Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bicycling from Rockledge, Fla, to Fort Pierce, Fla. (Dec. 9)

75.13 miles in 5:21....(797.91)...We woke up to blue skies, which was a welcomed change, and it felt pretty warm for most of the day, even though the thermometer barely touched 70 degrees at the warmest part of the day. The tailwind blew all day, and I averaged over 14 mph for the second day in a row. I left the campground after greasing my rusty chain because of the rain yesterday. I hosed the bike down after riding yesterday, because the sand and the road grime that kicked up during the rain was not only all over me, but stuck to everything on the bike. I haven't had my largest cranking gear for three days now, as I threw my chain twice, up near Daytona, and realized that I have to find a Specialized bike shop to get a 25,000 mile check up. Some of my drive train parts are original equipment, and my chain and rear gear cassette were replaced in Santa Monica, California. The manuals say a chain is only good for about 3000 miles, and I'm way past that. Hopefully I get some new parts and maintenance before things start breaking. Maintenance isn't my strong point, I'll admit.
The GPS took me on some quieter roads through Rockledge, past golf courses and snowbird resorts, and onto US1. I chose to keep going east, over a causeway that crossed the Indian River Lagoon and the Banana River, to the barrier island and my preferred path of travel, Fla. A1A. US1 was a shorter distance, but it stays on the mainland, and it looked like a boring interstate type road where I saw it. A1A was far from boring, as this 50 or so mile stretch always had something interesting to look at as I rode. The shoulder was always about four foot, mostly marked as a bike lane, with smooth surfaces, so it was a very comfortable ride. There was a six foot wide sidewalk the entire length of the island, which was sufficient for the locals, but I was better off in the bike lane near the road because of my speed, and also because of the pedestrian traffic, parked landscaping trucks, and piles of landscaping debris that were dotting the path. There was a huge amount of landscaping work going on everywhere, as the greenery was very plush, and in need of maintenance after the growing season. The landscaping gave the entire area its unique appearance, and no one was letting it get ahead of them. It just amazed me how much work was being done. My personal favorite landscaping feature was the sand roads that were enveloped into a tunnel by the trees, that led back to an unseen multi million dollar homestead, and there were plenty of those. I rode through beach town after beach town, but none of them were commercialized, all very ritzy and zoned to stay that way. Sometimes I wondered where people went to get gas, eat, or shop. I guess all that stuff is on the mainland, because the land along the ocean and Intercoastal rivers is too valuable for a shopping mall. There was land available to buy in spots, so the place isn't maxed out. The north end, south end, and Vero Beach, the biggest town I went through had some commercialization. Vero Beach just oozed money from every Palm tree and gated home. I really didn't take too many pictures because nothing really stood out from anything else. It was all beautiful. The entire length of the island was equipped with small public parks, so there was access to the ocean beaches every mile or so. There was a larger area in Vero Beach, which had a boardwalk and parking, but no seashore commercialization like you see in most vacation spots. Traffic consisted of Beamers and all kinds of fancy cars with LED headlights, but mostly landscaping and other service trucks that were catering to the property owners. There were many golf courses, beach clubs, private golf clubs, and even a Disney Vacation Resort in Vero Beach. There were many places where I could see the ocean, which was really rocking from a nor'easter that just went up the coast, and there were many places where I could see the Intercoastal waters. The entire 50 mile stretch only had one inlet, which was Sebastian Inlet State Park. I didn't see many boats, but I figure that they were all on the Intercoastal waters in their private docks. Overall, it was just a nice ride, with just enough action and beautiful sights to keep me from getting bored. This is another part of the stretch of A1A that I missed on the last trip, so it was all new to me. We stayed at a campground in Fort Pierce, which had about 500 sites, and is a home to snowbirds, mostly Canadian and French Canadian, who are starting to roll in for the winter. Adieu, as they say in French.


Patrick Air Force Base is on the barrier island

There were small parks all along the coast for public access.  This is because most of the beach is private property!

The ocean was rocking with 9' waves during high tides


Micycle Bicycle posed with Ponce De Leon

There was a sidewalk present the entire length of the island, but landscaper's trucks were everywhere

Ghost bikes always get my attention

Sebastian Inlet State Park

Construction on the bridge over Sebastian Inlet gave me time to take in the view

Docks on the Intercoastal Waterway

Bike tangled with an alligator in Vero Beach!!!

Bike then posed with these huge banana trees

Vero Beach had a Disney Vacation Club Resort

Vero had some beautiful homes

Mostly, you could only see the entrances from A1A

Vero Beach boardwalk

More Vero Beach 

Gotta find out what this is all about!  Somebody doesn't like trains!

Our campground in Ft. Pierce

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