Not long ago the Island King and I were on a photo shoot and
while he was taking pictures I chatted with our client.
At one point he mentioned riding his bike from California to Destin.
He was an avid bike rider and when he was 18 he “decided to
put as many miles as he could under his tires” and he headed for Florida.
He spent the summer here and then rode his bike back to California again.
It took him 8 weeks each way.
He said he slept on the ground a lot and then commented on
how kind people along the way were, many offering him a place to sleep. He says
he got so used to sleeping outdoors that when he did take someone up on their
hospitality he’d sleep on their porch instead of inside.
I thought it was interesting that he said before he started
riding he used to walk and that people are a lot less hospitable to walkers
than to bike riders. He believes that when people see you traveling on a bike,
you have a purpose. When they see you on foot you’re just wandering.
As we were talking, the conversation shifted to hurricanes
and he tells me that in 1992 he was living in Hawaii and rode out Hurricane Iniki with a
buddy in a house on the side of a mountain.
He’s a great story teller and it wasn’t long before I was
with him in that rickety old house as the windows blew out and the roof went
He and his buddy shifted gears from save the house to screw
the house, save ourselves real fast.
He said that from where the house was he had a clear view of
a waterfall running down the side of the mountain and that during the storm the
wind was actually blowing the water back UP the mountain.
After the storm they were left standing in a pile of rubble,
next to a bunch of horses who’d lost their barn.
His stories were amazing and I really enjoyed talking with
him but I came home thinking that I need to add more adventure to my life.
There is no way in hell I’m riding farther than a mile or
two from my house on a bike so we can rule out cross country travel by bicycle.
I evacuated to a ratty motel on the side of the interstate
during Hurricane Ivan and that turned out to be a BIG mistake.
Ivan was still a Cat 1 when it passed directly over us. The
building shaking and the sound of giant gas station signs and billboards being
ripped apart traumatized me forever.
So I won’t be participating in any wild hurricane events.
Maybe I’ll go shark fishing in a kayak, or take an overnight
hike through Tate’s Hell