Day 80 Coral Gables to Islamorada, FL 73 Miles (4453 total miles)

I really wish I could say that Gerty and I had a good day today but that would not be true.

Gerty had been kept by front desk at hotel. When I picked her up this morning, flat rear tire. I kid you not.

Kris had left hotel earlier. Told her not to worry, I’d be good. Had to wheel Gerty a half mile to bike shop. Fortunately it was close and opened at 9AM.

Explain my tire saga to guy in shop. He immediately tries to sell me a new tire. Told him I just did that 160 miles ago. “These are too thin for long distance rides”. I’m only going 150 miles. In my mind that’s a short distance.

He finally took a look and told me tape inside rim was not good. He had a “special” tape that would fix problem.

I wish I could explain how difficult it is to pedal a bike when you are certain you will be getting a flat any second. Add to that the fact that the first 25 miles were very urban and it was extremely stressful.

Stopped for lunch in Homestead. Last stop before 20 miles of nothing and then Key Largo. Kris had been washing my stinky clothes near there. Told her to go ahead to Keys. “I’ll be good”.

Guess what happened just before Key Largo. Yup. Flat rear tire. Heard the air coming out and pulled a small piece of metal from tire. At least I knew why this one happened. This would really be kind of funny if it was happening to someone else. Feel free to chuckle.

Called Kris and we hauled Gerty to shop in Key Largo. Told my saga…again. This guy said tape wasn’t wide enough and “special” tape last guy used was electrical tape!

I think the Keys are beautiful. At least that’s what people tell me. I was so focused on waiting for the next flat that I didn’t really notice.

Spent a couple hours drowning my sorrows at a little pub at end of day. Dorie heard my story and donated $40 to K9’s For Warriors. That was pretty special.

I also met a young man, Max, who had pedaled his bike from Key West to Anchorage, Alaska. We had a good, long talk. He’s got some really crazy adventures planned. Aah, to be 28 and fearless.

I have no clue what to expect tomorrow. Theoretically, with no flats, I’ll make Key West. I really just hope I can get close enough that if I have another flat I can bungee cord Gerty to my back and walk the rest of the way.

Instead of counting sheep, I’ll be counting flats tonight.

Ride on.

Just Pete

14 thoughts on “Day 80 Coral Gables to Islamorada, FL 73 Miles (4453 total miles)

  1. I am wondering if the flat tire gods are against you. So happy you are almost finished and I know you are too. Finish hard and then say thanks and I am glad to be done. You will have accomplished an amazing feat and we are so proud. Love you, Mom.

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  2. hi Jeff
    I think we need to make a donation for your next trip to Sundial Manor – which will be coming soon if you get another flat! Just kidding!!
    So sorry you’ve had such problems at the end of a great?? ride. You’re almost there; hang in there. with love,
    mary and bill

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  3. OMgoodness! It’s Groundhog’s Day! This just cannot be happening. There are just no words—feel so bad for you. You’ll make this goal and one day soon may be able to have a good laugh. The views really are beautiful. Bless Dorie for her help! You’re almost there, and we’re cheering from afar! What a feat! Ride on, be safe, and God’s Speed.

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  4. What did you do to piss off the biking gods. Your flat tire experience is the worst biking story I have ever heard and I have heard some wild things. The over under on you getting another flat tire before you get to Key West is 2. Think of all the incompetent bike shops you now know. don

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  5. Absolutely incredible perseverance!! You are an amazing individual!
    Good luck with that rear tire, and safe travels to Key West.

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  6. Unbelievable is all I can say! We’re all looking forward to you reaching your goal and getting you both back home. I think golf on Saturday sounds perfect ⛳️ . You’ll be able to start collecting all those Buds you’ve been “collecting” 🍺🍺🍺.

    Ride on 🚴 and then park!

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  7. Well, it seems like the biking-gods decided to test you on the final stages of your tour, and you’ve somehow powered through.
    Best of luck on your final leg(s), and enjoy your time off the road, until you inevitably pick up your next adventure.
    Proud of you, Pete!

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  8. Pete: you are almost there! You may have to call in the field goal kicker to win the game for you!! Play to the final whistle!
    Ride safe! 🧔🏼‍♂️👊💪🙏

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  9. Really unbelievable. Carrying Gertie is probably a good idea! So glad this is almost over for you! Advice for future endeavors, write a book about you experiences. It will certainly be a best seller! ❤️

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