Category Archives: recumbents

End of the Year? Oh My!

I realized the other day that I haven’t posted in quite some time. Well spring break and summer are just around the corner and The Traveling Wilbury’s (that’s us) will be hitting the road again. Gone is the sailboat. Drop, drop, tears hit the floor. However, never fear we have our land yacht and a plan!

Dunnellon Trail

First of all, I am way behind on posting.
On May 17th we took off to the Dunellen Trail. This was a nice, but short (about 2.5 miles) ride; worth the trip. I took some great pictures and this is what I wanted to share today. What better subjects than what we see on our journeys.

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Yay another .5 mile!

Since my surgery and the cold weather we haven’t gotten to do a lot biking. But a break in the chill creates a brief opportunity to visit the Greenway. Jim gave Kaelin the go ahead to be the leader today. And of course where does he head us – the playground. The best part of many bike trails is the playground and the Greenway in Ocala is no exception. This playground is very popular. A wonderful stop for a little boy to burn off energy, a mom and dad to rest, and of course photo opportunities.

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Of course the playground is what it's all about!
Of course the playground is what it’s all about!

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Change is in the Air

blue bottle

Some changes are in the making. First, Jim is going to sell Hot Dot. However, never fear, sailing is still in our future. (I’m so relieved, I do truly love it.) He has suggested we buy a smaller sailboat, one we can take out more frequently. His thoughts are we could go day sailing at the many lakes nearby or perhaps even go on a weekender. We won’t be able to do anymore 48 day sailing trips, but I think this could work. It would be nice to say on an unexpected sunny weekend, “Hey, let’s go sailing.” And then just go! At this moment he is working on building a website (www.sailboathotdot.com) to put information about Hot Dot out there. So more to come on that…..

Another change will be all about my photos on this site. My wonderful husband (aka Santa) brought me an awesome DLSR Nikon D3100 camera. It is fantastic. Little by little I am learning more and more how to use it. I hope to take a class sometime in the future. What fun. Now if the weather would warm up (I’m not as hearty as a blogger I just found is) and I could continue healing from a recent surgery we could hit the bike trails and I could take REALLY good pictures!

And the last change….well I’m not going to say much, except that June could be an important month.

Sailboat for sale: Chrysler 26

Long Key State Park

We arrived at Long Key State Park mid afternoon on Tuesday.  Today is Friday and I’m wishing I never had to leave this park.  It is truly amazing.  Our camper butts right up to the water.  The water  is shallow for yards and yards out.  It is warm and clear and underneath is a world that I would never had guessed was there. 
Snorkeling seems to be the prevalent past time here and for good reason.  Because of the shallow warm water even young children can safely swim and snorkel.  Myself I have always had a deep fear of going under water.  I watched Jim last year go under in his mask and snorkel and was so jealous.  This year he talked me into going to a dive shop and trying on prescription masks.  The guy at Discount Dive in Marathon, the first shop we went to, was very kind and helpful.  I explained my situation and he told me how to ease into it.  We didn’t buy from him however only because the mask he had didn’t fit quite like the one I ended up buying from Tilden’s Dive Shop / Hawk’s Cay Resort Marina. 
Once I became comfortable with the mask and snorkel I truly fell in love with this place, because not everything is visible to the unmasked eye.  I will hopefully later be able to post some pictures I took with Jim’s underwater camera.  I will save that for a later post.
I would recommend this park for anyone looking to really relax and have fun.  There are about 50 sites, some just for tents and others for campers.  They aren’t extremely deep but we had very little trouble backing in and setting up.  Be aware the sites are sandy. 
Anyone that knows us also knows that we love biking.  There is a bike trail that runs off and on throughout the keys.  The one that runs in front of Long Key State park is a little run down but from what we could tell they are working on repaving the trails.  At least in parts of the keys they are.  Hopefully the one here is on the list.  We have only ridden in the park so far but perhaps we can ride later today and have a more positive report on the trail than what we can see from the road.
The only other real negatives are sand spurs and no see ums.  Definitely bring some Avon Skin So Soft as that does work.  Bring a fan to set up outside too to help deter the little buggers.  Otherwise ENJOY!

