The great trek begins

In which four GNV guys in hot pursuit of denial of their advancing years set off on a Florida coast-to-coast ride. All the while sticking to off-road trails….because Florida is turning into a great trail state.

Day 1 of 5. Left GNV before 7:30 a.m. to get to Edgewater, our jump off point, before the heat and humidity could conspire to sap the life out of our aging carcasses. Fortunately, the sky was overcast and there was a nice breeze, so we though we might possibly survive the day.

Walt, Ron and Tom in the prime of life (no autographs please). What could possibly go wrong? (Bob is sagging today so God only knows what he’s up to).

The first thing we noticed as we set off on the long, long trail to Osteen is that there are lots of no trespassing signs along the way. Apparently trail users are considered to be a nefarious bunch in these parts. Undaunted by the lack of welcoming signs, we pressed on.

Miles later, the naysayers have been left behind. And we find ourselves riding through what’s left of Cracker Florida in these parts. Cows, collapsed buildings and the occasional Harley warriors can be viewed on the rural road that parallels our trail. We can coexist!

Eventually we find ourselves on a long, long stretch of trail that cuts like a thin knife through pines and swamps and palmetto scrubs. But Volusia County does an excellent job of letting us know where the hell we are.

No one messes with us because, frankly, we are a rough bunch and ready for anything. Not to mention that we are in the middle of nowhere and there is no one around to actually mess with us.

On the other hand, if anything does happen to us out here, it could be days before anybody knows about it.

Words fail me. Just be afraid. Be very afraid.

We come upon a makeshift memorial for a young woman who was murdered on the trail. It was a sobering moment.

Arriving on the very edge of civilization we have lunch at the world renown Osteen diner….we ate in the dog designated dining area of course.

This be the home of miniature cows and a golden chicken. Don’t ask.

Pressing westward, ever westward toward new horizons.

Until, eventually, we cross the St. John’s River into Seminole County. Or is that just want us to think we are doing?

The last six miles or so we follow the shores of Lake Monroe. Spectacular views…but not so much shade to protect us from the heat.

Our Day 1 ride ends in downtown Sanford, aka the celery capital of Florida. A forty three mile day, and, I swear, we haven’t aged a minute. Because we are made of the right stuff.

We celebrated our D1 survival at the Three Odd Guys Brewing Co. in Apopka, Which happens to be our jumping off point for Day 2.

Because what could possibly go wrong on Day 2?

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