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[caption id="attachment_2204" align="alignright" width="300"] Checking the Maps[/caption] Less than two months to our summervacation, and we realized we still have a lot of things to do to get ready. Since it is raining today and neither one of us feels like 'training' in the rain, we decided to do some prep work.
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Our first night at Ft. Desoto Campground was pretty eventless, besides our little Raccoon friend chattering at us at times and some birds sounding off it was very quiet. Since we didn’t put the top on our tent we had a nice breeze finding its way through the tent-meshing that kept us comfortable.
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The day starts out at 05:55 Friday as we leave our house and head off to work. The ride to work is a short 25 miles and since we are leaving right after work, we have all of our gear with us or as my work colleagues call it "our homeless kit."
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With summer quickly approaching it means vacations are just around the corner.  In order to help us get into the planning and travel mode, we were going through some of our past touring albums and we decided to recycle them for your reading pleasure.
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Cycling in FloridaYes, with our vacation being just around the corner it is time to step up the training. We know what you are thinking: "What in the heck are these people talking about?", "Training for vacation, are they MAD?"
Seems like we are not the only ones enjoying these little weekend bike tours. Although bicycle touring in Florida is not such a big hit. It looks as if our little group keeps growing bigger with each little adventure we are taking on; and since we really like sharing some of the fun we absolutely enjoyed having everybody come with us this last weekend. In all there were seven of us riding and one lucky dog that came along for the ride in his very own rickshaw. [caption id="attachment_19401" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Florida weekend bicycle tour Lucky little dog![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1429" align="aligncenter" width="660"]The Crew Our little adventure group[/caption] Although it is wonderful to discover far-away, exotic places. A lot of times it is just as nice and sometimes just as adventurous, to go on an overnighter bicycle tour right here in Florida. Since I was feeling a little jealous of Ron's little getaway last weekend I was really itching to go on a little bike-camp-trip myself. Of course it didn't take a lot of arm twisting to get Ron to go along, so we planned on a weekend bicycle tour starting right after work on Friday. I rode my bike with panniers packed to work, where Ron and our friend Sam met up with me after work to pedal through Starkey Park, up the Suncoast trail to a primitive campground near the trail on SR 52.
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I have been itching to get out for an overnighter for several weeks, so I decided to pack up and do it. However, instead of driving home after work and grabbing the bike and then heading out, I took my gear to work, so I could ride straight from my cube! There were several reasons for going this route: 1 - It would give me more miles. 2 - I could spend more time on my bike. 
Today, we are going to take Surly Long Haul Truckers on their first bike tour. [caption id="attachment_1236" align="alignright" width="150"] Inverness, FL[/caption] Yesterday we teamed up with Sam (long long time family friend) and Jessica (our daughter) for a nice long 50 miles on the Withlacoochee Trail. In August they will be bike touring with us in Europe, so it only made sense that they start "training" for vacation now.  Jessica's bike is a gift from us for all the hard work she has done over the past several years.  It comes complete with a SON28 generator hub, B&M Lumotec light system, a Tubus rear rack, and a set of Ortlieb rear panniers.  She is ready to tour!
Why am I going to torture my body and mind --again--this weekend to spend miles and miles on my bike while not even going to get a chance to win a medal for this torture? Those are just some of the questions going through my mind , while pedaling my bike home from a long day's work. [caption id="attachment_1200" align="alignright" width="150"] Riding the L.O.S.T.[/caption]
When Ron signed me up for this insane Brevet Series, my initial thoughts were: This is absolutely crazy! There is no way I could ever physically accomplish this, nor do I have the mental power to go through with this.
Believe it or not, despite my profession I am NOT a big fan of torture, especially if I am the one that has to endure it.