Thursday, March 17, 2005

Reston, VA to Greenville, SC


We must have been anxious to ride in this year's Bike Florida. We signed up in the late Fall, looking forward to riding in the Florida sun in the Spring. We realized how early we had signed up when we were assigned numbers 1 & 2 of the 1,000 riders. We rode the 2003 Bike Florida tour that followed the east coast from north of Jacksonville to New Smyrna Beach. We enjoyed the trip, and it was well organized. Given the flat route, there were many other recumbents and tandems besides our tandem recumbent.

This year's event was a tour of the central panhandle area, from the "Red Hills to the Sea". It followed a loop from Monticello which is east of Tallahassee, west to the small towns of Quincy and Bountstown, south to Apalachicola, and back north to Sopchoppy, then back to Monticello. The tour was also billed as "Featuring Worm Gruntin' and Oyster Shuckin'". Who could resist.

Since we haven't figured out a good way to pack our tandem, we loaded it on our Atoc rack and drove down to Florida. On the way we stopped in Greenville, SC to check out George Hincapie's home town. It's an attractive small city with many decent neighborhoods, a lively downtown that seems to be coming back from previous hard times, and an excellent urban park that contains a suspension pedestrian bridge overlooking a gorge created by the Reedy River.