A Big American Welcome

Posted by on 10, Mar 2018 in 2018 - Florida to Canada, Tilly the Tandem, USA

A Big American Welcome

If you’ve seen the sterotypical American house and neighbourhoods in films then this was the site that greeted us when we arrived at our AirBnB. Our hosts Linda and Don went way above the requirements of any host from hiring a van to pick us and Tilly up in, to sharing their mealtimes and food with us. They laid on so much food in snacks drinks and fruit that we hardly made a dent in it! Don supplied tools and help for reassembling Tilly and they both spent hours chatting to us and educating us in everything from road safety to tips. They were nothing short of fantastic and a great antidote to our misgivings about the trip.

We managed a couple of short cycles to get supplies and get used to the roads before setting out on our own northward. We opted to cycle on the pavement whenever we came to a big road (many of the roads are 6 lanes here) even if there was a cycle lane. And the first hour of our cycle we spent more time waiting for the pedestrian crossing lights to change than cycling. Some crossing took over 5 minutes to let pedestrians cross, but as we hardly saw anyone walking or cycling that’s not surprising. Presumably the traffic light is in a state of shock and panic for a minutes after someone presses the button!

Aside from the constant waits it was fairly straightforward. People were really nice – slowing down to yell compliments and welcomes to us, and the pavements were in very good nick.

We did manage to hideaway on some back roads through more estates some less salubrious than others, and even here with houses in a state of disrepair and broken down cars in the drive people waved, smiled and then shot at us. (Not really).

So our first day on the bike proper was a success and we even managed to stop at a small brewery for lunch, a non chain coffee shop for afternoon tea (some standards have to be maintained even when you’re abroad!) And end up at our pre-erected tent ( no tents allowed!) on a lakeside in plenty of time to enjoy the sunset.

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