day 45

after leaving my warmshower a little later than i wanted, i checked to see if the bike shop i was going to stop at was near. yes they were, but they didn’t open for a few more hours. no problem. i don’t want to backtrack to see them, so i decided to find another. there was a few along the route, but i found one that was closer to where i was riding. i stopped into the innerworkings office to write my post before i left(since i didn’t do it at night as i normally do) and to thank them for being amazing and showing me some hospitality with dinner, drinks and great company. we seriously had a fun time and i’m glad i stopped. while writing the post, cindy asked if i wanted some breakfast casserole(like quiche), yes i do. crystal brought me a cup of orange juice, yes please. i was greeted by sarah’s beautiful dog and we had a chance to talk for a moment while i fixed her computer issue. the post was up and i had to get on the road. thanks again to the entire innerworkings clearwater office for everything that you do for others and what you did for me. i can’t wait to see you guys again. also, if my chicago office is reading this, let’s get rid of the coca cola and get some orange juice. it will brighten everyone’s day.

before i start writing about the day i would like to remind everyone that i am not only doing this ride for my own personal goal, but also to raise money for the livestrong foundation, that will be donated to cancer research. my family has had a strong history with cancer and there’s a good chance that someone you know has had their life affected as well. we can help support cancer research and donate money to this cause so that it may become more treatable or hopefully in our lifetime completely curable. my donation site is

i an see that i am currently averaging 1400-1500 visitors per day and thought i am writing this for everyone to read, please donate if you can.

i rode across old tampa bay on the courtney campbell causeway trail. it was pretty beautiful. there were a few beaches along the way, but i wanted to stop at the bike shop and get my miles done. i don’t really care for riding in cities because you can’t get good speed like you do on the country roads or paths, so i wanted to do what i needed in tampa and get out quick, hopefully before rush hour.

the bike shop that i wanted to stop in was cycle sport concepts – tampa( it was on my route and i was hoping they were understanding of my cracked rim so that i could get the warranty replacement done. my warmshower had recommended a local shop that she said had really good deals on stuff, but i had to stop at an authorized specialized dealer so that we could deal with this. there shop is perfect. they had a nice open workshop area so that you could see what the mechanics were doing, a nice fitting room, tons of beautiful bikes, and friendly staff. i talked with rudy for a moment while explaining my situation, he introduced me to frank. so, my bike is 99 of 100 in the world and it’s the kind of thing that bike guys like to see. they want to know how it’s held up and quite a bit of the time, they may never see one before or after. it’s a unicorn. we talked about the bike, my trip and my experiences. the rim was the biggest issue that i’ve had with elsie, pedals were second. the pedals didn’t come with the bike though. the rim shouldn’t have cracked either, but you never really know what can happen after riding 3800 miles in 44 days. the original tear that was next to a spoke had gotten a little larger and two or three more had opened up in the same fashion. once one goes, the others get more stress and then they’ll begin to have similar issues. if i had tried to ride it the rest of the way, there’s a good chance the entire wheel would have just split completely. it wasn’t an issue with specialized or the way i had rode it, these things just happen. my specialized awolxpoler is a great bike and i’m glad that i had it for this trip. when i had explained everything to frank, he said no problem. he’d swap it and warranty the rim for me. that’s great service from an awesome shop. he had the specialized awol model, which is almost the same as the awolxpoler and the rim would fit and match everything perfect. seriously guys, if you have a chance to ride the specialized awol bike, do it. i love the flat black paint they use on it, but i’ve already got a black bike and i needed a little more color in my bike selections. if you’re in tampa or touring through or just need a jersey, water bottle or just about anything, the guys at cycle sport concepts will make sure you get what you’re looking for and give you a great bike shop experience. thanks again guys, you made the last leg of my trip more comfortable and less worry. this is one of the reasons i went with such a nice bike, because it’s fairly common to find a specialized dealer that can warranty a part if needed. cheers again to them and specialized for dealing in good service and quality.

after leaving with the biggest smile on my face, i had to get to the marbel skateboard factory. i had forgotten that they moved and i didn’t have the updated address so i had stopped by the old location not realizing my error. i emailed and called and got a call back from them with the new address, but i had already covered a few miles and didn’t want to backtrack. i had hoped to see them and check out the carbon fiber presses, lathes, all the fun stuff, and they really wanted me to come, but i was too far away. misti gave me a progress update on everything that has happened and told me my board was ready to go whenever i request it. i told her to ship it out next week so it arrives at work when i return.

another few miles later, i ended up getting a flat tire. no big deal, but my tires are starting to get them more frequently from riding so much for so long with all the extra weight. the tires are still holding up, but you can see the wear on them.

with my fun time at the office, the replacement rim, stopping by marbel, getting a flat and riding into the wind most of the day, i was only able to get about 70 miles in. i had hoped for more, but i’ve got time. i can make it up or take my time tomorrow too. i’ve got to get to key west on tuesday, so i really have a few days that i can relax. i’m not going do that until i get to the keys though, i’d rather relax on beaches along the way than sit at a gas station and drink coffee. tomorrow on my itinerary it says i should be finished, but i have these five days that i was aloud to relax and i’ve used them fairly wise, only doing short miles rather than relax the whole day(aside from my rain day in yellowstone). there’s only about 400 miles left on this great adventure. day 45 done.




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