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Attention Getters

kaelin leads the packRecumbents are not the norm on the trail we ride near our home, so we are used to being stared at.  But on this beautiful day several months ago we got a little extra attention.

We ride the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenways Trail, a 5 mile, 3 looped trail behind our house.   Jim and I like to ride there when we can’t make it to a longer trail elsewhere, but Kaelin likes to ride there when he can play on the playground.

We were keeping a watchful eye on our 4 year old as he played and ran amok through the play area.  As we were watching him a lady approached us asking if we belonged to the 3 recumbent trikes sitting near the fence.  We said yes and she introduced herself as a free-lance photographer for the Ocala Star Banner.  She said she wanted to take some photos of us as we rode our bikes.  We agreed.

It was a lot of fun doing this and we felt like mini-celebraties for several days as we shared with friends and families that our pictures could be seen from the Star Banner’s website and then, of course, when we found out that our photo was being featured a week later.

It really is our hope that more and more people see us riding recumbents and stop and ask us what they are like.  We find that there is so much benefit in riding them that they are worth the extra cost over a life time.

Riding the Silver Comet Trail – Georgia

Spring Break

 Teachers everywhere live for the time when they can pack the books away and take a break from the rigors of preparing for state mandated assessments.  At least this is true for  two teachers I know of, myself and Jim.  We were just discussing what the “So, what did YOU do over the break?” feedback will be when we return to school tomorrow. (Yes break is over!)  Will most say they  painted the house, did spring cleaning, planted the garden?  NOT US !  No we Rode the Silver Comet!

Silver Comet Trail

http://www.silvercometga.com/

The Silver Comet Trail is 13 miles northwest of Atlanta, Georgia. It meanders through three counties:  Cobb, Paulding, and Polk. The Silver Comet Trail is over 61 miles long of paved rail-trail perfect for walkers, rollerbladers, bicyclists and even recumbant riders like Jim, Kaelin and I.   However, surprisingly, we only saw 2 other recumbent riders.

Although the trail starts in Smyrna, Georgia that’s where we ended our trip. It ends at the Georgia/Alabama state line, but we did not make it that far over.   We went as far as Rockmart, Georgia.  We started in the middle and went west on the first day and east on the second day.  We plan on going back and starting at the Alabama border and heading east from there.  Cedartown looks like fun.

The Silver Comet Trail was built over an abandoned rail line in northwest Georgia.  The rail line used to carry passengers and freight throughout the south and southeastern United States.  The trail was named after the Silver Comet passenger train.  Just like the travelers of yore we found the rail-trail a very scenic route.  It cuts through small quaint towns such as Rockmart and Powder SpringsCedartown was near the Alabama state line and we did not get over that way, but understand that it is a neat stop on the trail.  Bigger cities that offered more conveniences were Dallas, Hiram and Smyrna.  But the best views were hills, rocks (shale and some granite), forests and open farmlands.

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Getting There

We live in Central Florida and traveled to see Jim’s daughter, Alex, at Flagler College in St. Augustine.  We spent the night there and then the following day.  First of all, as our luck would have it, it was right in the middle of St. Patrick’s day celebrations and festivals.  Traffic!  Oh my goodness; it was a nightmare.  And hotel?  Everyone was booked.  After several tries and being told everyone in town was booked we stopped at the Knight’s Inn and they had a room.  Jim went in to look at it first and came out shaking his head.  He said it was disgusting and that they wanted $140 but the manager said he’d knock off $20.  Jim said we’d be better off sleeping in the truck.  Using the GPS on my phone I called the first place on the list, Country Inn and Suites.  Luck had changed.  They had just recieved a cancellation and we got a room.  It cost all together $160, but it was worth it after the first alternative.  Very nice hotel and staff.  Kudos to you guys.

