Thursday Apr 14, 2005

80 Mile River Ride

I visited one of our customers yesterday: Patrick Air Force Base. The drive over the causeway leading to the Atlantic Ocean reminded me of the regular weekend bike rides I use to enjoy years ago when I lived on the east coast of Florida. I had bought a Trek 1200 road bike and a group of us would meet at a friend's house in Indian Harbour Beach early on Saturday mornings near the southern tip of Merritt Island. We'd generally cross Mathers Bridge (a historic little scissors style bridge) and head up Merritt Island towards Satellite Beach and Cocoa. The ride offers stunning views of the Banana River and Indian River (part of the Intercoastal Waterway). We'd take various routes, but one time we made almost to the shadow of NASA's huge Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center. We'd sometimes head west across the river and begin the southern trek thru Rockledge and eventually we'd find our way back across one of the bridges to Merritt Island. Other times we'd head east to the ocean's edge and travel on A1A. We'd generally ride 60-80 miles. The route shown below was an 80 miler that took about 5 hours at an average rate of 17-20mph, along with a few short rest/hydration stops. That was my final prep ride before the "Sea Side Century" - a 100 mile bike ride/race event I completed one morning in 1990. Whew! That extra 20 miles was a killer. But all the rides were great fun and great exercise.

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