Floyd's Update - August 7, 2017 - Kankakee, IL
By meriwether, Aug 12 2017 02:46PM
Greetings Humans - It’s me . . . Floyd - you know . . . the Bike,
Al wanted me to do one of these close to the end Posts. I don’t know - maybe he’s running out of words . . . or maybe he thinks you might like to hear from me.
Anyway . . . I guess this journey is really winding down - and it’s been quite a ride. So many miles - over 12,000 now - and so many memories.
It feels as though my wheels have been spinning forever. That jaunt down the East Coast seems like a long time ago now. I learned so much history along the way - Al likes to stop at all those historical sites . . . yawn . . . well, not really. Don’t tell Al, but I was pretty fascinated by some of those places - Lexington and Concord, Washington DC, Fredericksburg Battlefield, the Alamo, the place where that Indian girl Sakakawea lived - Geez, I can’t remember them all!
And it was fun visiting all those Habitat For Humanity job sites. So much activity going on with a lot of enthusiastic people running all over the place, carrying things, pounding on things, lifting things. Glad I could just sit there and watch Al swing a hammer - don’t think I would have been too good at that.
That ride through the southern states during the winter wasn’t as warm as I though it would be - there were some darn cold mornings out there - especially that huge place called Texas. Al said it was supposed to be warmer; it sure did take a while for my wheels to warm up on some of those cold mornings.
One memory that will always be with me is that whack-a-mole job the lady did on me in the Mohave Desert. Holy Spokes! I never thought I would recover from that. I remember flying through the air, and landing on my front wheel, and all my spokes going this way and that . . . but don’t remember much after that. I did get a week long rest out of it in Lake Havasu City . . . and there was that nice fellow who paid for my entire repair bill, but wouldn’t tell us who he was - he did tell us he was a disabled veteran.
I seem to be a source of endless fascination for people who happen by - they’re always stopping to give me the once over . . . and then the twice and thrice over. They like to check out all the cool stuff hanging off me, and they’re always reading the sign on my butt that tells them what I’m doing and where I’ve been. Sometimes they even leave money stuffed in my handle bar bag. But Al prefers that they visit his website, and leave some money there for one of the charities he’s riding for.
Al and I have met so many kind and interesting folks along the way. Some of them are called Warm Showers hosts, and some are old friends, or people we just meet along the way, and we get to stay in their homes. Well . . . at least Al does . . . seems like he always gets the bed. I usually end up in the garage. But . . . there HAVE been some very nice garages! Don’t tell Al this, but some of those garages have a frig with beer in it. But I won’t say any more about that - don’t want to get in trouble.
That west coast was really something. I remember Al was using just about every gear he could find in my combination of gears to climb those coastal hills. And the wind - Wow! Seems like it was always slowing me down. But I really liked seeing the ocean and that dramatic coastline.
I don’t know which was more difficult for me - that Pacific Coast or the Rocky Mountains. They were both so challenging. But gosh - I’ve never seen such spectacular scenery. So many ups and downs. It seems like it was either one or the other. And I thought it would be a relief once we made it out onto those Great Plains. But you know what - those Great Plains aren’t really flat at all. And man - you can just see forever out there. That long and beautiful river we just got done following sure was something. They call it The Father Of Waters, and I can see why!
I hope you guys didn’t get tired of seeing me - seems like Al was always taking my photo. Guess he felt like if he couldn’t be in it, then I should be in it. But he was always taking a photo of my bad side - yes, even we bikes have our good and bad sides.
I hope I’ve lived up to my namesake, Charles Floyd . . . and I hope I would have done him proud. Al is alway praising me, but sometimes he cusses at me too, like when my rear tire goes flat, or my gears start to miss. But I think he’s proud of me and the job I’ve done carrying him all these miles. Al said that a very important man by the name of William Clark was the commander of Charles Floyd a long time ago, and when the young man died, William said of Charles Floyd, “He was a man of much merit.” I heard Al say the other day that I’m also a Bicycle of Much Merit. And that made me feel pretty good!
So the end is in sight - just a couple hundred more miles to go. Looking forward to being back home in my own garage - and just snoozing most of the day.
Al wanted me to say to you all that we hope you have enjoyed the ride . . . and to let you all know that . . .
We are Proceeding On,
And . . . he also wanted me to include in this post a few of our favorite photos from along the way.