We had a lovely time with Alex and her friend Rachel, exploring parts of the town, visiting the beautiful playground near the downtown visitor’s parking garage and checking out St. George Street shops.  And then it was on to our main destination.  Most of our trip is on I75, a long trip, and with me and a 3 year old, lots of stops.  However, uneventful until we decided to try the GPS to get us to Rockmart.  We ended up winding our way around and through some town, (River… something, I think) on I85.  Very frustrating!  But we prevailed and ended up in Rockmart, a quaint town with a downtown area that looks like it stepped out of the past.  Their chamber of commerce was very helpful in pointing us in the right direction – The Rock Campground.  After walking around the downtown area and seeing our first glimpse of the Silver Comet Trail, we headed to The Rock.

The Rock Campground

The Rock Campground is really the only campground on the Silver Comet Trail.  It was a pretty campground.  However, we were very frustrated when we arrived as there was no office to speak of.  No one greeted us.  We called the number on the “office” (a tiny outhouse looking building.  No one answered.  As there were not any other camping choices near Jim decided to drive through.  It was basically deserted.  Of course it was in the middle of the week, but at least someone being there or answering the phone would have been helpful.  Jim did finally get someone on the phone, a man on a tracter on the property.  He curtly told Jim it would be $10 to camp and to put his money in an envelope in the “outhouse office.”  This was rather disconcernting but we did it anyway.  No one told us where to set up camp.  There was a brief paper, attached to a clipboard, outlining basic rules for camping but it stqated nothing about where to go.  So…. we found a spot in the field side of the campground and set up.  There were a few RV’s on a hill above us and around the corner but we really saw noone until the end of our visit.

The park did have water hook-ups, electrical hook-ups (which we didn’t need), very nice clean picnic tables, front porch type swing, clean bathrooms (very close too!), and 2 private showers with very hot water.  We were glad we chose the spot we did for camping as at night the entrance side of the camp was well lit up.  It wasn’t so bad on the side we were at.  We also built a nice fire both nights, drank some beer and chatted for hours.  Very nice.  Kaelin, of course, seems to sleep like a log when we camp.

Overall the camping was okay.  We realized that we might be getting too old for some of our ideas.  We were difinitely glad that we brought the truck instead of trying to bike camp.  (We did do that once before at Fanning Springs, Florida.)  I like the camping, but Jim is not crazy about setting up and breaking down.  Not sure if we will try it again.  If we do we do know we will bring the truck.  Now the riding however, was fantastical!  And that I’m going to save for a separate entry.

New Trike

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I did it!  Jim has brought me over to the dark side.  It has taken a year, but I finally had to agree that a recumbent trike is much more fun to ride than my regular bike (and even it wasn’t so regular.)  I went to Hampton’s Edge Bike Shop in Floral City and bought a beautiful red Greenspeed Anura.  It is a delta trike, two wheels in the back and one in the front.  It rides so smoothly, turns on a dime and Jim thinks I’m riding faster than on my Comfort Day 6.  He thinks it’s because I’m more confident.  It’s true; I don’t have that feeling that I could fall at any given moment.

I’m coming home almost every night and riding in the circle.  We live on a cul-de-sac and it makes for easy, quick rides before supper.  It’s also safer for Kaelin to ride without the worry of traffic.  Of course, I made the mistake of allowing him to hitch a ride  with me.  He sits on my lap as I go around the circle.  I have to nip that in the bud quick or he won’t want to ride his bicycle.

We did take him back to the Greenway and had him ride his bicycle around a couple loops.  It was so much nicer on the Anura because I could ride right along side of him and encourage him to ride on the right side of the road.  Jim grabs hold of him and tandems him down the slight declines.  I tried it once and caused him to fall.  Poor baby, he cried a little but got right back on his bike and kept on going.  Lance Armstrong watch out, Kaelin is on his way!