Day 11: Mission to Florida

Sunrise to Dania Beach to Sunrise: 81km
Thursday, April 10th
Sunny with some clouds and an east wind. 26C

Our mission today was to retrieve our bike boxes from the Amtrak station and deliver them to the motel we’ll be staying at our last night in Florida. So after breakfast we did just that. We took our bikes with one empty pannier each and stopped to buy some packing tape. We retraced our route from the train station yesterday and it started on the New River Greenway.

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Mom spotted an alligator in the canal and shortly thereafter we stopped to read one of the signs that cautions users about alligators and poisonous snakes on the trail. Good thing we didn’t read that sign last night when we rode the Greenway in the dark. We arrived at the train station about an hour before a train was due so our baggage buddy Hunter was pretty busy. Eventually he was able to fetch our empty bike boxes for us.

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Now both overnight and on the ride to the station I had been working out ways to transport these boxes on our bikes. My plan worked out and we were able to fold the boxes up and fold them over our luggage racks.

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With one end tucked into an empty pannier, we taped each box to our respective bikes until they seemed secure.

The wind was tough to pedal into as we rode towards Dania Beach, but it didn’t really bother us or the boxes strapped to the bikes. Dania Beach is an area that is quite close to the Fort Lauderdale airport and because if this, we booked our last night of the trip at a motel there. We need to have the bikes in boxes in order to get them on the plane so this errand had a pretty high priority for us.

To get to Dania Beach we had to negotiate around two major freeways, the airport and the canal. After studying the map we tried to pick a route that would avoid most of these things. Florida is very busy and there have been several times now where our route appears to be a side street or secondary road when in fact it is a six lane road with filled with distracted, lead-foot maniacs hell bent on getting to the next red light. Today’s route was no different.

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I swear at one point I thought we must have misread a sign and were destined for the I-95, but sure enough our bike lane would magically reappear. We persevered and made it to the Motel 6 in Dania Beach. We had to persuade the staff to store our boxes for us until Monday and after they figured out that the boxes were actually empty they were not as concerned with their liability. Mission accomplished. After a stop for a quick snack at a grocery store we rode back to the New River Greenway with the wind at our backs.

Then, the final 7 miles of the Greenway itself and we were back in familiar territory in Sunrise. By the time we got back to our hotel is was 6:30pm and time for our supper. The hockey game wad scheduled to start at 7:30pm so we ate and showered quickly and then hopped on our bikes and then rode to the arena.

We were possibly the only people there who arrived by bike, but our bright yellow jackets would prove to be an asset. While watching the game we were texting with family back home who were watching it on TV. They were able to hone in on our location and through the magic of PVR, took and sent pictures of us in attendance.

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This was a highlight of the night because Toronto got their butts kicked again. We cheered for Florida and Luongo too, but I might be turned off pro hockey for good. Anyways, we had a lovely ride back to our hotel along a winding sidewalk and except for the part where I almost got taken out by some asshoke in a BMW, I’m glad that we rode to the arena.

Looking forward to a relaxing day tomorrow.

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