Charley’s Ride Across America 3.

Hello friends and family,

Five days of riding behind me so far. Stats are:

Day 1 Jan 28     37 miles 4.5 hours, stay in Palatka

Day 2 Jan 29     60 miles 6 hours, hot and sunny, but shaded on trails, Stay in Gainesville

Day 3 Jan 30  51 miles 5.25 hours really hot and sunny, Stay in Lake City

Day 4 Jan 31  63 miles 6.5 hours hot, sunny, rolling hills, Stay in So Madison

Day 5 Feb 1 62 miles 7 hrs, 40 mins to fix a flat, stay in Tallahassee 

Running total 273

My distances are good, but I’m getting more tired each day. I’m planning a short ride or rest day tomorrow to recover. The heat and sun are beautiful, but hard for this northern boy to exercise hard in.

You may have wondered about my accommodations . I feel really privileged to be able to afford to stay in hotels every night so far. All we had to do was sell our house and commercial building and it seems affordable. I guess we all make choices. I do recognize how lucky I am to be in this position: so far with good health, youthful vigor ( thought I would see if you are listening😁) a couple of bucks in the bank, and minimal obligations. I get to think about this a lot as I ride and I realize how great I have it.

I also realize more than ever how in a moment it could all be gone. A friend that many of you knew, Stan Cummings, was riding his bike home when he was hit by a vehicle and killed. Maybe the vehicles going by my only a few feet away at seventy miles per hour all day ( today ) makes me think more about this. Also, put me on a bike seat for seven hours to think about important things.

My studying Stoicism I see no point in worrying about what I cannot change. Yes, I can ride carefully, but if someone is driving and veers into me, I have no control over it and won’t worry about it, but just enjoy this freedom and challenge.

So far, since I am babying myself in motels ( two star motels for me), I can easily get into a daily routine.

Here’s mine so far:

  • get up without alarm avg sleep is 9 hours
  • Wim Hof breathing exercise and body warm up and core exercises
  • Coffee, reading, studying ( Stoicism)
  • Breakfast- big
  • Ice, electrolytes. Water full- start with over 3 liters
  • Grease up shorts with Butt Butter
  • Dress for heat, shorts, shirt, neck gaiter, ice cold shirt ( wet from washing the night before, if the coffee didn’t work to wake me up, this sure does)
  • Suntan lotion
  • Pack bike panniers, check out bike
  • Go
  • Ride 5-7 hours, find shady spots to rest every couple of hours for 15-20 mins
  • Pay attention to pulse rate. Because of my glaucoma drugs, my heart rate sometimes gets too low or too high, so I monitor it with my wristwatch.Also, I find if I keep my pulse rate below 120 bpm then I don’t deplete all the glycogen in my muscles, burn more fat, and can go farther and recover faster. Remember, I have a bachelor of SCIENCE degree ( even if is with an accounting major)
  • Eat only gorp and energy bars while riding
  • Get hot, sweaty, tired, hungry. Stay happy 😁
  • Check in hotel, bike in room with me
  • Take a very Long cold shower, wash clothes in sink
  • Unpack bike minimally. Often used items stay on top
  • Check out physical self for chafing, sore areas
  • Check next couple of days weather forecast
  • Plan next day ride 50-60 with hotel at end for now
  • Make reservations at 2 star hotel, read reviews in case they are horrible, rates are typically $70-80 incl tax
  • Update email info and mileage and costs
  • Find a place to eat, go eat: A Lot.
  • Read or watch a video
  • Keep hydrating, tea and water
  • Lights out 930-10 pm

Today I had an added bonus to my schedule- a flat tire. There was no shade around, so I was in the hot sun, helped by the gnats that show up when stopped, and was able to keep smiling the entire time. See Privilege above.

Life is good on the road. I sure enjoy your feedback. Keep it coming.

Lots of love to you all,


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