Five friends recently bicycled 275 miles from Naples, Fla. To Key West, ending at the southernmost point in the U.S., and one is forming a cycling club here.
Mo Rivenbark of Clarkton, Steve Garner of Winston-Salem, Ken Riddick of Morganton, N.C., and Leroy Bickel and Rick Schumacher of Burlington, Iowa accomplished the ride in four days.
Riding along the Tamiami Trail through
the Florida Everglades, they saw much wildlife new to them, from alligators, to birds of many species, turtles and snakes. Cruising at 20 mph with no windows, they enjoyed the beauty of the many species of trees, plants and flowers, including wild orchids.
As they biked deep into the Everglades, they learned the value of, and the problems with, preserving this giant, delicate eco-system.
As they rode from Florida City into the Keys, they enjoyed the spectacular, breath-taking views. With the Atlantic Ocean on their left, and the Gulf of Mexico on their right, they crossed 43 bridges before arriving in Key West.
Their last night, spent on Conch Key, was a major rest stop before tackling the 63-mile ride to the end of U.S. Route 1.
They especially enjoyed riding over the Seven-Mile Bridge, an experience that they described as exciting and riveting.
“What a rush to do this on a bicycle,” Rivenbark and the others said.
All of the riders belong to local bicycle clubs, and Rivenbark is trying to start a club for Columbus, Bladen and Robeson riders. Any cyclist interested in group rides may join, and regardless of ability. Contact Rivenbark at (910)234-0158 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Eddie Madden at (910)876-0137 or email@example.com.
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