Quincy to the Choctawhatchee river

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Here is why riding a Green Axle touring bike is not like riding a scooter or driving a car. Hills and Grades. When you are driving a car, you press on the accelerator to maintain a constant speed up hills and grades. On an ebike, you shouldn’t. Instead, you are on an energy budget, of say 300 watts. As you go up the grade, the controller will feed more power to the motor to attempt to keep the speed up. Don’t let it. Instead, downshift to lower gears until you are within your “energy budget” Mine is between 250 to 350 watts. You’ll slow down just like, ahemmm, a real bicycle!

Why do this? Because the number of amp hours your battery gas tank holds is directly related to how fast you draw them out. Maintain a low, even draw, and you will go much farther on the same size gas tank.

Of course, you must have patience for going slower up hills. All cyclists have that! So just let the motor power you on up a little slower!

News Flash! The city of Marianna Florida, in anticipation of the need, has constructed an ebike charging facility. This facility is designed to charge up to seventy five touring ebicyclists at one time, with picnic tables, a sheltering roof, and even a stage for those wishing to share their adventures. This is rapidly becoming a destination for those e-cycling the Southern Tier.
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There are so so many churches out here. Competition for believers must be fierce. I ride past two churches right next to each other. Both have big signs. The first sign says “True happiness is not dependant on things of this world”. The second sign says “Come pray with us and celebrate abundance.”

Richard TrueLove stops to talk to me in the library. He walked the exact journey I am now undertaking. He tells me the story I hear so often, the universal traveler story:

“When I left Miami I was bitter, really down on people and life. I traveled without money, without knowing where I was going to stay or when I was going to eat. Along the way I found that I am always taken care of.” (Richard called this his spirit family) I discovered how many really good people there are and got a deep connection to life. Nothing ever gets me down anymore.”

Passing a field of clover:
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I come across the Choctawhatchee river and know it is time to camp. A patch of blackberries. An old train tressel. Locals fishing. Dirt roads into nowhere.

I set up camp and go skinnydipping in the brown waters. I shower and make camp and kinda, well, stay naked! There is only me, and it feels natural to be naked in the woods… That’s what the grin is about I guess.

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My camp by the Choctawhatchee river.

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4/14/2015 Live Oak Fl. to Quincy, FL.

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You know, there are no more gas stations that actually work on cars. Every station I run across with bay doors for car repair looks like this:

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And all the ones that are open look like this:

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An long timer joined me sitting on the stoop of the above store and explained it to me: “It’s the fault of computers. When cars went from points to computers it got too complicated to figure out.”

Good an answer as any. And touring cyclists don’t have cars and we enjoy snacking, so it works for us.

While Cycling

While cycling
I follow my senses.
This quiets my mind,
and drops me
on the threshold
of the big emptiness.

My little toe crosses the threshold
and finds it isn’t empty.

I’ve been looking at the face of the clock.

Here live all laws of physics and math;
fibonacci curves, fractals, calculus.

The structure creation and destruction
of the beauty
my senses perceive.

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Ghosts from the past.

The Adventure Cycling Network routes cyclists through this town. To accomodate them, this library has installed a public bike repair station in front. Gerald Barns, whose company is painting the library to improve the community, models.

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The First Day

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Beginnings give me butterflies. I am apprehensive, worried. The unknown might upset these cozy dreams. I don’t feel prepared enough. But at some point, the ship must sail, and sail she did.

My son Drew (Fez) was there to give me a send off, I left feeling loved.

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I ran into my very cheerful friend Ray on the bike trail.

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I decided to ride at just 15 mph all day to try and lose the rushing nervous jitteries. Once in beautiful central Florida I rode through citrus and cattle and phosphate mining country. Sherpa took me 110 miles before we ran out of daylight. My math tells me Sherpa could have done close to 200 miles at that speed using pedelec. I charged him four times, only once for an hour:

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Here at a food store where I ate lunch.

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Here at a community center.

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Here at a park.

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And here at Publix while shopping for groceries.

Not a dime is spent on fuel unless you count mine. Sherpa is very well behaved, and a pleasure to ride. It seems to work well to charge Sherpa whenever I stop, and to choose stops where I can charge. I begin to feel an emerging rhythmn for the trip.

I am listening to gunfire from my camp. There are lot of rounds being fired rapidly. It makes me feel safe. I’m stealth camped in a 200 foot road-median-forest across from a police training academy, where they have their shooting range. This is the last place that a criminal would choose to roost, so it’s perfect!