Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mar 6 (Day 65) - Bike repairs and bad weather

Today was a very slow birding day. I only managed about 5 hours of sleep last night after producing such a lengthy blog entry on yesterday's tremendous successes. I tried for Mangrove cuckoo again this morning without success. It is really early for these birds right now as very few are actually calling in early March. I will try again tomorrow so say a little player for me tonight.

After striking out on cuckoo, I looked at the weather to see that there were going to be bad thunderstorms in the afternoon. My bike has held up really well for the first 9 weeks of the trip, but I figured that it would be a good time to have it professionally tuned-up. I also figured that finding a really good bike store in Miami would be much easier than in some other random small town. I dropped the bike off at Bike Masters and killed a few hours working on my photos. The bike was returned in great shape after the tune-up and a bath. Beyond the tune-up, I additionally had the chain and rear gear cassette replaced. I knew this was coming as I have not yet changed the chain. With the nasty Northeast roads behind me, I am sure this chain/cassette will last at least a few thousand miles. 

After the bike store I raced home as fast as I could to avoid the coming thunderstorm. The top image is the radar map at 3pm; The storm was coming in from the west. The bottom image was taken over my shoulder as I sprinted east at 2:45pm.  At each red light the wall of water would catch and drench me. When the light turned green I was temporarily able to pedal ahead of the deluge. This game of tag continued for several miles until I reach the safety of the garage at the house where I am staying. I just beat the worst if the storm, and I hunkered down for an afternoon of logistics and photo editing. I did ride 31 miles today.

I am going to bird around the same "unnamed road" (see map above) area very early tomorrow morning. The wind is going to start pounding from the west in the afternoon so I will probably hunker down again as I am unlikely to find any of my remaining target species. I am going to have an incredibly tough day on Saturday as I cross the Tamiami trail to the west side of the state. This ride will be ~110 miles, and there is next to nothing in between the end points. This would be a suicide mission (at least for me) into a 15-20 MPH wind tomorrow, so I will attempt this on Saturday when the conditions should be better. Fingers crossed for good weather/winds on that day!

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