I claim dis land for Spain!

I claim dis land for Spain!

It was Vasco Núñez de Balboa who sloshed down into the Pacific Ocean in his travel-worn boots, gazing upon this unseen ocean.

I know the feeling now.

Heard that the Cady Way bridge over Red Bug Road had been completed. I’d gotten all the way there a couple of times, looking at that living sea of asphalt, wondering what lay beyond. Now that it was up, now that I had an open day, I decided to go see it.


My bike was all sandy from the ride home Friday night (commuting in the driving rain). I took a toothbrush and cleaned all the sand from the various moving bits. It was still weathered, but i took that as a symbol of pride over the garage-clean cycles I’d be passing all day.

Rode pretty hard – passes a lot of families and husband-and-wife pairs. I didn’t get passed, but then again, I saw road bikes going like the wind the other way and had no doubt they’d blow a 54 year-old man on a touring bike into the ditch if they overtook me.

Saw a poor guy with a road bike harnessed to a baby trailer. His wife was on a K-mart bike. Your life is over, Jack.

The bridge over Red Bug is a horribly constructed mess. Everyplace there are supports, the ramp levels. Think about that – the grade should be constant, not climb-flat-climb-flat. Going up was annoying. Going down at high speed was painful – bang-bang-bang. A real nut-buster.

There is a big road just west of Oviedo, and the trail has no curb cuts. You need to roll north a bit, drop into the highway (no markings), shelter in the shared-left-turn lane, then press across and sidewalk ride back to the trail. I think the Cross Seminal Trail is just north of there. Great. Like this wasn’t far enough.

Anyway, after all that, I came out at the trail head just south of downtown Oviedo on 434. Took off my helmet and gloves and squeezed out the head band. Left the bike and walked out onto the shoulder of 434 just so I could say I’d done it (I claim dis land…).

On the ride back, had a bad cramp in my left hip. Thought I’d have to stop, but managed to stretch the leg out while coasting and pull it out.

Stopped just short of the 434 bridge and sat on a shaded bench at the side of the trail, drinking most of my water, feeling the breeze, enjoying the solitude.

Got home and relaxed.

And now I just ran the google distance calculator – Thirteen miles. Thirteen miles! That’s it? It felt like a hundred. Sure, it’s a twenty-six mile round trip, but still. Thirteen?

So, I guess no statue, right?