Sitting here in this funky coffee and popsicle shop in Cocoa, there’s a cool girl across the room wearing ripped jeans and a leather jacket. She has her sunglasses are on inside, which makes me thinks she’s so cool. Though she’s gotta be so hot even in this AC. I’m on a short break on a long day. Oat milk lattes are definitely my guilty pleasure. Guilty as charged your honor. English is strange. People are strange. This latte is really good. There’s a whale on the mug and it had a slightly seafoody taste, which sounds weird and is weird… and I fucking like it.
Excellent adventure yourself back to early monday morning. Lunes. Day of the moon? I wake up and it’s still dark as fuck. Maybe 5am. Slumber superb. Long day to make happen today. A short while later and Lori hooks up egg sandwiches and coffee. Devin is out the door. Bailey is chilling. We talk more routes northbound. Apparently questions surround whether the military check at cape canaveral will allow bike passage on A1A. Lori questions why I’ve been on it at all, offering quieter alternates. I agree to take heed of the advice: a small, shoulder-less low traffic road up 20-22 miles, then 20-22 miles on Highway 1, then 30-35 miles on a gorgeous off road paved bike trail. Then 15 to my intended destination – a condo in Daytona shores. Then I implore they all come visit Buffalo sometime, smash the fast-breaking, and peace the fuck out by 830, destination Daytona. Spring Break, forever!
Shit is peaceful for a minute on this tiny little strip of land of an island between other strips of land of islands. It’s an isthmus-like inception, as I don’t know if this qualifies as an isthmus. Chris Nolan would know. Whatever’s, I still remember being sub-average in Geology 181. Shit! This mffka almost clipped me! What the fuck yo. A few more vroom vroom demonstrations of fossil fuel-crazed small dicks/loose lips and I’ve had it with this bullshit. My flag isn’t enough, I set the pool noodle up for full effectiveness. Fuck y’all, these three feet are mine. Slow your asses down.
I feel so much better. Not only due to this pool noodle —- also, about how well I pulled off being not only offensive, but gender-equal in my attempt at humorous storytelling above. Feminism is back, did it ever go anywhere? Like breakdancing. Or vinyl LP records. Give me grants please. It feels like the beginning of the Harmony Korrine joint, Spring Breakers, where Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens are all having a good time, well before corn-rolled James Franco comes and fucks it up. Anyways. I’ve read the long list of lore dedicated to pool noodle usage on bike touring. Lots out there on the matter. I’ve never employed it’s usage. What better place than here? What better time than now? All hell can’t stop us now!
Miles and miles and miles and I’m nominating pool noodle for president. After we get Eric B elected, of course. Now we’re back to that amazing coffee break. Afterward, I bring it back to only about 50% clearance as I’m back on a road with a shoulder, it’s still quite nice though. Another 20 up and I hit Titusville, where this amazing off road rail trail picks up. I reduce the pull noodle to 0%, remove my helmet, hat, sunglasses and gloves and take all the quiet non motorized awesomeness in for the next 35 miles. Much more wildlife too.
Two adults and two teens approach me while taking a trail mix break. They’re fully loaded and tell me they’re trying the whole bike-pack thing. It’s not the man’s first time, and I’m having a hard time figuring out whether he is the father, boyfriend, brother or just a tour guide. I wish them luck as we roll out in opposite directions on this trail. The wind is still howling, more out of the east — so it only hit me at certain times from the side and occasionally head on. Around mile 75 on the day, I reach the end of the trail near New Smyrna.
I’m gassed. I need water. I hit the Circle K, no sign of Rufus but I remain faithful to be excellent to each other and party on. So it’s a topo-Chico sort of moment before pushing another 15 miles into rush our traffic and headwinds to meet my hosts Dave and Janet.
I arrive. Meet my new best friends and they are in an amazing Oceanside condo. I literally park my bike on a zebra skin rug. Vegans shudder. I rejoice. I wanna set up my tent right there. But the ocean view dinner table is set up so seductively that I reserve my inner animal. I domesticate the savage. Self colonization. It’s gonna be alright, because right now – like right now — here is this sensationally cool air conditioned kitchen — overlooking the Atlantic, Billy, Ocean — Dave hands me a beer… in a coozie. It’s a Shiner Boch. It’s delicious after something like 90 miles. I have not care in the world, especially not about my run on sentences or exacerbated usage of hyphens. One gourmet dinner and lots of tour stories later (Dave has done the Northern Tier and Great Divide routes) and I’m ready for lights out in my own personal wing of this enormous place. I thank my hosts and tuck in for the night.