Here's the route they took (courtesy Life360). Though I-75 might have been shorter, Bob wanted to avoid Atlanta at all cost.
The trip southward will begin in Cocoa Beach and on the fifth day of biking they'll be in Juno Beach. They'll then return to the starting point via a slightly different route.
I'll post this blog daily along with pictures as provided by Bob. So check back ...
Saturday, January 10:
Bob spent the day driving from Columbia, SC to Cocoa Beach, FL.
The starting point for the tour was the Comfort Inn at 3901 North Atlantic Avenue (A1A). Bob checked in and he and Larry ate at Outback Steakhouse, partway back across the causeway to the west.
Sunday, January 11:
Morning broke with light rain and fog. On the bright side, it was 65°.
The bike trip is about to begin
All that's left to do now is pedal
Larry (l) and Bob (r)
Bob says, "Along the route earlier. Raining. Ugh. 24 miles for the day. Biked to Port Canaveral and back."
What's an Exploration Tower? Click here to read more.
Where the group stopped and ate today
Bob said his lunch consisted of a "hurricane burger and chips". Everything you'd want to know about Grills can be found here.
"Dolphin and jellyfish art made from trash collected on the beach," Bob said.
GPS Tracking of route: 01/11/15
Monday, January 12:
8:56 am - Time to ride!
Today's ride allowed for a visit to Sam and Bonnie Owens. Sam's a lifelong friend and fellow Miamisburg High School graduate. Bonnie's brother, Lyle Gordan, and his wife, Shirley, own the condo. Here's a shot taken when Bob visited this morning.
They were there last evening, too, for a delicious dinner that Bonnie and Shirley fixed. "Chicken Picatta with peas and bread; strawberry ice cream for dessert," Bob said.
Bob (l) and Sam Owens
"There's a sizable bridge ahead," Bob said. Pedal on!
Along the way ... Sebastian Inlet State Park (above and below).
Bob checked in at 4:10 pm and said they were staying at the Sebastian United Methodist Church tonight. He sent some pictures of where they'll sleep.
Bob's sleeping bag (l) and Larry's - Ready for the night
GPS Tracking of route: 01/12/15
Today bike ride totaled 53.25 miles. "The last 15 miles were in rain," Bob said.
Tuesday, January 13:
Bob's apparently up and at it and sending some exterior shots of the church where they spent the night. It's very hospitable that a church offers space for bike riders to get some rest out of the weather. It was 68° when these shots were taken. There's just a 30% chance of showers for today's ride with a high of 77° expected.
Then Bob sent three pictures of a domesticated turtle. It's Janech's pet (she and her husband, Bob (Coach), are owner/operator's of Wandering Wheels)
Bob got in from today's ride just after 3 pm. A 33.5 mile day, he said. I saw the GPS linger on an "Jim Island" west of Ft. Pierce and Bob later explained it to me in an email: "We stopped and spent a couple of hours at Little Jim Bait & Tackle. Food and live music," Bob said.
"A bridge we crossed without much of a bike lane," Bob said.
"Mid-morning snack in Vero Beach."
Click here to go to Cravings webpage.
"I had a bacon, egg and cheese croissant and a bite of Larry's Danish," Bob said. "This wasn't too long after our breakfast before leaving the church ... oatmeal and coffee cake."
Little Jim Bait & Tackle ... "Lunch and live music," Bob said.
Tonight's accommodations are at the Northside Worship Center in Ft. Pierce.
Bob said, "Check this out. Trek bike with big tires. Good for sand and snow."
GPS Tracking of Route: 01/13/15
Wednesday, January 14:
Today's trek will be from Sebastian to Ft. Pierce ...
"On the road (Route 707) between Ft. Pierce and Stuart," Bob said.
Mary's Gourmet Kitchen
Breakfast time! For information on this restaurant, click here.
Bob loved the sign: "Never trust a skinny cook."
Bob describes this as "my eggshells breakfast".
... a sample of Mary's menu. The "eggshells' Bob had are described on this section of the menu.
Bob called this stop "our second feeding of the day".
Bridge near Jensen Beach (Route 732). Information on this Intracoastal Waterway Bridge may be found here.
Today's destination ... a Clarion Inn. Said Bob, "Ahhhh, a real bed and shower tonight."
Information on this Clarion Inn can be found here.
Ed (l) and Larry
Bob reached his destination about 1 pm. "In for the day," he said. "A short but good day. 27.25 miles. Good tailwind. Moved along at 18 - 20 mph."
But Bob's day wasn't quite done yet ...
"We went to Shrimper's Grill & Raw Bar for dinner. Fried crunchy grouper dinner with fries and clam chowder soup as well as some of Larry's wings and of course several desserts on the table that we all shared," Bob said.
"I'm definitely not losing any weight on this trip."
Information on Shrimper's can be found here.
GPS Tracking of Route: 01/14/15
Thursday, January 15:
Today: 32 miles to Juno Beach ...
Lunch stop at Scooters near Hobe Sound.
