Bill felt a little odd being the only one on a bicycle on our last adventure. My friends Richard and Steve from the coast had invited us to join them for an early morning ride. Richard rode his older model Ice T, Steve used my Ice Adventure RS and me on Sandy’s Adventure RS.
The people of Mims were treated to an Trike Parade. For most people, seeing someone on a recumbent trike is reason enough to stare. But seeing three of us riding through the sleepy little town of Mims was quite a sight.
From North Titusville we took the back roads, crossing US 1 into the Chain of Lakes Park. Visiting this 92-acre park was a first for Bill and I. The park was huge, with three miles of paved walking and biking paths. We circled lakes with ducks, ibis and herons. We even noticed a gator head bobbing in the center of one of the lakes.
Climbing up the multi-story observation tower gave us views in every direction. Looking across the Indian River Lagoon, we could see Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge on the other side, and looking south we had a good view of the big bridge across the Intracoastal waterway in Titusville.
Riding back across US 1, we took the less traveled back roads north. Crossing SR 46, we passed an old citrus packing plant, a silent reminder of the years when citrus was king in the area. Along this route, we were riding parallel to the old railroad right of way with “Florida Greenways & Trails” signs along it. One day, there will be a bike path along this route, connecting Titusville to New Smyrna.
Before running out of paved road, we rode east to US 1 to look for another northern backroads route on the east side of the highway. It wasn’t long before we found the Old Dixie Highway. It ended at Lionell Rd at the Mims & Scotsmoor Public Library. Yes they do have a public library in these two tiny Brevard County towns. Across from the library, we spotted a gopher turtle enjoying its lunch along the side of the road.
When I lived in Mims over twenty years ago, most of these back roads were all dirt. Now it’s possible to avoid US1 a bit longer while riding on pavement.
Back on US 1 north of Mims, we had a wonderful wide bike lane along the highway, and the drivers were courteous, giving us a wide berth. Everyone going by moved to the left lane, leaving a full empty lane between us.
Just past the Scottsmoor Mall, also known as a Kangaroo convenience store, we stopped on Sunset Rd. We needed to decided how much farther north we were going. We weren’t far from the Volusia county line, and Oak Hill was only six or seven more miles.
Richard wanted a “place.” Along this stretch of US 1, there isn’t much to choose from. Seven more miles north meant a fourteen mile round-trip just to get back to Sunset Rd. Remembering that this was Steve’s first time ever riding on a trike, we opted to ride the short distance to the old Stuckey’s Road. Richard had his “place”, and all was good. We turned around for the ride back.
Stopping at the “Scottsmoor Mall” we all enjoyed liter bottles of cold ice tea. After a refreshing break we continued south. Richard quickly pointed out that when Steve was leading us north we had a tailwind, and the sun wasn’t in our face. Now, with me in front…..
We stopped at a little garage sale set up along the side of the road. Steve spotted a large, and I mean large, pipe wrench. After negotiating the price down by almost 50%, he spent a few minutes trying to decide how it would fit on “my trike” to get it home. Richard continued south while we shopped. When the dust settled, we had nothing new to bring home. To Steve’s disappointment, he was sure that we could find a way to get that four foot long, very heavy wrench on my trike.
Unbeknownst to the three of us, Richard decided to try a different route. He was sure that there was another road further south that paralleled US 1. His efforts led to a long difficult ride down an unpaved road. We were cranking along pretty fast wondering how he had gotten that far ahead of us. Not far from our vehicles, Steve received a call from Richard. He was a mile or so behind us.
Finding a shady spot, Steve and I took a ‘trike break’. We put our feet on the ground and enjoyed the comfortable seat that comes with the trikes. Bill found a patch of soft grass, shade and demonstrated how a cyclist takes a real break: in the prone position.
After a short wait Richard rejoined us and we returned to the cars. A great ride, with new friends made, and Steve impressing us all with his first trike ride of more than 25 miles.
Steve’s now thinking of having a big bike sale. Everything must go! I think he fell in love with the trike. He’s even talking about renting it from me.