Day 55 Boca Raton, FL to Miami 59 miles 935 feet
As I walked over to breakfast this morning I caught a glimpse of the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean as it peeked through the clouds. Most of the riders left straight from breakfast while I returned to the hotel to change into my riding clothes. In the interim there must have been a brief shower they ran into as the road was wet when I returned to the street.
The ECG heads south on A1A and once beyond the Boca Raton high rises you run into true examples of conspicuous consumption. On the oceanside you will find 50 million dollar, limestone clad mansions and across the street on the Intercoastal Waterway, the homeowners 20 million dollar yachts.
A short segment of the route winds through a marina in Fort Lauderdale where smaller yachts are cuing up and awaiting the opening of a railroad bridge to pass out to sea.
The route then mysteriously rolls over the main access road for the Fort Lauderdale International Airport. It was a great spot to grab a shot of jets closer than I have ever been before, except when actually boarding as a passenger. In spite of the 50 yard line view, the road was actually fairly dangerous to ride on with all the large cargo trucks wizzing by on a narrow road with no shoulder.
I am always leary of drivers but even more so in Florida where local friends have recounted terrible stories of automobile or truck interactions with cyclists. While waiting to cross an intersection I saw an example of road rage that I have not even seen before in Manhattan. Several cars where stopped in a left turn lane behind a Red Left Turn Arrow. The second car in line, a Jeep with a Millennial at the wheel, kept honking at the lead car to run the light. Eventually the driver of the Jeep took maters into his own hands by swinging out into the next lane, cutting in front of the lead car, and running the red light. Where are the traffic cops when you actually need them?
We crossed over the Intercoastal Waterway, after getting stuck at another raised drawbridge, and entered Hollywood Beach. As I crossed over the Haulover Inlet I noticed a 20 something kid, wearing nothing but board shorts, climb over the guardrail for the bridge. It was only a 40 foot plunge to the water so I’m sure it was not a suicide attempt, but I stopped to ask if he was ok. He ignored me and asked his buddy down below if the camera was ready. I’m not sure if this was for his U-tube channel or simply a “hold my beer and watch this” moment. I chose not to pull out my own camera. We would ride a succession of beach bike paths all the way down to Miami Beach which has a mixture of older Art Deco buildings mixed in with modern high rises.
We exited Miami Beach via a causeway that crossed 6 small islands and entered downtown Miami. We rode for a mile on a bike path along Biscayne Bay where many of the private yachts looked large enough to be cruise liners.
After risking life and limb riding through downtown Miami streets we were routed onto a bike path under the elevated MetroRail. It turns out that a few hours later, one of my fellow riders was run off the road by a bus driver who ignored him and did not even stop. Luckily my friend suffered nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises. When the police arrived they said that since the bus did not actually hit him, there was nothing they could do. The path under the MetroRail was totally protected from vehicles but still a disaster area to ride as one crew of workers was installing a new gas line while a different crew was fast at working trimming palm fronds and digging up trees. Both crews were clogging the “bike path” with their vehicles, tools, and garbage. The only silver lining was that I got to ride about 1/4 mile of gravel.
My hotel room was not ready so I reset my navigation system to Harry’s Pizzeria, 2996 McFarlane Rd, Coconut Grove, my favorite pizza place in Miami. I grabbed a sausage pie with all the trimmings and added a tall draft as the hotel was only a few blocks away and I could simply walk my bike.
We went out to dinner as a group to say thank you and goodby to Cindy, one of our guides, who needed to get home to help with some family matters. We went to Kush by Spillover, 2911 Grand Ave, Coconut Grove, for some comfort food. The food was very good but the service was abominable owing to the lack of staff. They actually ran out of beer glasses and tried to serve me a 6 oz draft in a parfait glass.
Fourteen states down, 1 more to go.
The Cumulative Totals
Feet Climbed 88,531
States Visited Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida
For more details on my route, see my Strava Link