For information on Scooters, click here.
"Road on the way to Jupiter Island," Bob said.
"Banyan trees over the roadway."
"On Route 707. Beautiful homes and manicured trees and shrubs."
Lighthouse near Jupiter Outlet
"Our destination for the night in Juno Beach," Bob said. "Good ride. Great weather."
For information on the Oceanview United Methodist Church in Juno Beach, click here
"This corral-like structure is outside the church," Bob said. "Janech's turtle, Tonka, has a great area to roam. He's in this picture, far left of center."
"Thinking of you guys back home. Who's to say you can't make a snowman in Juno Beach?"
Walkway to the beach
"We're at our halfway point," Bob said. "We'll turn back north tomorrow. Back to Cocoa Beach sometime before noon on Monday."
"Larry's down for the count," Bob laughed. "Maybe I should check his pulse."
"Dinner tonight. Philly cheesesteak and fries along with a complimentary bowl of clam chowder since they forgot to turn in my order. And a vanilla ice cream sundae with the fixings," Bob said. "The service was not that great but the food was good."
For information on the Thirsty Turtle Sea Grille & Market click here.
GPS Tracking of Route: 01/15/15
Friday, January 16:
"It was raining pretty good this morning before we left Juno Beach in a cool breeze," said Bob. "The rain subsided before we rode out but we had a head-wind all day. A little over 30 miles for the day. The group is headed for an afternoon movie but Larry and I are staying behind to relax."
Here, then, is the day just completed:
"Picture from a draw bridge. I believe it was Jupiter Inlet."
Hobe Sound Beach
"Although it was pretty much the same route as yesterday, today we returned to Stuart through this State Park." Information on this park is available here.
"Lunch stop back in Stuart." Information on this eatery can be found here.
"Larry's partially-eaten lunch ... at least six slices of pork, green beans, red potatoes and two slices of bread. Mine was already devoured."
"This was our planned destination tonight. Instead we ended up getting an actual youth group house to stay in." Information on this church can be found here.
Two shots of the church, both day and night.
"The house we're staying at."
Supper? "We walked and walked," Bob said, "to only find a Wendy's. Chili and a small Frosty."
GPS Tracking of Route: 01/16/15
Saturday, January 17:
"As we were preparing to leave from Stuart this morning," Bob said.
Bob, Pat & Annie on the road (A1A)
Bob's shadow on the road
Archie's Seabreeze - Ft. Pierce - where Bob had lunch. For additional information, click here
"Our outside patio seating."
There was more than a little excitement while Bob and Larry sat on the patio. Read channel 5's (WPTV) story here. Initially Bob thought a cyclist was killed but that turned out not to be the case.
Next three photos are the ocean at Ft. Pierce ...
"Annie, our youngest rider at 17, is checking out the ocean. It looks rather cold!" Bob said.
Tonight's stop is the Vero Beach Howard Johnson's. Click here for information.
GPS Tracking of Route: 01/17/15
Sunday, January 18:
The ride northward continues ...
"Pictures from Merrill Barber Bridge - Vero Beach"
"Annie coming off the bridge. Larry's on the left."
"Previous pictures were when we were leaving Vero Beach on Sunday morning and heading to Melbourne. A 41 mile day.
"Bob (not me) and Pat coming off the same bridge, the Merrill Barber Bridge."
"Lunch along the road on Sunday. Had a fish nugget basket with baked beans. Yummy, great food and great service!" Bob said. Information on this restaurant can be found here.
"Inside the restaurant."
"Janech pulling up to join us for lunch."
"Melbourne causeway ahead - Route 192."
"Off side of roadway approaching causeway."
"Views from the top of the causeway."
"Sailboats. View from top of the causeway looking to the south."
"Our destination and lodging for Sunday night - First United Methodist Church, Melbourne."
Information on this church may be found here.
"The crew inside the church watching the playoff games. Ed's enjoying nachos and cheese dip from an empty plastic cookie container."
Back row (l-r): Larry and Ed
Front row (l-r): Jim, Bob, Bob (Coach), Janech, Pat, Tom, Annie
"Another picture from the opposite side. We moved a portable pew in for front row seating and a couple of chairs for the back row. Watching AFC and NFL playoff games."
GPS Tracking of Route: 01/18/15
Only 20 miles or so return for the return to Cocoa Beach. Then Bob will drive halfway home and complete his journey on Tuesday.
Monday, January 19:
"Leaving out from church in Melbourne and getting ready for the short ride (22.5 miles) returning to Cocoa Beach."
"308.25 miles total. GREAT TRIP. GREAT GROUP. A small group of just ten," Bob said. "Eight of those (excluding Larry and I) are returning for a second Florida bike ride in a week."
GPS Tracking of Route: 01/19/15
GPS tracking shows Bob left Melbourne at about 9 a.m. and arrived back in Cocoa Beach about 11:15 am. So the bike ride ends with the final 20-some miles.
The rest of Monday (01/19) and much of Tuesday (01/20) were spent in driving home.