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December 20, 2015

By meriwether, Dec 21 2015 09:48PM

On the move again . . . well . . . sort of.

I had a bit of a rest this last week on Siesta Key at the Captiva Beach Resort, one of a number of small resorts clustered around a tropically landscaped park and pool shared by the resorts. The Captiva Beach Resort was reviewed by Hoda and Kathy Lee, so it had to be good!

Enjoyed my strolls along Siesta Key’s outstanding beach voted #1 in America - not sure by whom, but it looks good on the signs proclaiming said honor, and it really is a spectacular beach. More than one sunset qualified as a sunset to remember.

My short respite here also allowed me to have a few bike parts shipped my way since I haven’t been in one spot long enough to do that - specifically a pair of new tires. 4,000 miles and not a flat tire to be spoken of - well, one, but that was on the trailer I’m pulling. My compliments to the Schwalbe Tire Co - can’t do much better than that.

I packed up and peddled northward on Wed, but not far. Just about 30 miles to Bradenton where I stayed with friends Marsha and Jim. Marsha, with whom I’ve shared some cycling trips over the years, transported me across Tampa Bay on the I-275 bridge, turning a 70 mile day into a 35 mile day. No purist here - if there is a body of water in the way of my direct line of travel, a ferry boat or car ride on a bridge that doesn't allow bicycles will do.

Once over the bay, a 34 mile glide along the quite nice Pinellas County Rail Trail brought me to the quaint little town of Dunedin (Dun-ee-den) of Scottish origin where fraternity brother Scott Abrams has graciously allowed me to crash at his place for a few days - Scott’s back in Toledo right now enjoying the non-winter I hear you are having up yonder.

Kind of a good thing too, because somewhere along the way a Florida cold bug managed to surprise me, giving me that general lousy cold bug feeling that makes cycling some miles even more than the usual challenge.

Feeling fairly dreadful Saturday morning, I bundled up anyhow to cycle off into the downright chilly morning temps about 6 miles back south to volunteer with Pinellas County (Clearwater) Habitat For Humanity. Google Maps was not my friend this morning - after cycling around neighborhoods for about 2 hours, I finally consulted Apple Maps which came to the rescue. Another good thing too, because John, the site supervisor, only had a small crew and he needed some help to get the house ready for subcontractors in the coming week. So he was appreciative for an extra volunteer. One of the volunteers was a future Habitat homeowner from Kosovo, along with his brother-in-law - two very friendly and enthusiastic fellows. Also part of the crew were a group of four seniors from a local high school - great kids who actually are part of a Habitat For Humanity club at their school - a pretty neat idea!

So you can see, I’m on the move, but only kind of. That will change on Monday or Tuesday however!

Happy Christmas and Good New Year to all!

Soon to be Proceeding On,

Many thanks to these folks who have made recent donations to Habitat For Humanity and/or Save The Children, elevating total donations to well over $9,0000 and on the road to the $10,000 mark: Rick Berg, Michelle and Bill Comes, Les and JoAnn Lipski, Susan and David Miller, Jerry Mills, Ken and Janet Orlowski, Bob Rex, and Courtney and Rob Vujtech.

Dec 22 2015 12:28PM by Raymond

Al .. greetings from Clearwater Florida .. just read your blog .. are you still in the area ? .. I'm planning to ride perimeter next year .. May .. out of Philly area .. if your still in the area would love to meet up for a cup of coffee .. thanks .. Ray

Dec 22 2015 09:15PM by meriwether

Hello Raymond - I left Dunedin this mornining and now heading north. In Weeki Wachee this evening with friends. Sorry I missed you. Good luck with planning your perimeter ride!

Dec 31 2015 02:12PM by Katharine Bethel

Mr. Thompson!!!
You were my 8th grade history teacher and I'm in Orange Texas, pretty much the first stop in Texas along the gulf!!! I hope when you stop through I can see you! You inspired me to go to college and get my History degree!!! Would love to have a cup of coffee and catch up!!!

Katharine "Katie" Bethel
Timberstone 98-99 8th grade

Jan 1 2016 01:36AM by meriwether

Hi Katie - wonderful to hear from you! I'm really flattered to hear that I may have had something to do with your pursuing a history degree. I'm wondering if you are a history teacher!

It looks as though you would definitely be on my route when I make it to Texas. When I get closer, maybe we can set up a time to meet.

Also wondering how you found out about my website? Anyway, I'm glad you did! I do have a contact list of over a couple hundred people who are following my journey - I sent out updates to them periodically. It's the same as my blog entry, but with more photos. If you send me your email, I will add you to my list. My email is

Happy New Year to you Katie!

Alan Thompson

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