Day 5 – De Funiak Springs, Florida

Elevation gained: 1,700/Miles: 63/Total Miles: 347

I’m getting positively Pirsig in my approach to the bike and packing my gear. Every morning, I check the brakes, derailleur, spokes and alignment and then shake the frame to see if anything is loose. Each pannier is repacked with the same gear so that I can locate things without too much thought. This came in handy the other night when I pulled off in the dark and needed to find a light.

I left Marianna early in the morning and wound my way through a series of small towns with names like “Chipley”, “Bonifay” and “Ponce de Leon”. It was still very cold and windy, but at least there were clear skies today, which help to lighten the spirits a bit. Most of the route I’ve been riding is referred to as the “Lawton Chiles, Jr. Trail”. (Chiles was a former governor of Florida who walked from Pensacola to Key West as part of his election campaign.) Personally, I think it should be renamed the “Road Kill Highway”. I quit counting when I got into the triple digits. It’s not just domestic animals; it’s also birds, foxes, raccoons and possum. At times, it can be quite disturbing.

By the end of the day, I was feeling thrashed. It’s a challenge finding anything that doesn’t ache. Then the mental fatigue sets in and you start thinking things like: “De Funiak? Sounds like ‘the Funk’” and the next think you know, you have an earworm that you can’t get rid of. I even tried listening to a Bill Moyer’s podcast on banking reform to cleanse my mental palette, but nothing worked. And for two hours, all my brain kept coming back to was this .

I think I’m going to go off the ACA map tomorrow and head south to the beaches and then take Hwy 98 into Pensacola. That should make for a more pleasant ride, unless I think of a song from, for example, the Starlight Vocal Band. Oh, crap


Filed under Biking U.S.

10 responses to “Day 5 – De Funiak Springs, Florida

  1. Rick

    Hey Mike, tomorrow you’re headed through Rock Hill on your way to the Gulf…

  2. Polish Super Hero

    All the road kill was animals…right? No bodies out there? With the weather turning in your favor, you should consider lowering the pressure in your tires to make it a little more challenging. This will help to simulate a good head wind!
    I think you should start tomorrow’s ride with 2 shots of tequila…just a thought.

  3. Dad Dillon

    I guess my Irish Blessing is not working to well, no Wind at your back and Sun in your face. Maybe I will switch to a Polish Blessing.

    I am sending you a email with Mike’s Blog, you two have me on the floor laughing.

    Have you thought of the road kill as dinner?
    Just wanted to let you know am on my second set of Worry Beads, so peddle fast.

    Big hug,
    U. Dick

  4. Greg

    This song is great for riding:

  5. Doug

    Here is your options, if you bike hard today and make Pensacola by about 1pm, we can get you out on flight and you can be home by 9pm tonight and with Liz by 9:15.(Sounds good doesn’t it?).You can grow old and tell people about the days when you biked across Florida(Full bragging rights). OR you can get back on your bike in the am with your sore crotch and aching knees and pedal in the cold another 60 miles and get to Mobile Alabama.That would mean one state behind you andonly six more states to go.

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  6. don conant

    OK, I give you kudos for the great pic of the string of old American cars in front of the garage, but you had to go and talk about earworms in the same post. Thanks . . . now I can’t get the Funk or Afternoon Delight out of my head. Last night on the weather news, I think I saw a “freeze warning” for the exact spot where you are right now. I am really enjoying the posts and hearing about your adventures. Envious!!! Keep out of the way of all crazed drivers.

  7. Gary Kissiah

    Dude: I had to tell you this now, but the book is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, not Zen and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance.
    You are on the wrong machine! I did some quick research and there is a Harley dealer in Pensacola. Change machines, and transform the experience.

  8. shannon

    i must say i am SO happy we had the same thought on de
    funiak springs….get the funk out bradah!!! i was going to offer up one of my classic cds, but you already have it going on.

    lou (our coonhound) is jealous of the road kill-nothing a southern dog loves more than a tasty morsel off the asphalt frying pan

  9. Jeff Carr

    Buffett spend time in Defuniak — there’s a song I have to send to you about it. I hope you got down to the Emerald Coast (30A) We’ve got a place about have way between Panama City and Pensacola — some of the best beaches in the world!

  10. Don

    Looking for road kill, no place better than central NY State. Farmland makes for lots of habitat; lots of small towns need many nice paved roads permitting high speeds. At high summer it smells like a slaughterhouse! When I rode around Lake Cayuga recently, all that was left of a deer was four legs splayed in four directions and a big splotch of grease in the middle.

    Great trip! Thanks.


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