Day 31: Delray Beach — Hollywood (36.2 miles)

The first 75% of today’s route was straight down A1A, mostly on the shoulder going with traffic. Sunday morning must be when all the South Florida cyclists decide to flock in big groups up and down that road. To that point, I stopped for a Gatorade around 9am, on the heels of three such dudes, clad in their sponsored spandex. They were the first on this trip to give me the up and down and ask me how far I was going, and they all thought I was crazy. One in particular was pretty generous with the f word, especially after I said I’d previously come to Florida from North Carolina.

The morning continued smoothly after that, especially once I reached Fort Lauderdale. The road surface in particular was glassy smooth and there was a nice wide bike lane set aside for me and various hordes of cyclists. And some spectacular roadkill. Frogs, for better or worse, retain their general shape after a car runs them over. Three-foot-long iguanas, however, seem to explode. I didn’t actually figure it out until I saw a second one. And don’t worry, I saw like thirty more live ones over the course of the day.

After Fort Lauderdale the city, I went around Fort Lauderdale the airport. And this was really right up next to it, first weaving around on and off ramps for the interstate, merging with highway-speed cars for that first hit of adrenaline. Then a backwoods road around the perimeter, at one point parallel to a raised runway.

The final stretch was back toward the ocean and over the intracoastal one last time. It was no more than two miles, but felt like ten, thanks to the strong headwind coming off the coast. Forgot how rough those can be.

Fun fact: a great way to immediately find out where all the blisters on your feet are is to jump into the salty ocean.

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