While the northern part of Planet Georgia is starting to slip (with a sigh of relief) into fall, it’s still summer in points south. This became apparent as I got through Atlanta (contending with stadium traffic, at least the Falcons won), and I spent a few hours trying to direct some of the breeze into the car to cool things off. Afternoon wore on to evening, and the sun finally got low enough that trees along the side of the road provided some shade. Clouds and even a little rain cooled things off further.
The trip from FAR Manor to my mom’s place takes 8-9 hours when I’m by myself, or 10 with passengers (or more if there’s holiday traffic). I don’t drive any faster, it’s just that we make more stops. On my own, I stop twice: once at a rest area, once for a combined gas & food break. My mountain bike rode on the back, where it put up enough wind resistance to affect the gas mileage. It’s a boring drive, and I won’t dwell on it further.
One thing about September here is that the evening sun lines up almost perfectly with the east-west roads... so if you’re heading west, you need good sunglasses. But again, the clouds came to the rescue, and I got in without any trouble.
This morning, I decided to give both myself and the mountain bike a good workout. I rode up to Sand Key Park, about a 15-mile round trip, and waded into the Gulf. It’s still pretty warm, but not the warmest I’ve ever seen (that would be Biloxi, MS, in 1980). Gulf Blvd. has bike lanes on both sides of the road (mostly), and is flat compared to Planet Georgia, where level roads are the exception. But had I been thinking, I would have ridden south instead of north: a tailwind going out means a headwind coming back. I also didn’t think to bring water, which meant I spent $2 for a bottle of Gatorade at the park’s vending machines. Pricey to be sure; but I figured $1 for the fluid and $1 for the bottle, and refilled it from the drinking fountain. Shake it up to get the chlorine to fizz out, and it was fine. I also soaked my shirt in the shower thing as two-wheeled air conditioning before riding back.
I was pretty ripe by the time I got back; into the shower I went while Mom fixed a sandwich for lunch. And that’s been my day so far. At least I can slack on the exercise the rest of the day and tomorrow with a clear conscience.