. Then the diagonal bend Southeast is 710.
    Got it?

    About the Tri-Rail. Getting a permit is easy. Its free. The only difficult thing is getting to the place where you can get a permit. You have to find a live ticket selling person. On the weekend they are only at the Tri-Rail/Metro Rail Transfer station down south. So yesterday I had to ride all the way down there with my bike locked up at the Pompano Beach station waiting for me to pick up on the way back North. I got the permit, just by showing ID and signing a form. It turned out I could have just taken my bike on the train anyway and if I was asked, just said "I am on my way to get the permit". So I went through a little extra hassle, but oh well. It was kind of fun jumping off the train, unlocking my bike in Pompano, and jumping back on before they closed the doors when I was on my way back North.
    As for the Metro-Rail, I think there is another permit required that can be obtained at the Government Center stop, but once again, on my way back south, I had no permit, just a bike and a Tri-Rail Permit. The guard let me through after seeing the Tri-Rail permit, but I don't know if it would pass again. I didn't end up getting the Metro permit only because I didn't think I'd be using the Metro-Rail again with bike. But that may change.

    Its a piece of cake. The permits are free, you just have to go out of your way at a certain time to get them. I overheard someone talking about the expansion of the Tri-Rail. That sounds good. I was impressed with the friendliness of the conductors and security guards yesterday. I wondered if I was in S. FL! They must be trying to get it going after a slump.
    Another thing that is cool is that on weekends you can ride all day on a 4 dollar pass. Overall I was impressed with how easy the Tri-Rail is to use and would definately use it again in the future. The cars are well air conditioned too, that helps!

    Dave
    www.cyclingtheamericas.org
    Prudoe Bay, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina by bike...eventually. (2/3 done!)
    Support Organic Farming
    Whirrled Peas - No War!

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