Inspired to Divide Part 5: Best Made Plans
It was supposed to be a HUGE day.
The goal was to ride south Via the CFiTT route to 44, break off on the Death Loop, then cut over to Lake Mack Hills and pick up the Ides of March route, and then join the Huracan route into Clermont where we would break off north of Lake apopka, pop into Winter Garden brewery and then follow the bike paths into Orlando and take the train back to Debary to follow the CFiTT route back into DeLeon.
Estimated mileage about 150. Folks who signed up, Nick and my Friend Jeremy.
We left almost on time at about 8am but not even a mile from the house a piece of Bamboo cut a slit in Nicks Tread. He tried to plug it, but the plugs where dry and useless. Good lesson to learn. I broke out my Panaracer Tubeless repair kit, applied some glue, added a piece of paper we found on the ground, pushed into the dirt for a bit and then pumped it back up. Guess what it held! We pushed on with only a 20 minute deficit.
Now although I was only less than a mile from home, I saw this as a great opportunity to test our resourcefulness and our repair kit in a safe environment. And sure enough it all worked out.
We rolled at a quick tempo. I knew that a long day was still ahead so I wanted to make sure I kept my time table.
Things were unusually damp, but before long we hit the St Francis trailhead a spot NIck and I had just ridden not that long ago.
Well Holy fucking shit, things were totally flooded. For four miles we rode thru water, and then had a waist deep swamp hike to contend with.
I was blown away by the difference. Instead of continuing onto the death loop, and in an effort to make up time I broke us off to pavement.
A ride that normally would have taken 20 minutes, took nearly 1.5 hours. Talk about a serious delay. But its OK, I reminded myself, that on the divide, these types of things will happen. Not so much flooding, but Delays.. Washouts, rock slides, impassable muddy roads, fire re routes... all are possible and all cause delays.
The ride across Mack Hills was interesting. The roads are undulating so the terrain is not flat. We hit a HUGE mud hole and I had to hike in waist deep dark murky water, NOT my favorite. But we all got across. We finally made it to the store in Pine Hills, but I could see the storms where upon us, and in an effort to avoid getting soaked, I encouraged Nick and Jeremy to restock, stuff their pockets and lets make speed to the shelter in Wekiwa preserve state park.
They took my advice and we rode our asses off on terrain that was hardly flat, making it to the pavilion in time to watch the skies open up and watch a lighting storm show that would compare well with any fourth of July fireworks show.
After some time, I insisted we just push on, even though there was a drizzle. But the drizzle didn't last and we were able to make it across Seminole forest, just in time to take shelter at the Bear Pond Pavilion before another Torrential Storm Hit.
The mechanicals and storm delays destroyed my time table. So I suggested we ride thru town via the bike path, cross I 4 via the same path and then make our way into downtown Sanford via sidewalks and whatever route Google Maps suggested.
All worked well, until we hopped into the Ghetto on Google maps suggestion. If you didn't know, marijuana is completely legal in the Sanford Ghetto as the smell was pungent and strong throughout. IN our Kitted bikes, we must of looked tactical as we sped our way thru and made an uneventful connection to my new most favorite spot in Historic Downtown Sanford, Tuffy's Bottle Lounge.
The owner is a friend and supporter of awesome cycling adventurers so he let us park our bikes inside while we grabbed poke bowls and drank till we couldn't see straight.
As much as I chase the heat on every single training ride, IT NEVER HAPPENS.