I woke up to some soggy conditions. Bobby called me and suggested I take a bus to St. Petersburg and I reluctantly agreed. As we drove to the station, I started having mixed feeling about taking a bus. I really have no problem riding in the rain. That wasn’t the issue. The problem is riding in the rain on a road that is notorious for cycling accidents during inclement weather. I also would have felt I would be doing a disservice to the trip if I took a bus. So after much deliberation, I decided to bike the 80 miles to Jaimie’s house. The first couple hours weren’t so bad. There was a beguiling formation in the clouds, but that quickly dispersed and transformed into a menacing overcast. Then the rain fell. Fell hard. I have no problem riding in the rain, but I have problems with other people driving in the rain. So I cautiously rode down the road with my thumb sticking out, hoping someone would stop and pick me up. No luck in that department. All I could think about was the day before when some guy stopped me and asked me if I wanted a ride to St. Petersburg. I politely declined, because I am a fool. Plus if I accepted, I would have been able to spend time with Bobby. Although, during my ride in the cold rain, I felt like a fool. But as it always does, the rain passed, the sun came out, and I never stopped cycling.
I didn’t stop until I reached Gulfport. I didn’t stop until I saw my sister. I didn’t stop until I hugged my sister. After 8 months we finally had a chance to hang out and remember how much we love to hate each other. Seeing Jaimie was pretty rad too.
What can I say, most of the weekend was spent catching up, reminiscing about memories at RHS, and drinking well beyond the point of acceptable. I danced with some cougars, had my first beergarita, and played some fun oversized board games.
Seeing my sister was amazing. It was a nice preamble to what lies ahead when I see the rest of my family. I don’t really know what else to write here. Gulfport could have easily been like any other beach town I’ve ridden through and I was. But spending time with friends and family made it the most rewarding yet.
Total Ascent: 962 ft.