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Happy New Year! Our first Florida bike tour of 2016!

While some people would rather sit at home with family and friends, a glass of bubbly and watch the ball drop, we enjoy hitting the road and going into the woods. Although, we do like spending time with friends and family,  we also really miss bike touring. So, what better way to start the year!?
This morning we woke up to raindrops drumming on our tent. Needless to say, we took our time to crawl out of our bags until the drumming calmed down. Sam and Bobbi decided they were going to head back home this morning and started packing their camp. We on the other hand decided to wait until our tent and tarp (which was supposed to keep our tent dry) would
Our plan was to get going early. However, the hour time change is messing with us a little so we do not even wake up until 7:30.  We walk to the grocer near Jenni’s to pick up supplies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, boil some eggs for breakfast and to take along, and start packing up. As we try to secure our bags on the bikes, we notice Petra has a flat tire, and Bobby has a
Saturday morning comes quickly, after a day of packing and a night of little sleep and anticipation. We get up early, move our bed into the backroom, eat a good breakfast, get on our bikes and pedal toward the Suncoast Trail. On the way there Jessica, our daughter, and our friend Maria join us on their bikes to ride along. As we get to the Trailhead we are greeted by a big group of friends, who are waiting on us to wave us goodbye or to ride along with us for a while. It was very humbling seeing so many friends show up to wish us farewell!

[caption id="attachment_3768" align="alignright" width="300"]bicycle touring Florida Townsend House Cemetery[/caption] What do you call a 206km (ended up getting in 130miles) ride through hilly areas, with a headwind of 14 mph, while looking for 5 cemeteries that hold clues to questions you have to answer to officially get checked off for this ride?
It's been almost two months since we returned home from our European bike tour and although we haven't posted any updates, we've been pretty busy. For starters, when Ron returned to work he immediately went on call for the week and one of his teammates was resigning and moving on to bigger and better things. Needless to say, the first week back to work sucked! However, on our second weekend home Ron decided to go and compete in a XC MTB race in Gainesville, FL.

[caption id="attachment_2291" align="alignleft" width="300"] Wall Springs Park[/caption] Anstatt einfach nur auf eine 50 Km Radfahrt zu gehen, haben wir beschlossen der heutigen Fahrt eine Mission zu geben. Unsere Aufgabe war es einige Parks im nördlichen Pinellas Landkreis zu besuchen um unsere neue Kamera mit eingebauten GPS...

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[caption id="attachment_2291" align="alignleft" width="300"]bike touring Florida Parks Wall Springs Park[/caption] Instead of just going out and riding 30 miles, I decided to add a mission to today's ride. We would hit several parks in northern Pinellas County and test our new point and shoot camera that replaced our former Panasonic. See... during our Ft. Desoto camping trip, our
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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?"
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.