FL08: West Palm Beach FL to Hollywood FL

52.1 miles
Total so far this tour:  399.3 miles

Trough breakfast at the Fairfield this morning – we both had cereal and fruit – then out and down A1A.  Here on Saturday morning there were already tons of cyclists, most of them club hammerheads zipping along in groups.  We headed south with fantastic conditions, including a partial tailwind from the NE.

Waiting with other cyclists for a drawbridge

About 12 miles north of Delray Beach we ran into a group of mountain cyclists coming the other way.  One of them immediately turned around and started riding with us.  A nice enough guy, but he reminded me of one or two of the young dimwits I’d grown up with in the Pennsylvania area.  A clingy knucklehead.

In ten minutes time he’d torpedoed through the topics of Warm Showers, his battles with weight, and his bicycle racing history, all without prompting.  He finally gave us a tip to head to Deerfield pier for breakfast and left.

Six miles later the guy reappeared and started up the prattle again.  Jack had enough and stepped on the pedals to lose him, so we both raced away and finally slowed much further south.  I asked Jack, “So you didn’t want barnacles for breakfast?”

We indeed found a nice place for breakfast at the Deerfield pier, a table looking at the beach from the patio of a place called Cafe Med at the Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort.  Their eggs Florentine was pretty good, and we both enjoyed the retro soundtrack, Louis Armstrong, Harry Connick Jr., etc.

Cafe Med at Deerfield Beach FL
Deerfield Beach fishing pier
Beach next to Deerfield pier

A few more hours south took us into the northern reaches of Fort Lauderdale.  We stopped a couple of times, once for Cokes and Slurpees, another time so I could apply some chain lube.

Chain lube. Man - it was hot right here.

At Fort Lauderdale the routes forces a rather inelegant detour inland, crossing US1.  Adventure’s Cycling’s intention, I think, is to snake through some quieter neighborhoods and around the airport before continuing down A1A south of town.  As is typical, though, the ACA maps were obsolete and the road actually petered out into a dead end south of the airport.  Google Maps showed no outlet, so we retraced back north.  We both finally guessed that a new road had been created and the old one destroyed, and so successfully took Taylor Lane west as an escape.  We eventually recrossed US1 and got back out onto the barrier island.

We continued southward beside long rows of hi-rise condos, classic south Florida postcard views. Based on the location of tonight’s motel, Jack started to question the wisdom of finding the ocean again, and he was right.  At Hollywood Boulevard we turned west, and had to go at least 3 or 4 miles inland to find our place, the Ramada Inn.

Around 4:30, Jack and I met up with a long lost friend of his, Cheryl.  Cheryl was actually Jack’s wife’s roommate at Penn State some 37 years ago.  She’d found Jack on Facebook and had learned of our roll through Hollywood, and simply wanted to reconnect for a while.  We headed to a little Mexican place, Takito’s, and sat outside.  Pozole and a Tecate for me, while Cheryl and Jack shared some tacos.  There was much reminiscing about days at Penn State and we really enjoyed the visit with Cheryl.

Cheryl and Jack in the Ramada lobby
Cheryl and Jack
Vibrant party district in downtown Hollywood FL

I found the Hollywood downtown area interesting, too.  It is currently being revamped into a party district, and while a work-in-progress, they’re doing a nice job of it.

Vegetation in the room followed, including an interesting show about TV elections covereage with Sam Waterston.  Alas, the HBO signal cut out mid-show – AGAIN – what the heck?

Another good cycling day.  My knees quietly whispered to me all day.  I am thinking some ice therapy might help out.