FL in FL: Wednesday

Wednesday

Braving the American road systems (they drive on the wrong side of the road someone needs to tell them before there’s an accident!) we zoomed to the quite frankly ginormous parking lot in the not-so-minivan. Outside Cabo’s Tacos I finally got to meet the man/legend Bigworm and we headed inside for some damn good Mexican grub. John brought his lovely wife Jennifer along who got on with my lovely wife like a house on fire the talk flowing from topic to topic randomly jumping subjects as we chowed away. The plan for the day was to have lunch and drive out to the trailhead. We’d stick together on the fireroads John leading me astray on the technical stuff whilst Terry kept Sarah company. Terry and John laid on the guilt thickly to try and tempt Bigworm to join us but responsibilities won over his conscience for the day. Food devoured we headed out for the trail and arrived in little to no time. Certainly not time for a damn fine burrito to settle.

Jennifer took a shot of the group ready to depart and crossing the railway tracks we were pedalling and away. John it would seem is something of a dark horse and after hearing it from a few others he confirmed he was the man responsible for the trail we were heading out on. Straight out we were into sandy singletrack snaking our way through the woods the shade keeping the heat from our backs. For a good long while we rode as a posse chatting the afternoon away but soon John would have opportunity to show me the good stuff and hurt me good. Leaving Sarah and Terry to it we pulled off the trail and headed on to Tom Brown.

Tom Brown. How do you describe Tom Brown? Well it’s a little like this:

The most tight, twisty, rooty, roller coaster barely handlebar width singletrack you’ve ridden. I was on the pedals whole time of the loop chasing John him rolling twisting and pedalling with the ease and confidence of a local showing up the tourist. The trail snaked this way and that each turn merging into the next, defying my descriptions. Cresting another short rise the lip hid another trail delight, fear pulled the brake levers long before conscious thought joined in. Spanning a micro valley a large fallen tree had been turned into a bridge for the skilled, this time that didn’t include me.

Not too much later we caught up again with Terry and my better half grabbing shelter from the quite quite hot midday sun. We headed out the merry foursome together again for a few lengths of fireroad more before I John and I peeled off for Cadillac. More of the same rooty twisty sandy joy awaited and as we passed the burnt out wrecks of what I’m told weren’t actually Cadillacs I had a very sudden and brilliant realisation: I’m riding my ownbike in a different country blasting across dust just as trails at home were starting the inevitable slide to winter gloop. It made me grin. A lot. Once more we regrouped with the intrepid two and Terry and John swapped roles. Astride a narrow strip of raised ground the levies Sarah was snapping away and as she pointed the soul stealer here and there John pointed out a gator in the water.

As we headed out on further trails John shepherded Mrs Fat Lad back to the trailhead. Crossing deserted rail tracks we headed out amongst more twisting and turning trails climbing away from my partner and new friend. Before long I had to soften the stiff upper lip and admit defeat as the heat started to really takes it’s toll on a chunky body not used to such warm temperatures. Heading back we descended a grass path and as the crickets swarmed into the sky out of our rolling knobblies I still couldn’t quite grasp the fantastic feeling of riding in somewhere only read about in jealousy with any real sense of reality.

However joyful the trails they always have to end and after riding a lot of the early stuff backwards the grin factor was still at 11 even in reverse. Chatting away between gasps of air (mine that is) we wound our way back to the start crossing paths with Sarah and John with the cars in sight. The returning pedallers should have been back long before us so I was a little puzzled to see them roll up parallel to us. It turned out that the light of my life had sailed over the bars tumbling to the ground while bashing her shins badly. All back at the car John shot away back to the day job whilst Terry, Sarah and I headed out to Higher Ground to support the local economy track endorphins sadly already ebbing away.

Sarah let out the news it was my birthday this day and Terry, Chris, Michelle, Sarah and I headed out to Koolbeans for good food and beer. A day for firsts continued as I had alligator tail as a starter (like really chewy chicken, little bit gamey). We headed out for beers afterwards and plans for the next days riding were formed over booze and laughter….

Fat Lad

4 Comments

  1. Posted November 7, 2008 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    This is all making me feel so much worse that I had nothing to do with your time in Florida.
    Come back soon, please, Mr. and Mrs. Lad.

  2. Posted November 7, 2008 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Dang, I forgot about the gator tail! That was some good stuff. Get on a plane and get yer limey ass back here!

  3. Posted November 10, 2008 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    And you know, Kool Beanz is my favorite restaurant in Tallahassee. I even posted a blog about it once.You were steered right for your birthday celebration.
    http://blessourhearts.blogspot.com/2007/07/kool-beanz-open-for-business.html

  4. Posted November 11, 2008 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Aaaargh! This is killing me.

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