It was back to the barrier islands today for a 70 plus mile tour through Sanibel and Captiva. Angela, Bill and myself showed up early morning at the Publix for the rides start. Heck even Jeff showed up with his dogs in tow (he’s MIA nursing a nagging injury). Although our numbers were unusually small (work, injuries, and previous engagements kept others away), any ride to the barrier islands, no matter how many or few riders are present, is always a treat.
We headed off following a similar path from our last island tour using the paved pathways (the roads there have no bike lanes and are too trafficked to ride on) only this time we actually used the overpass to get onto Summerlin Road. Curiously I had always thought bike traffic was “verboten” on the overpass. Although the merge back into traffic afterwards is somewhat tricky, it is far safer and faster to use than the intersection below it.
We continued down the paved paths down Summerlin Road maintaining a “conversational speed”, and boy did we chit chat. I’m not sure who was the chattiest, but the miles were rolling by as quickly as the words were coming out of our mouths….perhaps we should have measured our speed in words per minute vs miles per hour.
Bill turned off when we reached the bridge, he’s still nursing a bike wound, leaving Angela and myself to scale the “mighty mount causeway”. Actually with the wind at our back we reached it’s summit without even breaking a sweat, good thing too as I had promised Angela not to sprint up the bridge.
We hit the island and did our classic looping path of Sanibel, and then headed up to Captiva for a nice long refueling break at Starbucks. I think we both set a new PR for mid ride break as we sat back enjoying some cold drinks and banana bread. Both Angela and I have quite the “gift of gab”.
Stomach’s satisfied and bottles topped off, we retraced our path through the islands and back onto the causeway bridges. We took a quick stop before crossing to munch on some power bars I was carrying, as the wind had picked up significantly and was going to be against us on the crossing. After 50 plus miles in the heat, every bit of fuel was well appreciated.
We crossed the causeway at an easy pace. Angela rides a TT bike which is not climbing friendly, but very descent friendly as she blew by me letting out a loud “Waaaaa Whooo”! That’s the good thing about hills, no matter how tall or steep, there’s always a downhill ride to enjoy!
The return ride went by quickly as we continued to chat the miles away. I actually think my jaw got as good a workout as my legs! But all kidding aside, there really is no better way to spend a morning than cycling through the beautiful vistas of SW Florida with great friends.
Route: Barrier Islands
Ride Time: 4:37:19
Stopped Time: 1:02:24
Distance: 82.28 miles
Average: 17.29 mph
Fastest Speed: 33.75 mph
Ascent: 559 feet
Descent: 599 feet