18 January 2017

A Painterly Ride

I am going to write something that might cause envy or resentment in some, especially those of you who are reading behind sleet-streaked windows.

Yes, today's weather was once again glorious.  Actually, it was a bit warmer than the past few days:  During the return part of my ride, the temperature rose to 82F (28C), according to the sign on the Buddy Taylor Middle School.  And the sun shone through puffy cumulus clouds that drifted across the sky.

So I rode up to Bings Landing, the site of the Mala Compra ("bad bargain" or "bad buy") plantation, and back down Route A1A, including one of my favorite stretches.

I wish my photos could do justice to the light that flickered with the dance of the waves and reeds.  At the observation stand from which I took those pictures, I chatted with a retired couple from North Carolina who commented on the light, and the view.  "Now you know why it's called Painters Hill," I explained.

As the saying goes, a lovely time was had by all--especially the ones who came dressed for the occasion:

With their fashion sense, how could I not share my nuts, seeds and granola bars with them?  And, even in such finery, they were not too haughty to refuse!

I was not surprised to see people walking through the sand or fishing. A few even tried to ride the waves, such as they were.  But I didn't see anyone swimming.  Yesterday, I was tempted to dip myself in the water, but after taking off my sneakers and socks, and letting a few waves lap up to my calves, I realized that the water was a bit on the cool side.

Normally, on such a day, people would line the pier at Flagler Beach, whether to fish, watch birds (or wait in the hope of sighting a dolphin, whale or shark) or simply pass enjoy the view and pass the time.  But I noticed that the pier was empty, as it was yesterday and the other day.  

I also couldn't help but to think that the pier looked smaller than it was last year.  Sure enough, it is:  Hurricane Matthew washed away part of it and, according to the gate keeper, it might be closed for another year because the insurance company doesn't want people there until repairs are made and the pier passes inspection.

Still, it was a wonderful day and ride. With the kind of light I had, how could anything have been otherwise?


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  2. Glad to see you enjoying our winter weather! I'm just up the road in Jacksonville and commute by bike 3 days a week year round. The winter is the best time of year for my commute. I've ridden once when it was in the mid 20's, but usually it doesn't get below 40. Of course the flip side is 8 months of 85 plus degrees in the afternoon with sky high humidity.

  3. Hi David,

    A few years ago, the temperature dipped to 23F when I was in Palm Coast. But, as you say, such weather is rare.

    Perhaps the next time I come down, we could get together for a ride?

    1. I would be interested if my life allows. My family is still displaced after hurricane Matthew, so this month certainly wasn't the time for it! Most of my riding is in suburban traffic, so I love opportunities to get out on some of the trails and away from exhaust pipes.