I was the first to arrive at our meeting place in Sand Point Park in Titusville. Driving there, I was questioning if I was ready to tackle my first forty-plus mile ride on the trike. Only one way to tell!
I was quickly joined by my cycling friends Steve and Richard, and two new-to-me riders, Donald and Richard-2, long-time riding buddies who Richard has been cycling with recently.
This morning, I crossed the new Garden Street Bridge under my own power. This high bridge had replaced the old drawbridge I had ridden over the Indian River Lagoon since the early ’80s.
After crossing the bridge and entering Merritt Island National Refuge, we lost our curb. This was my first trike ride on a larger road without some form of rideable curb.
Riding behind Richard-2 on his hybrid bike, I noticed that his handlebars were as wide as my trike. So in theory, we take up the same amount of space along the side of the road.
Turning off the side road to Black Point Drive, the traffic decreased. We made a brief stop at the entrance to the scenic drive to add air to Steve ‘s tires. I sat back on the trike with my feet still clipped in the pedals, watching four grown men add air to Steve’s front and rear tires. With a Huck Finn grin, Steve watched as Richard showed him how the new two-stage pump worked. One-by-one, they all took a turn.
Turning north on SR 3, we were greeted by a freshly paved blacktop road. I overheard someone say it was so smooth that it was like riding on ice.
Passing Dummitt Cove, a place where I camped before Neil Armstrong took his first step on the moon, in the distance I noticed that the bridge over Haulover Canal was in the open position. I jokingly said something about hoping that they weren’t working on it.
As we grew closer, it still had not closed. As it came into full view, we could see the work trucks and “Road Closed” signs, upset that we didn’t pass any signs warning us. We assumed that they must have been at the main intersection with US 1, the one we bypassed by sneaking out a gated side entrance.
South of the canal we took the side road to the boat launch ramp. Steve approached some official-looking folks out doing a marine survey, and asked about a ferry across. They were doing official business and it wasn’t allowed. Too bad, because it would have really sounded good in this story! And would allow us to accomplish the planned loop.
Instead, at 11 miles, we turned around and headed back to our vehicles. From the top of the bridge we could see the rain in central Titusville. A quick check of the flag and wind direction told us it was time to pick up our pace.
As the group broke up, Steve headed cross-country through the grass. Donald and Richard-2 headed straight to their vehicles in a closer parking lot. I ducked under a picnic pavilion in time to see Steve come to a temporary barrier and have to take a long side trip around it.
Only slightly damp from the rain, Steve, Richard, and I waited for the rain to pass before loading up the bikes. With the unexpected closure, we only managed half the distance we had set out for. Still, it was a very nice 22 mile ride with two old friends and a couple of new ones.