Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

25 December 2012

Along The Coast, Again

Every ride along a seashore seems to begin with a descent from a bridge:

And, of course, the descent from this particular bridge is a sure sign that I'm in Florida--Flagler Beach, to be exact.

At the foot of the bridge, I took a right and cycled south along Florida A-1A, which shadows the dunes, palm trees and beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.  Every time I ride it, I see more cyclists.  I guess that's not surprising when I realize that A-1A has long been a favorite of motorcycle riders.

Just 36 hours after an early-morning frost, the temperature had climbed over 70F (21C).  So, I had the sort of company I wouldn't normally have on the day before Chrismas in New York:

At leasst one of his flock wasn't going to let him steal all available human attention:

Although the main reason (actually, nearly the only reason) I come to Florida is to visit my parents, I am very happy to spend this holiday here this year.  For the first time in nearly two months, I was able to cycle to the ocean without seeing sand, twisted metal and broken concrete pillars where there had been, days earlier, a boardwalk.  It was also the first time since Hurricane Sandy struck that I was able to see dunes that hadn't been eroded or leveled by surges of wind and surf, or shell-shocked people left in their wake. 

Sandy, and the Nor'easter that followed it only a week later, ravaged the coastal areas I know best. Perhaps they are not the most beautiful, but they will always mean the most to me and, for that reason, the destruction I have seen has been heartbreaking.  Also, that sort of devastation "wasn't supposed to happen" along the coasts of Long Island, the Rockaways, Coney Island and New Jersey:  Sandy was a "once in a century" storm, and having such a storm followed so closely by another was unprecedented.  

So, it was ironic, to say the least, that I would have to go to a shoreline that's less familiar (though not completely unfamiliar) to experience the sort of ride that I usually take as a local escape.  What's even more strange, though, is that nearly everything I recall from previous rides along this stretch of Florida's Atlantic coast is as I remember it from previous rides--and that few places in the world experience more hurricanes and tropical storms (or, for that matter, tornadoes) than the so-called Sunshine State!  


  1. Thanks for some Holiday inspiration. I'll recall it as I ride less familiar roads in the days to come.

  2. Steve--Thanks. I hope you have a great holiday!