If you’ve ever had the misfortune of flying across the country on Southwest, you know that Fate typically puts you next to a three-hundred pound man, a crying child, or a crying three-hundred-pound man. But last month I had the luck to share the long trip with a young woman who told me a very interesting story of cycling five hundred miles across central Florida. “It might be the liquor talking,” I said, “but you should write this up for me. I run a famous car website. And you’re very pretty.” So here you go, TTAC readers: a cycling perspective on what is perhaps the least bike-friendly state. Enjoy! — JB
Pushing off, with a slightly, only slightly, bad taste in my mouth. The last words I’d heard prior to starting this adventure ringing in my head: “That’s a terrible idea, it’s absolutely not safe for cyclists, what if I drop you off on the trail head?”
Naaah — I can do this — it’s MY home state, I know these roads better than anyone. Besides I live in New York City now. I can do anything! Not to mention, I took my first joy ride in a standard 88’ Honda Prelude with my best friend Yent at 13 years old, cruised (at least that’s what we called it in the early 90’s) these roads, back roads and interstates in all kinds of vehicles. I own this! I am that American Girl riding down 441, except this time I’m on a bicycle, making my way to all of my favorite places. I left my father’s Apopka house and proceeded in search for freedom, a place to ride with the rest of North Central Florida, experience the wind in my face, and reach a destination.