Bloomin' Tour The Plan

2003 Bloomin’ Tour

This next adventure will take us from Connecticut to sunny Florida.  We named this ride the Bloomin’ Tour because we will ride south passing through very early spring conditions in the northeast to near summer conditions in Florida.  When we leave Connecticut the trees will be bare of all leaves and the landscape still barren of green vegetation.  By the time we reach Maryland the cherry blossoms should be blooming and the grass green. Summer like weather is expected for us in South Carolina.   It will be interesting to have the seasons change before us so rapidly.

Five riders will depart the Connecticut shoreline. Team rider Scott Kushman will ride as far as New Jersey where he will depart and ride to a relatives house where he will meet his wife and daughter.  Riders Kelley Behrens and Joe Gaudio will ride until North Carolina the rent a car for the trip back home. The remaining two riders Tim Picard and Ken Silvestri will continue on to Ken’s fathers house in Tampa, Florida before flying home.

The plan is to stay at a motel every night of the tour.  The distance between sleep spots (motels) will determine our daily mileage.  Tim and Ken will be riding fully loaded with sleeping bags, tents and gear. The others will not be carrying camping equipment.  The reason for the added gear and weight is just precautionary should a motel not be found along the last part of the route.

Our route is a combination of an established Adventure Cycling bicycle route of the eastern seaboard and our own mapping.  To help us locate suitable scenic cycling roads a few bicycle shops were contacted along our proposed route.  Any bicycle shop knows the best cycling roads in their area.  Roads with wide shoulders and/or low traffic flow are what we are looking for.  The shops we contacted were extremely helpful and some mailed us maps to use.

Once a final route was chosen we then began the tedious job of converting the map information into turn sheets.  If you are not a cyclist you may not know what we refer to as a turn sheet.  A “turn sheet” is the written text of each turn we need to make from here to Tampa.  Instead of trying to follow a map while riding we will be looking at a typed page that says… Right on Elm St……Left on Main St….ect.  Along with this we have the mileage between each of the turns.  Not only is it easier to follow we do not have to carry a bag full of road maps. This task of making turn sheets took us weeks to complete and check. Each turn sheet was checked twice for accuracy.