The end is nigh…

As this two-wheeled assault on Florida draws to a close, the bottom line currently stands at 11 full riding days, 720 miles (1150kms) covered, at an average of 65 miles (105kms) per day. Before landing in Miami, I had decided this would be a moderate intensity ride, just hard enough to keep my interest, but nothing too challenging. The reality has been somewhat different, though not entirely unexpected. Flat terrain anywhere in the world will have spells of relentless wind, and Florida provided some of that in abundance, and not always to my advantage.
The weather patterns of the north provided ideal temperatures during the day, but close to freezing at night. The south, on the contrary, was hot and humid during the day, and warm enough at night to dispense with the sleeping bag.


If your cycling dream is to ride across landscapes unsullied by human presence and traffic, Florida is definitely not for you. You will become skilled at the art of urban cycling, perforce (or give up in the attempt). In fact, I have become such an adept user of sidewalks, residents of my home community better beware… may see me whizzing down the High St pavement (“sidewalk” to Americans) and you may have to gently remind me that this is not the USA!


As a cycle-camper, you will find the infrastructure for tent-camping less than ideal. The market is entirely oriented towards the retired ‘snowbird’, in other words, the annual surge of refugees from the northern weather war zone, who come with their million dollar motorhomes and enormous RVs (recreational vehicles) that require the space and amenities that a house-on-wheels needs.


So there’s little room for, and profit in, the humble ‘tenter’ like me.

Where there is space, you will be charged exactly the same rate as your three-bedroomed/two bathroomed neighbour. What can be more disconcerting is that you don’t meet other ‘birds of the same feather’ (ie. other cycle campers like yourself) to share tales of the road with, and even link up with for an hour/day or two along the road.

From another perspective, riding over 700 miles in Florida has given me a unique insight into life in this southern state. It has, in fact, been a bombardment of the senses: the unique fragrance of orange blossom and the saltiness of the air along the Keys;


the tremendous visual impact of the huge sea and landscapes; the star-domed skies from the darkness of un-illuminated campgrounds; not to mention the warmth and friendliness of the American people. If you judge a nation by any single factor, it should be the common touch of the person in the street that counts. Americans are exceptional in their ability to proffer the welcoming hand.

Would I come back to Florida with the bike? Probably not. I say that primarily because I seldom go back to any old hunting grounds, always looking for the new territory to explore, and fresh challenges to embrace.


These last two weeks, Florida has provided me with an intriguing new cycling environment to put in some serious winter mileage. And for that reason I will fly out from Miami feeling well satisfied…..a job well done, and time well spent.


And to finish the job, a wheel (and the feet) had to be dipped into the Atlantic……..

About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on February 24, 2014, in Cycling Florida and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Well done Frank! Sounded like a tough one !

  2. Could you get a little of that sunshine in your bike box for random distribution about the Olney – Kimbolton locale by any chance ??

  3. As long as customs don’t detect the heat from the frame and its source.. !!

  4. We are happy you came to see our sunshine state of Florida, Frank! And glad to have met you along your journey. Safe travels 🙂 Tanner & Leslie

  5. Well done Frank. I much enjoyed your daily blog. It was nice to see a bit of sun, albeit from here in the rain.

  6. Well done! Sounds quite an adventure. Agree with you about the general friendliness and helpfulness of Americans, too. Safe journey home.

  7. Have loved your Blogs, Frank, and will be good to hear more of your stories when you come back.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Matildas Musings

A blog written by Matilda - the "old lady" classic tandem - and her Musings about her adventures, trials and tribulations with the "old git" and Chief Pilot, aka Colin and the "old gal" and Chief Stoker (as well as Chief Engineer) aka Diane.

Fit Recovery

Stay Clean Get Fit

Northern Walker

Lightweight backpacking, hillwalking and bicycle touring adventures in Northern England and Scotland

Looking For 42

Traveling the world looking for the meaning for life (and whatever else I might find along the way)

Off The Beaten Path

All contents ©2018 Compass Cycles.

Bike 5

Five miles or less? Bikes are best!


KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Cycling Dutch Girl

the only certainty is change


On a bicycle from coast to coast across the USA

Self Propelled

Self propelled adventures through life; blogging on cycling, touring, micro-adventures, general shenanigans, and environmental news


Cycling across Europe, Cornwall to Munich

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for between leg shavings

2 l o v e c y c l i n g

It's about cycling ... and other travels

There And Back Again

Life at 15 miles per hour

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Well it should be, shouldn't it?

Bike Around Britain

Blog on cycling around the coast of Britain

David Noble's Blog

Life, Loves and Living


The Weston Front - the destination of a road less travelled...

The Innocent Bikestander

It can be better

Bike, Banjo & Baby

They go together so well

Something for Kiki and the Pok

the adventures of Christopher Yardin - by plane, bike, through a lens, or the eyes of a child


Cycling Blog

Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

Travel adventures on wheels and legs


................."Cherry picking the nicest places in the world to cycle"

Gippsland Granny

Musings from Metung

Serendipities of life

Taking the road less travelled

I Do Not Despair

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Tom’s Bike Trip

Adventures and experiments in two-wheeled travel

All Seasons Cyclist

Real World Product Reviews For Avid Cyclists

machacas on wheels

Taking the road less travelled

%d bloggers like this: