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Flag of United States  , Florida
Saturday, January 28, 2012

NAPLES & SARASOTA - January 17th - 22nd

We had a lovely week at the Crystal Lake RV park.  Walked along the beach, visited the National park, had a few bike rides around the park. It is 2 miles if we ride round the whole park.  Gradually increasing our distance.   Went for a couple of swims in the pool.  Went to a big RV show in Fort Myers.  Wow! Some amazing RV's there. 

On Saturday, we went to the 'Bountiful  Breakfast' cooked by volunteers at the park, $6 pp.  It was very nice, and once again people were very friendly.  Darryl and Mary-Jo (who had helped us in the beginning to park our RV) organized for a nice couple, Mike & Vicky to come and talk to us, as they had been up to Alaska, and had a few tips for us, places to visit & stay etc.  They were very helpful. Mike showed us a photo of a HUGE Bear he shot while hunting in Alaska .... hmmmm ... makes me a bit nervous going there!!  Anyway the park is really a beautiful resort. 

We then made our way to the home of Larry & Karon  Deakin, who live just out of Venice, near Sarasota.   They are a great couple, with two children. Their son  David, is a pilot, and Rachel helps her dad run his electrical business.  On Saturday night we enjoyed a lovely meal with Larry & Karon and a friend Wayne Osborne from Denver. 

The next morning, Sunday school started at 9.00am, and as there are no young children, we did the readings with the brethren and sisters.  Mike spoke on Sunday morning at the meeting.   He forgot that he had the cord still attached to his glasses,  It looked quite funny, I felt like laughing every time I looked up. 

Had a nice lunch at the hall, & everyone was very friendly, enjoyed our short time with them.

Later in the afternoon, Karon asked us if we were interested in going for a bike ride. Larry, had a call out job, so he couldn't come with us. Karon told us it would be not be for long,  no more than about 4 miles (7 kms) and Wayne was coming with us as well.

The most we had ridden since we bought our bikes was a whole 2 miles(3.5ks) in one stint, so in a confident voice, that we didnt really feel, replied that we would be up to it as long as they could cope.   Obviously she had seen our 'racing mountain' bikes, on the back of the car, my very bright pink mongoose and Mikes chunky white "Walmart Special" bike.  She could tell that we were a couple of fitness freaks, and obviously wanted to keep up our exercise regime!! 
"Yes Karon, Bring it on, we are ready"!!! 


We parked the car, and with anticipation we unloaded the bikes off the back of the car, did a few stretches, and with feet firmly entrenched on the pedals, we commenced our bike ride.  Within one & half miles, Wayne worried that my seat was too low, and they all thought that I was going to hit myself in the chin with my knees, so we stopped and he raised the seat to a position
which meant my feet couldn't reach the ground, but I have to admit, it was better.  (thanks Wayne). 2 miles went by, and we were feeling good, changing gears when we felt necessary, looking quite professional.  The scenery was lovely, as we rode on the bike track along the canal, past a golf course, over bridges, past very nice houses.  Very pleasant.  
We got to the 4 mile mark, by now the seats starting to feel quite firm (Mike had left our 'racing seat covers' in the RV)  but we didn't have long to go, so all was good.  Karon then told us, we were approaching the 6 mile mark....WOW!    We had done amazing, 6 miles....we were feeling quite pleased with ourselves, Move over Lance Armstrong.....Tour Down Under, here we come, we are quite the expert bike riders now.  So where was the car?  We had reached our goal, we were ready to 'Hi 5' ourselves, and go back to relax. 

7 miles went by, then 8....then 9 miles (15 kms).....We looked at each other, legs now starting to quiver and ache.....We knew then....Yep!!  We had been conned by Karon!!

We stopped at a beautiful beach, &  Mike put his feet in the cold water of the Gulf of Mexico.  I didn't want sandy feet, as I was unsure as to just how much further Wonder Woman and Wayne were going to take us.

Continuing on, we went to a pier, and watched some fish jumping out of the water.  After  witnessing a beautiful sunset, now at the 10 mile mark, we both wondered if we could go on...would our tired legs be able to pedal any more....would we give up now?.......With these thoughts,  we gritted out teeth, and in the true Australian fighting spirit, the adrenalin coursing through our veins, we didn't only keep up, we started to set the pace, leaving Karon and Wayne aghast at our skill and prowess.  We took corners better than Ayerton Senna, we missed bollards with pinpoint precision, negotiated traffic, pedestrians, and other cyclists, and just left them in our wake. At this stage I will add, it was dusk, so it was getting difficult to clearly see our way, we had no lights on our bikes and were riding under trees with low branches, which took all the concentration we could muster.
At just over the 12 mile mark, we finally saw the cars in the distance, and we became like unbridled horses, heading for home..... We assumed the muscular, streamline position, selected the appropriate gear, eyes fixed on the finishing line and just went for it and raced brilliantly to the end.......we had made it,  a total of 12.8 miles.....22 kilometers for the Aussies.!!!  We then pointed out to Wayne and Karon that as we were riding mountain bikes, with much wider tyres, it was equivalent to riding at least 30kms.  We had outridden,
outsmarted and outperformed our Yankee Friends .......DON'T MESS WITH THE AUSSIES!!  

Editors footnote: As we gingerly lifted our frail fragile bodies into our car, legs still quivering and making sure our American friends could not see the pain and anguish on our faces, we had some idea of what it felt like to win the Tour de France.  A GREAT TIME WE WILL NEVER FORGET........Our average speed....8 mph!!!  Now that's fast!!!   Ha! We really did enjoy the afternoon, and felt good for having the exercise, so thank you Karon for pushing us to the

We went back to their place, and after dinner, Rick & Elaine Sales, their daughter Carol Link & granddaughter Janet came over and we all sat outside round a bonfire and chatted. It gets quite cold at night, but very warm in the day.  It was such an enjoyable day & evening.

Larry has an immaculate Ford Cobra Shelby (signed by Shelby, himself)  in his shed, so we got
some photos of me in it, yep, I think it would be a nice little car to take shopping.  The shed has also been painted in matching colors. Mike REALLY liked this car. 

The next morning, we packed up, said our goodbyes, and made our way to Orlando to call in to Independence RV to say hi. 

Anyway, bye for now, thanks for reading the blog, and for your comments, keep safe and well,  God bless.
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Bill VIs on

Hi Mike and Ruth

Cherylee is away on her Queen Mary cruise I am here looking after Mitchel and the dog Bossy.
Mitchell is still being Mitchell and I am still trying to do what I need to to do.
Looks like you are having a great trip very envious of and the pictures look great espcially the bikes. I am jealous.
Have a ride for me.


jamie s on

great story telling aunty ruth have really enjoyed it so far keep up the good work :)

Kat Samwell on

I LOVED your blog - soooo funny, had a good laugh here with Grams. Can just vision you both on the bikes - what a sight & hilerious!! Mum...we could hardly ride 5ks when we did our gym together with Jules....let alone the amount you both did & trying to impress the Americans!
Keep the stories coming & especially the photos & videos - they are great. Love you both xx

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