Dec. 8, St. Augustine, Florida: Planning for Cuba

Hello Folks!

It has been a while since my last post. I delayed out of laziness, and then I found myself in a long stretch without good wifi, and was unable to make a post. I want to get caught up, but also need to get on the road. So, I am going to make a quick post, not worrying about the exact word, etc. Yes–I do actually preview these posts before making them.


First things first… here are my plans for the remainder of the bike tour.

  • This month, complete North America by riding to Key West
  • After that, I will head to New Zealand. If I can squeeze a side trip in, I will then head for a shortened ride in Australia
  • Finally, I will complete the tour, by riding across Cuba, starting on about March 18th.

Cuba! I really hope that I can convince some of you to do this ride with me. Everything I have heard about cycling in Cuba has been positive. Note that this will NOT be a fully-loaded tour. I will stay in hotels, air B&B, etc. No camping! That should make the ride much easier. If we can get a large enough group, then we could even think about hiring a sag wagon, to haul bags, etc., to the next destination. Contact me ASAP if you are interested in trying to make this happen.

Now to catch up a bit.

I left Madison early and said farewell to some really neat folks at the fire department. Thanks again, guys! You can always tell when I have an easy ride–no pictures. Here are the only two that I recorded.

I'm not sure who Lee is--I am happy that he is proud of his little butt.

I’m not sure who Lee is–I am happy that he is proud of his little butt.

I love the trees that seem to be quite common here.

Cyprus trees?

Cyprus trees?


I rode to the town of lake city, arriving late afternoon. I had intended to stay at an RV park that advertised tent camping. Unfortunately, reality was not consistent with their advertised capabilities, and they said “no.” So, a hotel it was, and I spent two nights there. This gave me a chance to rest and do a bit of work. I also spent the evening seeing the new Harry Potter flick–weak story, but good FX.

I saw a truck in lake city that had a sign that said “City of Lake City.” Wish I took a picture of it! I left the morning of 12/6 amidst a downpour–I mean a Noah’s Ark kind of downpour. But the rain stopped and the land started to dry out. I had arranged to stay with a warm showers host–Tom–so I didn’t worry about getting wet. No rain jacket or pants, just go for it. Part of this ride, to the city of Gainesville took me along quiet bike paths. Really pleasant, and reminiscent of much of the Europe ride.

Bike path on the way to Gainesville

Bike path on the way to Gainesville

I used Google maps to get to Tom’s house in Gainesville. It got me to roughly the right location, but took me down a dirt road to a huge landfill. So, an SOS phone call to Tom was made and he rode out to meet me and escort me to his house. I never would have found it without his help. Tom’s house is located in the middle of about 1000 acres of native forest lands, and required several hidden dirt paths to get there. He has a beautiful place, and his house is surrounded by an enclosed wooden porch. Tom took me around his place, and we picked a variety of fruit for breakfast the next morning. That evening, we took a trip to the local microbrew, and it include a game of trivia and pizza. What fun! I was one of the few people at the event that knew that Vatican City had the largest per capita consumption of wine out of all of the world’s countries.


Local beer--my favorite was the IPA.

Local beer–my favorite was the IPA.

I got a later-than-I-should-have start the next morning, with St. Augustine as my goal (12/7). It was a beautiful ride, along bike paths and highways with bike lanes.

A water fowl.

A water fowl.


When I get home, I am going to make a point of learning something about this moss that covers some trees. Apparently, it just hangs on the trees and gets all of its nutrients from the air.

Mystery moss.

Mystery moss.

I got to the Anastasia State Park campground as the last bit of light faded away. I pitched my tent in the dark, as I accidentally left my head lamp back at Tom’s place. I turned my back for a minute and a family of raccoons stole a complete package of cream-filled cookies from me. I hate raccoons! But I slept well anyhow.

Today, I am doing just a bit a riding, but mostly I want to get somewhere where I can park myself for a day and do some planning for the balance of the ride.  I will get back to you soon. Don’t forget about Cuba!






7 Responses to “Dec. 8, St. Augustine, Florida: Planning for Cuba

  • “Cypress.” 🙂
    Cuba sounds tempting, but suspect I’ll be spending a lot of time in Houston sometime thereabouts, watching over a very cold telescope. Do wish I could share some of the road with you, though!
    Eric C

  • So you’re inviting people to Cuba but not the other places? New Zealand and Australia sound a lot more fun!

  • The air-feeding moss is called “Spanish Moss”. It lives in trees throughout the American south, and at least throughout Central America and the Caribbean.
    The Vatican is also the country with the lowest birth rate, as well as the only country that is officially a theocracy. They are also the country with the highest fraction of their population as astronomers. (All it takes is the few astronomers from the Vatican Observatory to make a high fraction.) And, with one dome on top of a building overlooking the papal gardens plus three domes at Castel Gandolfo, the Vatican also is the one country that has the highest density of observatories.
    And, aargghhh, I just got your pun about Lee Florida…

  • The bird I believe is a Great Egret. Nice spot. I really like the license plate used for the flight of beers. It is always good to know where you are and when you will expire. Your final route sounds fantastic. Wish we could join you, but we will be there in spirit for sure. Keep the wheels turning!

  • So glad you are enjoying Florida. Looks like your timing for weather has been good. We have snow and cold here in Colorado . Don’t complain too loudly about the raccoons it could have been an alligator. By the way, have you been watching Venus lately ?

  • I’m having a sour here at BJ’s and it occurs to me that you are answering the question: ‘What do scientists do while they are waiting for engineers to build their instruments?’ I suspect the guy rolling around the world is a philosopher. Bravo! So glad you are pedaling on…

  • Thanks for all of your comments! The NZ leg has too many uncertainties to ask people to join me on it–otherwise I would love to have some fellow riders. –Scott

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