Friday, Nov 18th.

I FINALLY learned my lesson. No flights before dawn. So left DFW at 1:15pm friday afternoon and flew into Tampa. But it was not a good day. On the way to the airport I dispatched a squirrel to Squirrel Heaven. Shelley says it's God's way of weeding out the stupid ones.

So me and Christine fly into Tampa and get picked up by Mike & Cheryl at the airport. That evening we head over to Bill Jackson's. A big sportings good shop w/ scuba and skate and other sport stuff. In the back room they had tables and desks for the spaghetti dinner. Those desks reminded me of being in detention.
After the first brownie and initial sugar rush, we were pretty happy.
But waiting, and waiting and waiting for the drawing for the good stuff took its toll.
But Mike won something, which means Cheryl won something.
"What's his is mine, and what's mine is mine!"
We then went to Frenchy's. Frenchy's is a local chain, each store has a different menu. We went to the one with the web cams and conch fritters. After a Cajun grouper and a few Kirin beers I think I was ready for the battle on saturday.

Saturday, Nov 19th.

We got up and rolling at 6:42 [5:42 Dallas time!!]. Some were suffering from a fritter hangover. ;)
We did have to stop for some java junkies to get their fix.
We then got a spot and stretched and geared up.
Others started to show up.
Some were really stylin!!! It turns out from Leopard Woman, Mike & Cheryl are really "Ed & Connie".
The number I heard was 165 people signed up for it. About 1/3 were only doing to do the half distance. While the rest of us were going to do the whole 37 miles!! So 2 busses were designated "super skaters" and 1 was for the "wusses".
As we started to head out, it started to rain. @#*$@&#$!!!!
I'll probably get a matching black eye for posting this picture, but I just can't resist.
After about an hour on the bus heading south, we get off. All through this trip I'm thinking "as long as there's a nice south wind to push us back north this skate will be a breeze." Well, thanks to my squirrel karma, Weather.com had "winds out of the north 10 to 20mph". And wouldn't you know it, this is one of the rare times Weather.com was right!!! We had a head wind the whole freakin way!! Thanks Mr Squirrel!!
We get to the trail head for a group shot, sportin out Pegasus gear! Yup, Pegasus Flyers were representin!
The trail was flat like Miami. The only "hills" were the pedestrian overpasses. I think I counted 9 of them.
(This was suppose to be a rear shot, instead it's a shot of my new helmet.)
 
About an hour and 1/2 later, I came across the Delux Motel. And I was pondering, "I do have my wallet...I could crash here for a day or so, then finish it... hmmmm". Not long after that was a Lawyer's office "I do need to make a will....", then a florist "What kinda flowers do I want my funeral...". Yea, I was kinda tired and crabby around this point. :)
Then finally THE ICE CREAM. You see, at the start I'm fed the line "at mile 15 there's an ice cream stop". "cool!", I thought, "a good 1/2 way point." Well... mile 15 became mile 17, then 19, then 22. But that was the best freakin A&W Root Beer float I ever had!!!
I'm happy!
I'm happy!
What the hell you lookin at!
So mile marker 27. Technically, this is not my personal long distance mark...if you count all the warm up laps you do before a marathon. But still, it's a good spot to do a "woo hoo 27 miles in a row!!!" photo op!!
It's about this time I was starting to cramp up too.
Further down the trail, we see a LONG line of bikers. Looked like a toy drive/drop off thing. Lots had teddy bears. Or maybe Hell's Angels are trying to soften their public image.
About mile 30, pulled into the park, for a lil back spasm stretching...and gratuitous booty shot, by Christine. I don't feel so guilty now for that "sleeper shot". ;)
The worst part about this time, my left calf was cramping and my right quad was too. At the top of the last overpass, I grabbed the hand rail to stretch the quad. That made the calf cramp more. I stood up to stretch the calf, the quad cramped more. Back and forth. I just couldn't win.
Finally, the last stretch up a 2 lane bridge. So 5 hours later (4 hours moving, 1:03 stopped, max speed 21.4mph), 34.9 miles. WOW!!
Here's what we did...
We then had some BBQ chicken and Budweiser!! Yea baby!!! Thanks to Mike & Cheryl & Christine. I know at the end I was creeping along, but they wouldn't go on with out me, even when I told them too. Felt sorry for holding the group back. But I made up for it with baklava later. :)


Later that evening we went out for some Greek. Good stuff. Along with live music. "Never Never On A Sunday" on mandolin and in Greek is a real show stopper. Then next door for some baklava and other assorted over indulgences. I couldn't really decide so "gimme 2 of everything!". Overstuffed on dalmades and gyros, went home and crashed.

Sunday, Nov 20th.

Went out to the beach for some shell hunting. Found lots of good ones and packed them, hoping none had any occupants. Then breakfast by the beach. Driving back to the airport, it stuck me there's something wrong being upper 70's and sunny and having Christmas decorations out. :\ After getting bumped to 1st Class I realized, I really need to get that French Maid outfit cleaned.

Coming soon...
December 2005
The Fuzi London Report!!