February 2, 2021 – Islamorada, FL – One of the benefits of cross-country touring on a bike is the people you meet.
Everyone is so genuine and has a great lust for life and adventure.
I met Zach Bray, 25, as I was flying north on Highway 1 out of Marathon and he was slogging south. Mother Nature and her crafty winds are always part of the tour.
Zach had been on the road nearly five months and was having a great time biking, enjoying the food and the scenery. It’s always great to meet someone from my tribe.
Brett ran his own antique shop. He specialized in rare bottles and once found a brown bottle in a riverbed worth thousands of dollars.
I normally find a license plate from the state I’m pedaling through. He said that’s almost impossible these days. I did find a Pennsylvania plate on the return trip over the 7-mile bridge. Nobody is stopping for anything on that bridge so I had a perfect vantage on the bike. Brett was kind enough to swap me out for a Florida plate.
Met Tom and Jeannie at a bike shop. We chatted about touring. They had fat tire battery assist bikes. Turns out they were from Wisconsin. Jeannie recently retired from a marketing job at SC Johnson and knew my brother-in-law who also works at SC Johnson. Small world.
We met later in the day in Key West for supper and then they fixed up a great spot in their camper for me.
One of the more unique characters on the trip has been Doug. He’s been on the road since July 5, 2010. He walks with his gear tied with a rope and slung over his shoulder. He carries a gallon water jug and is eager to share his story.