Feels like home

I know, this is not where I was born, but on a trip to Disney when I was about 4 or 5 I fell in love with Florida.  I have wanted to come back ever since.  Well that same longing to return has been with me during the past few months in the Midwest.  After the 10-day, 12 state journey we arrived just in time for a cool drink and the Clearwater Beach sunset.  Boji was not happy that he couldn’t get in the water, but we played in the sand for awhile and then headed home.  This morning was the real proof that I was back-the killer Beach Ride that I trained on last year.  With a few modifications, I headed out solo (something I rarely do, ride alone) to kick my own ass and see how it went.  There was a steady gust out the East/Northeast/Southeast (it seemed) and the temperature started at 81 degrees and was 91 when I finished.  I got 30 miles in riding from Chainwheel Drive down to Bellaire, back to Clearwater and out to the beach loop.  That loop is on Gulf Boulevard and follows the coast and has 2 bridges, the Clearwater Memorial and the Sand Key.  These Florida mountains go over the Intercoastal waterway and the inlet from from the Gulf to Clearwater Bay.  Nice steep 11% climbs, not for long distances, but they are a challenge.  When I first started riding with my group, I had to walk my bike over the last 50 feet of the Sand Key.  Now I pass people!!!    However, this morning, I had no idea how my body would react to the heat and the activities of the past 2 weeks.  All of that training out in Colorado and around Johnson Lake paid off.  It was a GREAT ride today.  Bring on the group ride tomorrow and the 150 this weekend!


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