Mar 2018 03

Never before in my 13 years of cycling have I been lucky enough to get in a solid week of cycling in mid eighties and sunny weather in February! Nor have I ever had the fortune of completing a century ride as early as February before. Until February 2018 arrived, that is. Doesn’t seem possible in north central Kentucky, does it? You never know what to expect in the winter months in the bluegrass state. We’ve seen polar vortex temps to massive snow storms to ice storms knocking out electricity for days and weeks, to mild temps with gray and rainy days.


A few months ago, I had a couple coworkers invite me to join them on a fishing trip in February to Lake Okeechobee in Florida. Florida in February…hmm, tough decision?! I’m not quite the dedicated fisherman they are, but the sound of sunshine and mid 80’s sounded pretty appealing, for sure. I agreed to go, with one small stipulation. We had to make room in the boat to bring my bike! They obliged and I was thankful.

They intended to fish twice a day, every day that we were there. A morning trip that would start at sun up, a break for lunch, followed by an afternoon session that would end at sunset. I picked the times I would fish based on when I wasn’t cycling. Having never been to this area, I was not expecting the degree of rural where we travelled to in Florida. I have only ever been to coastal towns or Orlando. This place felt like home, except for the weather and sunshine!

I was fortunate to find nearby access to a paved section of trail that sits atop the lake levee. Our vacation rental house was about two miles down the highway from a canal/lake lock that includes entrance to the recreation trail. I ventured in both directions (north and south) as I was blessed to get to ride my bike for 5 straight days. I took a day off on the last day there, as my legs were tired from the work I had put in. I managed to accumulate a little over 250 miles over the five days, including finishing with a century ride on the last day.


Although, I was unfamiliar with the area, it didn’t take long to find my way around on some roads that weren’t too busy. The roads coupled with the trail made for a great week of R &R, R & R! Yes, four R’s! Rest. Relaxation. Recreation. And recharge. The cycling was typical Florida…flat, hot and always windy in one direction or another. All said and done, I know how fortunate I was to get to see the sun shine every day for a week, while doing a couple of pastimes I love. Especially considering the amount of rainy days we had at home in February. I hope they invite me to go fishing again next year!

I have set some pretty lofty goals for my cycling in 2018, and one of them is to complete 10 century rides. It’s a great feeling to be excited about lofty goals and finishing the first of ten this early in the year brings a smile to my face! I don’t intend to preach about my goals though. I’d rather let my actions speak for me!