I apparently have been infected with the notorious WABA weather virus. Events run by or benefiting the Washington Area Bicyclists Association have a rather distressing propensity for crazy weather. My planned tour to Key West is beginning to look rather dicey. Hell, Key West is looking dicey.
During my 2005 tour I encountered the remnants of Katrina but I was in Ohio. I got rained on. I noticed the price of gas had spiked as my tour continued. This is very different. This monster could threaten not just my destination but most of the entire route. Not that my tour is of much importance in even the not-so-grand scheme of things.
So what are the alternatives if the Keys or some other part of my route get clobbered?
Option 1: Go south until I can’t anymore, then turn around. Maybe this would involved riding to some nifty place like Charleston or even St. Augustine, turn around and ride home via the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Option 2: Bah Hahbah. The set of maps I bought go from Bar Harbor Maine to Key West. I could just head north. I ride to Bar Harbor Maine would lack the heat (and humidity) of the Keys trip but riding up there and back would be about 1,500 miles. It would also be much, much hillier.
Option 3: Kill Myself on the Blue Ridge. It’s something like 600 miles to the other end of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Cherokee NC. What could go wrong? Oh, it’s unbelievably hilly. And how would I get home?
Option 4: A Big Loop. I could ride from here to Erie Pa then bang a right and ride to Albany or maybe through the Adirondacks. Then I’d take NY Bike Route 9 or 11 south to DC. It’s easy to put together a tour of 1,500 miles. Much of it would be on flat trails and canal towpaths.
Option 5: Ride up to Vermont, around Lake Champlain, across the Adirondacks and back on NY and PA bike route 11.
One problem is that Irma has to go somewhere after the Carribean. If it heads up the East Coast any of these options could be a washout. No decisions will be made until Monday at which time I’ll have a much better idea of what’s doable.
In the meantime, my fingers are crossed for Linel’s and Richard’s families in Puerto Rico, with Renee in Florida, and with Wendy on the southern coast of North Carolina.