15 January 2018

Pedaling A Parallel Universe

Yesterday I pedaled into a parallel universe.

All right...You might think Florida--or anything south of the Potomac, for that matter--is a different world if you come from anyplace north of it.  You would not be wrong.  But I am not talking about culture, politics or even climate.  Rather, I mean a waterway that, for about 5000 kilometers, runs as close to the Atlantic Ocean as it can without actually being the Atlantic.

I am talking about the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, which runs just inland of the Atlantic Ocean all the way from Boston to the tip of Florida.  The purpose of it was to provide navigable waterways for shipping along the Atlantic Coast without having to deal with the hazards of the ocean.

 One hardly thinks about the AIW in Massachusetts or New York or New Jersey because it's known by other names.  Actually, in those states, it's a series of rivers, bays and other bodies of water linked by canals. 

The stretch I rode yesterday is one of those canals.  It hooks up with the Halifax River to the south. Its shoreline is dotted with gazebos on piers:  the sort of thing one envisions when thinking about life in Florida. 

The weather, however, was another story--overcast, which I didn't mind, but colder than yesterday and colder by the end of the ride than at the beginning.  And windy, again. I was reminded of why I don't have kickstands on my own bikes:  Using the one on the bike I rode today virtually guaranteed that it would be toppled.  Such falls wouldn't damage the bike; still, I laid the bike on the ground when I stopped, figuring that I would have had to pick it up anyway if I stood it up.

One interesting feature of the trails that line the Intracoastal Waterway, and connect it to several parks, are bike maintenance stations operated by the city of Palm Coast and local businesses.  

They include small tools such as screwdrivers, adjustable wrenches and tire levers attached to cords, and a tire pump.  

I actually rode a technical section of a mountain bike trail near Herschel King Park (one of my favorites in this area).  And, no, I didn't need those tools--or anything to repair my body!


  1. You are a tease! Being curious I clicked on a few images recently for a better view, if anything they got smaller...

  2. Hello Coline--Sorry about that! I have been using a different computer and browser since I got here. I'll try and fix things later. Which images did you click?

  3. Hi Justine, they all shrank once you went south...

  4. Hmm...I wonder whether that had something to do with it.