Day 62 Pensacola to Bit It, FL 6 miles (3703 total miles)

I was just telling someone that I had had no spills. Jinx!!

I bit it today about half hour in. I’m just hurt. Nothing broken. Gerty is injured, however. Something broken.

Getting ready to cross 3-mile bridge from Pensacola to Gulf Breeze. Had been cruising on a sidewalk. No problem. Sidewalk closed for construction so I had to move to the road.

Narrow shoulder. Basically white line, 6 inches of pavement and concrete curb and gutter. It was tight but not worse than other stretches I’ve been on.

At one point the concrete was about 3” above pavement (noticed after the fact). My front wheel must have grazed/struck it just perfectly because next thing I knew we were down. No trying to save it.

I got to my feet pretty quickly I think. Was between curb and sidewalk. I was dazed but realized I could walk and there was no blood.

Walked in circles for a couple minutes while inventorying body parts. Knee was sore. I was feeling lucky. Then I saw Gerty laying on side of road.

First thing I noticed was her handlebars. I can fix that. Can I still make 85 more miles to Panama City? Knee is sore but I probably can.

Then I noticed the right shifter and brake were gone. Found the piece along the roadway.

I was still in a bit of shock but I thought I could just slide that back on. Not!!! All sorts of plastic pieces inside broken.

About this time a construction worker was over checking on me. He thought a car had hit me. I shakily told him I was OK but I needed a bike shop.

He told me there was one about a mile away. Great. Hoping he’d offer a ride in his pick-up 5 feet away…at least he helped a bit.

Now I have 0 rear brakes, stuck in highest gear, feeling like I just spent 30 seconds in a cage with Logan Storley…and I have to pedal a mile?

Ended up being 2 miles to second bike shop.

I have forensically dissected the crash many times today. To the best of my knowledge:

I grazed the 3” concrete with my front wheel enough for Gerty and I to fall right. Hard and quickly. My helmet struck the curb.

This is why you wear helmets, kids.

My right shoulder skimmed the curb and I skidded to a halt on my left forearm/shoulder. Very fortunate to not be seriously injured.

Gerty needs a new shifter/brake. It’s on order but won’t be here until Tuesday at the earliest.

I am spending a couple nights at the home of Ben and Trichelle Petermann. Trichelle is Carlton Hupke’s (HS football coach) daughter. It’s a long story.

I won’t be making any progress for a few days. Probably be a bit sore tomorrow but I’m still gonna…

Ride on.

Just Pete

23 thoughts on “Day 62 Pensacola to Bit It, FL 6 miles (3703 total miles)

  1. OMG. Biking can be so dangerous and fortunately you survived a bad spill. Hoping you have a quick recovery and Gerty recovers equally well. Tom

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  2. Hang in and take a breather Get you and Gerty back to 100%. Now you can let Fred go by then ride on on Wednesday

    Cookie

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  3. OMGosh, I am so happy you are okay and that Gertie can be fixed. I am most curious how you knew Trichelle lives there and how kind of them to take you in. Please stay until you feel rested and healed. We will call you sometime tomorrow. Love you, Mom.birth

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  4. Wow, so glad you are okay. Sometimes something happens to prevent something worse from happening. ✝️ BTW, I had a similar type of fall some years ago between Plantation and Starbucks, but on a whole lesser scale…had to do with a sidewalk and a man and his dog…🤷‍♀️Enjoy your few days of rest…hope you’re too sore over the next couple of days.

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  5. Wow, I guess I wasn’t praying enough for you! Tough to keep your concentration all the time for sure to see obstacles. At least you are in a good area to recover, hit the beach and enjoy.

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  6. Pete, OMG thank God for helmets!! Close call, glad you are OK and now resting a few days while Gerty is getting herself back together. Cheers!

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  7. Sorry to learn about your spill and glad to learn you are not seriously inquired. It is amazing and a testament of your riding skills that given the roads you have been on that this is your first spill. Sounds like you got lucky to be near a bike shop that can repair Gert. Hopefully the rest of your journey will be uneventful. 10 point penalty on the FDOT and one case of cold Bud awarded to the rider upon finishing the ride.

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    1. I am very grateful you were not seriously injured. Take the time to recoup physically and mentally. Sure you are in much need of both. Thoughts with you and Gerty. Bless you on the final phase of your journey.

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  8. Whew! Glad to hear you are ok and Gerry can be patched up. At least St Pete is a beautiful place to stop.
    Hope the shoulders aren’t too sore- key body equipment for the remainder of your cycling adventure.
    Keep on!
    Megan

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  9. Oh, Jeff, I am so sorry! Very happy for no broken bones. Gerty’s injuries make me want to cry. But she can be fixed, and you’ll be able to ride again. I taught with Carlton and Patsy. So glad Trichelle can help you. Take time out, heal well, tend to Gerty, and you will go on—it’s who you are! Feeling helpless, but wanting success for you and Gerty. God’s Speed.

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  10. Sorry about your fall. So glad you weren’t seriously injured. Hopefully this will be the first and last on your long interesting ride. New parts for Gerty and new helmet for you. Ride on! Hopefully by Wednesday..

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  11. Glad you are okay Pete. Hopefully, Gerty isn’t too upset with you. Make sure both of you are fully mended before Riding On!

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  12. We have been reading your blog since we met you in TR Nat’l Park, rooting for you, while you amaze us with your tenacity and your own brand of humor. We are sorry you crashed, but we’re relieved you were not seriously injured and didn’t shred the neon jersey. And no Road Rash? Rest well, sit out the storm, and get ready for the final leg of your incredible journey!

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  13. Pete,

    Happy you were just shook not broken. I know the bridge from a bike standpoint. Can be tricky with no construction. It’s probably going to rain mostly for the next couple of days anyway. So, enjoy the rest.

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  14. Pete, sorry about the crash, but glad it was not worse for you. Tough break for Gerty. Hope the bike shop gets her right again. Make the best of the unscheduled rest, and see you soon.
    Gerry

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  15. Hi Pete, You don’t know me but I’m a friend of your cousin, Mary Varon, in San Diego. She put me on to your adventure and I’ve been avidly following your trip. I’m sorry this happened to you and glad you got out ok. The same phenomenon has happened to me. Threw me down, wrenched my handle bar, but only skinned up my brake lever. It is so damn fast. You don’t mention traffic which was my other problem, plus being in clips-on that are hard as hell to release when you’re down. Hang in there, enjoy the rest, and “ride on.” Harry in SD

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  16. Sorry to hear and happy you’re OK. Take a few days rest to fully recover. Gerty will get fixed and then you are ready for the final stages.

    Berty & Victor

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