If you ordered one of our trail books over the last few months, it was probably delivered to the post office by bicycle. Call it less carbon footprint or just an excuse for me to get out riding.
When the satellite post office we were using closed this fall, we set up a new post office box in Mims, the next town north of Titusville.
Besides being a nice little rural location, it’s also not far off of the Brevard Coast to Coast bicycle trail.
Once the entire Coast to Coast Trail is finished, I’ll be able to ride from our home in Titusville across Florida to St Petersburg almost completely on a car-free bike path.
I’ve lived both in Titusville and Mims for many years, so I know all the back roads to get to the bike path. I have developed a route that uses sidewalks, neighborhood roads and a side path to reach the C2C in Titusville.
Within a block of the bike path in Mims is a thrift store, a couple of convenience stores, and the Family Meat Market, a little grocery store with a deli and takeout food inside.
Just north of SR 46 is the Mims United Methodist Church. They have set up a covered porch with picnic tables. On Saturdays, the church was cooking breakfast for cyclists. It may be a while before that resumes.
When you are riding by, look for mural with the giant alligator on the building.
North of the church and the elementary school I turn on Kelly Road and deliver the books at the Mims post office at the corner of Kelly and US 1.
It’s a small post office with a friendly staff. We’ve gotten to know each other, even though now a clear plastic curtain separates us to give them protection.
There is also tape on the floor every six feet to remind us to keep our social distancing. It’s a place where the locals always say hi. Even in these difficult times, people are friendly and doing the best they can.
From the post office parking lot you can see the ice cream stand along US 1. Just look for the building shaped like a giant ice cream cone.
A sidewalk connects the post office and the ice cream stand. It’s owned by on old friend from my Shuttle days at Kennedy Space Center. For our second careers, he opened an ice cream stand while I became a travel writer.
Usually, the stand isn’t open when I drop off the mail. Once in a great while, I time it just right for a snack.
Returning to the bike path and continuing north, once I pass the golf course the trail becomes more wooded and the houses are much further apart.
Along this stretch, still in Mims, are beehives, horses, burros, the Ever After blueberry farm, and just two road crossings before the trail goes under Interstate 95 at Aurantia Road and begins its arc to the west.
Sometimes I turn around here, getting a good 32 mile ride in. And sometimes I keep going, if the weather is nice and I have the time.
North of the trailhead at Aurantia, the bike path enters Scottmoor Flatwoods Preserve. Along this piece of the trail I’ve spotted many snakes, alligators, wild turkeys, and a bald eagle.
Nearing the Brevard and Volusia County line, it’s time to look for wildflowers along the ditches and across the open prairies. It’s along this stretch that Sandy and I have seen pine lilies blooming in late summer.
About a mile north of the county line the trail comes to Maytown. There’s not much left of this former timber town, but luckily for those making it here, there is Vergie’s Feed Station on the old Maytown Spur.
Vergie is a third generation Maytown resident. She has a canopy over a picnic table in front of her yard. Food, water, snacks, and Gatorade are set out with a donation box and guest book.
If she’s home it’s quite common to see her out under the canopy greeting those who stop by.
Maytown is my turnaround point for a long ride, 46 miles. I might go a little farther to make it a 50 mile ride. Or I might turn back at the county line for 42 miles.
I haven’t had to put much gas in the car since March, but I hit 500 miles on the bike last month. I’m still shipping books while getting my time out in nature.
While stopping for a snack along one ride a couple of weeks ago, I took a photo of my bike and the long empty path in front of it. I texted it to a handful of friends with the note “This is how I social distance.”