Well folks, I’ve made it to Miami and gotta say I’m pretty damn happy about it. Apart from the whole- returning to snow- I’m looking forward to heading home but I’m really glad I took a week to ride down here. This last little jog down the sun shine state has certainly been an eye opener. My view on Florida hasn’t radically changed- palm trees, old people who shouldn’t be driving, beaches, quiet living, etc. However, I was very unaware of the amazing culture and atmosphere here in Miami. For those yet to experience it, South Florida varies greatly from the north on a serious cultural and climate basis. It’s like the first time you visit Montreal where most people are speaking French and dressed to the 9′s and you think: “Heyy… this doesn’t feel like Lunenburg at all”. The Latin American influence and is huge and that really makes the city what it is and gives it it’s charm. And don’t get me wrong, the weather in Tallahassee is nice, especially for a Canadian, but it sure hasn’t come close to the heat in the south.
Oh ya, and I’ve been training my ass off but I’m not sure anyone really cares about that.
But, with the good comes the bad. And by that I mean there are undesirable consequences for a place where, everyone in the world would like to live. According to Wikipedia, with over 19 million people living in Florida, urban development is pretty massive and the resulting traffic due to everything being spaced out does not make for the best riding. Though, riding along the beach never sucks and the amount of bike lanes are actually impressive but they seem to disappear once you near the massive Miami metropolis. And, unfortunately bike lanes don’t really deter people from occasionally driving in them or feeling the need to shout insults as they drive by.
There are enjoyable moments however. Such as eventually catching up to a rich kid driving his Dads truck that honked at you and drove you off the road whilst flipping the bird, hiding behind his Aviators and tinted windows with country music blaring, thinking he would never see you again…. I digress.
Today I did perhaps the most intelligent thing I’ve done while travelling in a very long time. I actually went to the airport ahead of time and figured some shit out. Good thing because after getting seriously lost and then discovering that bike boxes are magical elusive things that no ones ever seen (try Walmart was he best suggestion I heard), I most definitely would have missed my flight had I shown up the usual 20 minutes before..Yes Mom I know, I know, 2 1/2 hours before..Minimum.