We STILL suck at bikepacking – Biking to Key West EP2

We STILL suck at bikepacking – Biking to Key West EP2


In the last video, we fought our way through
the Miami Metropolitan area—and I mean all the way. After fighting traffic, glass, mechanical
problems, and bad luck, we had no choice but to crash at a motel in Homestead. Awake and ready to make up for lost time,
Alex and I set a goal of 80 miles for day two. That would put us in Marathon, about 50 miles
from Key West. Almost immediately, Alex’s tire came back
to haunt us. We thought we saw a Walmart, but it ended
up just being a grocery store. It turned out that they wouldn’t have had
a tire anyway. After searching the inventory of every big
box store we could think of, we discovered that nobody carries anything narrower than
32. To get to a real bike shop, one of us would
need to backtrack for 10 miles, buy a tire, and ride 10 miles South again to make the
repair—that is after waiting for the shop to open. We decided to take our chances with an emergency
sidewall repair. With Alex’s bike cobbled together, we got
on a path adjacent to the busway. We were already off to a bad start, and still
almost 80 miles away from Marathon. At least we had some breathing room on the
bikeway. Alex’s tire was holding up too, but our
repair had yet to face its most trying test. The busway ended, and ahead of us was a long
road that led to the keys. First, a black diamond road biking segment. We got on Card Sound Road, and settled in
for 15 miles of straight pedaling with no tree cover. If Alex’s sidewall blew out, we’d be totally
fucked. There was no shoulder either, but the cars
were few, and gave us plenty of space. Eventually there was a curve in the road,
which gave way to our biggest morale booster yet. We were officially in the Florida Keys. After filling up our water bottles and eating
some more birdseed, we got back on the bikes to cross Card Sound. There’s nothing like going from urban hell,
to swamp, to beautiful Caribbean waters. Our next stop was Key Largo to find a tire
for Alex. We had a little over an hour of pedaling left
to get there, and still over 60 miles to Marathon. This would be a long day. Although my touring setup wasn’t as barebones
as Alex’s, it was far from high end. My sleeping bag, rack, and trunk bag were
around $65 combined. The rack was worth every bit of $22, but it
wasn’t lightweight, and it could have been stiffer. I had also bought two brand new Continental
Ultrasport tires, which I ordered in a 25 width. They weren’t particularly lightweight, but
for the price I give them a 10 in every category. So although I did spend a few bucks on my
setup, it was far from a major investment. I’d say that $1 of preparation is worth
$5 on the road. Lucky for us, All Keys Cycles was super fair. After buying a new tire, we decided to run
Alex’s old one until it went flat. It was holding up, and there was only one
way to find out how long it could last. We headed to Publix to grab enough food for
the day, and got back on the road to put down some miles. Although we were feeling pretty beat, everything
in the Keys was better than Dade County. The roads were bike friendly, the people were
more laid back, and the scenery was way nicer. With such a nice change of pace, it was tempting
to fall off track. In Islamorada, we finally gave into temptation. Although we couldn’t afford to waste 40
minutes at the brewery, we were officially on island time. Having a beer made me feel like sitting around
more, but we had pedaling to do. It looked like the roads would be safe enough
to travel at night, so it was Marathon or bust. We had no clue where we would spend the night,
but we’d figure it out. As we rode through Islamorada, the islands
got more scattered and connected by bridges. Some of them were long. When Alex and I imagined our trip, I think
this is what we were both envisioning. Clear water, coconut trees, and mailboxes
shaped like sea mammals. We were beat the hell up, and our taints were
sore, but things were finally going our way. It looked like we would make it to Marathon
after all. Tune in next time, to see if we did. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll
see you next time.

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  1. I ride bmx downhill pup track and cross country so idk y I am watching this I do cros country on a hard tale tho

  2. Man I lived in Miami for a good while and there's no chance in hell I would ride the roads there, drivers have 0 respect for ciclists.

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