Florida Solo Cycling Camp

The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc around the world and across most aspects of every day life. The cycling world was certainly not spared – nearly every sanctioned event beginning in mid-March has been rescheduled or postponed. The rescheduled events are still uncertain. The three Grand Tours have been pushed to the right with TdF first on the revised UCI calendar. We’ll see how that goes. The Summer Olympics will now occur in 2021 and every sporting league either suspended its season or never started. The cancellation of cycling events, while minor in the overall scheme of things, has significantly affected the motivation required to improve or just maintain hard earned fitness levels. Added to this is the social (physical) distancing mandate issued by state and local governments in an effort to ‘flatten the curve’ and limit the rampant acceleration of infection. As a result, group rides were cancelled. The economy took a massive hit due to the forced closing of all non-essential businesses. Luckily, my job was mostly unaffected other than working from home instead of driving to the office.

During the height of the mid-Spring shutdown, I was able to escape to our vacation home in central Florida and enjoy different cycling scenery for awhile. All told, there were 21 days of cycling in Florida which included Zwift, road, TT and MTB (only one) rides. I discovered new routes, revisited old routes, and generally cycled a lot. Ended up with nearly 1138 miles covered in just over 56 hours of cycling. Shortest outdoor ride was 23 miles and the longest was 100. There’s no real climbing in central Florida so elevation change wasn’t a major factor. I hear locals talk about Clermont but I’ve never taken a trip to explore the climbs. I’ll defer from commenting further until I have first hand knowledge. The wind however, can be a significant factor. Fortunately, the wind was well behaved during my stay. Additionally, the weather for last week of April through mid-May was unseasonably mild. 7 am start times often meant high 50s or low 60s and would only ready mid 70s for most of the rides. Did have one minor tumble – gravel in a turn – that produced a nice road rash. Downside of using ridewithgps to create routes (could be user error also) is some roads aren’t suitable for riding using 25 mm tires. Case in point in one of the photos below – the sandy ‘road’ was best traveled on a fat tire mountain bike or better yet, a dune buggy. I was forced to walk for nearly a mile.

The Van Fleet State Trail is a mostly straight, flat 29-mile paved route that traverses the Green Swamp. Plenty of wildlife may be seen such as gators, goats, wild turkeys and other birds, gopher tortoises, snakes, squirrels, cattle ranches and an alpaca or llama farm (never stopped to identify properly). A horse trail parallels the paved path and they are used.

Since this was a solo cycling adventure, I was able to make many of my favorite meals with a heavy dose of pasta. Other cuisines were on the menu as well.

ravioli and fresh bread
ground beef, sausage, and bison enchilada casserole
sesame chicken with broccoli and onions
sirloin steak, sweet potato fries and roasted asparagus
rigatoni with homemade sauce and fresh bread
mushroom burgers with roasted potato wedges
Mongolian beef with broccoli and onions
steak fajitas
grilled salmon, roasted asparagus, spinach risotto and fresh bread
Tuscan chicken pasta and bread
grilled pork tenderloin, roasted cubed sweet potatoes and asparagus, onions, and garlic with spinach risotto
sausage and ziti with fresh bread