River Road Ride

Our gracious host and ride captain, Bob Emmerich of the Central Florida Recumbent Riders, could scarcely have picked a better day for the River Road Ride. Traffic was practically non-existent, the water was like glass, the air was cool, the sky was clear. Simply put, "A perfect recipe!" Bob and Paul Jones arrived together with a pair of long wheelbase recumbent bikes and Phil Mix and Paul Giglio had two recumbent trikes stashed in their sedan. My solo appearance added the third trike and then we were five, alive, and ready to ride.

From our meeting place at Lee Wenner Park on the Indian River in downtown Cocoa we headed south on Riveredge Blvd which turns into Riverside Drive which then becomes called Rockledge Drive, toward Rockledge. Immaculately landscaped homes on the right, beautifully appointed river shore on the left, framing a stunning vista between the two were grand oaks, palm trees, and lush vegetation. The posted 25 mph speed limit on this narrow asphalt ribbon seemed automatically enforced by the surrounding beauty. You'd not want to travel faster for fear you might miss seeing something.

Even though I had spent many a day on this very road on my bicycle some 40 years before, I couldn't stop drinking in everything. It was even better than I had remembered it. We all were preoccupied with the panorama and almost missed our "you never know what might cross your path" event. Today's sighting was easily my most unusual to date, even though the swimmers were slightly off the path.

At the south end, Bob escorted us through a small, local neighborhood which served well as a cul de sac slinging us on our way northward, back to Cocoa. After a rest stop where we had begun, at Lee Wenner Park, we resumed our trek along the river's edge on what is called Indian River Drive toward Williams Point. Now the houses are on the left, boats, docks, and river on the right and for a great portion of this segment, there is even a sidewalk on the left side. There are a few more pronounced rises and falls to the northern part of the trip that give it a different feel. The VAB can be seen, looming in the distance at the Cape north of Merritt Island and this part of the trip extends well above Bennett Causeway.

My photos are posted in the gallery and I'll add links to this post later as the other riders post their take on things.

Total of 29 peaceful miles.

Man's Gotta Have a Dream from Bob Emmerich on Vimeo.


Nature Coast State Trail

It wasn't until the trees had been removed that we were able to see just how close they had been to the lower phase of the transmission line. Nonetheless it was sad to see them completely removed instead of somehow trimmed or thinned. The experience has been severely altered by the clearing and has a much less than subtle feeling of exposure accented by increased road noise from the now visible highway.

Today's ride was one where we enjoyed a brief visit and were glad to see each other, but we were quite simply chased off by a thunderstorm out of the Gulf which met us head on just as we passed through Wilcox. We had been lulled into a feeling that we might just be passed over by the front and thought we could at least ride back to the start as safely as we had come. Rather it was upon us and all at once was also where we had been.

Though we returned a bit drippy and loaded up in the rain after too short a ride, we agreed it was still better than not meeting or not riding. There are a few photos up in the gallery, if you would like a preview of the new "landscape," post trauma.