Welcome to Florida! We've only got a couple more months to get in our biking miles. We just got to Florida a couple days ago, but we've got to start our biking now!
The more observant might notice that Ian has got a new green bike. His previous Guardian bike just wasn't working out so well. After riding it a few times, he asked if for his birthday he could have his old bike back. That's not so good.
He does need a new bike, but the Guardian Airos (23 lbs) was just a little too heavy for the kind of riding we do. I do have to say though, Guardian is a great company with an amazing return policy. Basically, they don't want you to send the bike back to them. They just request that you donate it to someone who would need it. Do that, send them a photo, and they'll give you a full refund. Amazing.
Instead, Ian is moving up from the Woom 4 (17.9 lbs) to the Woom 5 (20.3 lbs). Let's hope that will be a little better for our long rides.
Theresa's research found a great trail just 15 minutes from our campground.
The temperature here in Florida is a bit warmer than we're used to. 84F and humid! And in the sunshine it can get hot!
Alli said that she wants to try riding a horse! That might be something we attempt in the future.
Here's our trail! It's supposed to be flat and shaded. A few bugs, but hopefully we'll be riding so fast they can't catch us.
And the reviews were true! It was very flat and quite shaded. I wasn't sure how long we'd be going, but we brought enough water to go as long as the kids were able. We love being out amongst nature, with the sunshine and trees.
Speaking of trees, there were some very interesting coincidences on the ride today.
For the past few months, at night, instead of watching TV, we think up questions and watch YouTube videos. One of our favorite content creators is Mark Rober. He mades crazy squirrel obstacle courses, glitter bombs for package thieves, and so many other cool things.
Two days ago we watched his 2019 video teaming up with MrBeast where they make a goal to plant 20 million trees.
By donating just $1, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant 1 tree. The kids loved the idea and were inspired to donate also. Ian asked if he could donate 10 trees, and Alli wanted to donate 8 trees. Both of them got to write a message to go along with their donation. It was a really cool video to watch and a great way to get them thinking beyond their small world.
On other thing that we noticed was that a lot of these trees have been burned.
Right after watching Mark Rober's video, we saw a link to another one of our favorite YouTuber's to watch. Destin from the channel SmarterEveryDay, is also participating in the #teamtrees movement, and in his video he goes into detail to talk about the Long Leaf Pine tree, the importance of it to the forest ecosystem, and the conservation efforts to bring it back. The Long Leaf Pine relies on forest fires to clear the brush of the forest floor. I wonder if those black tree trunks are a result of a fire for that.
A short time later we ran across this sign, and sure enough, these black marks are a result of a controlled forest fire.
The fire thins the underbrush, benefitting plants and animals. In Destin's video above, they focused on the Gopher Tortoise, because they are a keystone species, digging burrows that provide shelter for over 360 other animal species.
And on our ride, we happened to see them along the pathway! Once Alli saw one, her goal was to see five for the day!
We stopped at a picnic table for snacks and water. The breaks are always welcome.
Back on the road, sure enough, the number we saw was 5!
Ian thought he saw a woodpecker. I'm not sure about that, but there's definitely a bird's nest up there.
Stopping by the truck to reload on water. The kids took advantage of the Air Conditioning, putting their faces right in front of the vents. Both of them were feeling pretty good and both wanted to make sure we beat our old biking record. Do we break it by a little bit, or do we go big?
We go big! This was a great bike trail! Not too crowded, wide pathways, shade most of the time. We're riding right by the Florida Horse Park. There's so many interesting things to pursue while we're in Florida!
When we crossed 26.2 miles, Ian started singing "We are the Champions" again.
And by the time we got back to the truck, we had a new biking record under our belts.
30.3 miles! Nice work kids! You guys are rockstars!
And after putting in all those miles, they wanted to celebrate with a trip to McDonalds. I think we can do that.
Ian - If we do 40 miles, can we do Taco Bell?