How to Really Do Spring Break... a Mystery Bike Tour
March 11, 2016
Here's a story that's chock full of "life firsts" for me. It's about the only Spring Break I ever went on. I hope a lot of other people can have just as good of getaways. It's not a how-to but there are hints in there. Some might say a few cautions, too. It's not rocket science and doesn't have to cost much. First rule: get off the rez. See what ya think...
On one of my first bike tours, as a soph or jr I ride-shared from MSU down to Florida with David Stanley who I'd never met before. (Nice guy.) I got dropped off near Tallahassee to meet up with a group of OSU students on their bike tour. I just started riding. Then I realized I had no idea where they were! (What a teenager!) I kept riding. A couple hours later I saw a biker. It was one of them! I only had one friend in the group and she didn't even know if I was going to show up. And she didn't know where they'd be! Note: "near Tallahassee" is not much to go on.
I had no permission to join their group. But I was carrying all my own gear so I didn't need food or a sag and thought "I can ride with whoever I like." But the leaders thought it was cool enough and let me join in.
So we all rode south and in a day or so I was walking on my first saltwater beach in my life. It was a warm evening. A storm was rolling in. There was big phosphorescence lighting up the surf. I had never seen that before, either. I was blown away. Like I was in the presence of a UFO. I was running back and forth from beach to campground trying to get someone to explain what was happening.
Then I took a walk along the beach. I was wearing a Walkman and the song linked here (at the bottom) came on. ...And then a frickin DOLPHIN started jumping in the surf! Whoa...that was intense. Had never seen one before! Scared me. I thought it was a shark at first. It was massive synchronicity.
Then I went to have dinner. We made a bonfire on the beach and cooked up fresh-caught seafood fisherman's stew that the leaders had bought at the docks. Another first! I'd never had real seafood. Some people didn't want their servings. So I was in hog heaven. ...And we had *white wine*. (I can almost remember the brand. There was only one decent one available back then! Funny bottle shape, I think.) I'd never had that, either! It went well with the food, to say the least.
Then I took a shower in the campground in the 4-up open-air stalls. The storm hit. Lightning and showering at the same time. I didn't care. It was cool. Girls in the other stalls. Another first. Co-ed! It was an arrangement I approved of.
We were all having a good time. We had a nice bike tour for a few more days. I spent about $80 on my spring break.
After the tour I rode up to Tallahassee and found Dave to get my ride back home. He was a bike racer. I'd heard about those guys but had never met a real one before. His spring break was the Walden Wolverine's Training Camp. They were riding 100 mi's/day. Boggling. I showed up at their motel. There were like 8 bike racers staying in one room. Weird clothes were hung everywhere. There were pots of spaghetti. And dudes were laying around with their legs in the air! Another first! I'd never seen bike racers before! They told me how they were going to make a ton of money that summer racing. Some of them had sponsorships for thousands$! They had SWEET bikes! One was a Zebrakenko.
Then there was going to be a race the next day in a city park. So I went and did another first: saw a real bike race! The sound the pack made as it whooshed past was awesome. I was impressed!
Then we drove home, with Dave singing and playing blues guitar with his feet propped out the window of the Citation. Another thing I'd never heard anyone do before, but it sounded good to me!
...So that was a nice spring break.