Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Florida Perry, FL, Tuesday, 16 October 2012 9:59pm

Before I discovered the nail in my back tire, I'd made an appointment in Pensacola FL to have a new front tire put on my bike because the old one was starting to wear out. I ordered a front tire to match the rear tire I'd gotten in Moab UT. Of course, when I arrived at the shop and needed to replace my rear tire as well as the front, they didn't have a rear tire to match the front I special-ordered. Ah well. Since front and rear motorcycle tires wear at very different rates (particularly when you have a lot of extra weight over the back wheel because you're touring with heavy suitcases), I wonder if I'll ever again have matched tires.

The tire install was done in under an hour. Just long enough for me to eat my first-ever Waffle House waffle. Most of the rest of the day was spent riding, with little time for stops. US-98, though it appears to be a coast road on my AAA map, is inland for a distressing amount of the way. It only really got good near Apalachicola, which is in the bump in the middle of the panhandle. After that it was very good, though: great water views, herons, pelicans, and dolphins!

Because I lost an hour and a half to the tire repair, I was riding until later than I'd hoped, and didn't make it as far as I planned. The last stretch turned out to be very dark forest, with deer lurking by the side of the road, and at least one armadillo wandering across it. Happily, I only hit bugs. Unhappily, I hit a lot of them. I don't know that my visor has every been so plastered with them before.