Homestead Speedway Century

posted Oct 24, 2011, 2:42 PM by Bob Brown III   [ updated Oct 24, 2011, 8:24 PM ]
...and now for something a little different by Russ Griesemer

Well, as Monty Python would say, "...and now for something a little different...". No, wait, that's not right... Anyway, a ride was ridden today with some of the usual suspects but not in the usual place. The venue was the Everglades Bicycle Club's 2011 Speedway Century at Homestead Speedway and the riders were Bill, myself, George, Carlos, Les, John and John's friend Ira. Our bent contingent was pretty much dwarfed by the 300+ DF'ers that showed up for this organized ride, but we got nothing but encouragement from everyone we saw today.

I had spent the week working on my bike. I decided to recline the seat more, and that necessitated a head/neck rest which had to be designed, built and installed. I was still putting the finishing touches on it Saturday night. Sunday would be the first real ride with it. I know, I know... always test your work before taking it on an organized ride, right? I had tested it the day before on a short ride, and it was fine, so I figured I was pretty safe.

The ride started promptly at 7:30am as advertised. John and Ira had decided to do the 40 mile ride; the rest of us were in it for the metric. My first planned metric, actually. My initial goal was just to survive and finish. The ride started with a lap around the race track, which some did and some didn’t. The route took us well south into Everglades National Park before turning North and heading up to the old Chekika Park.

For those unfamiliar with the name, Chekika was a mineral/sulfur artesian spring that was discovered when drilling for oil back in the 40’s. The area was turned into a recreation site for swimming, picnicking, etc. People believed that the sulfur water had healing powers. In the 80’s the state capped the well because the sulfur was polluting the water downstream, and installed pumps to drain the lake and pump clean fresh water into it. It’s now open for visitors during daylight hours only.

I’m glad this ride was in the fall. If done in mid-summer the heat would have been unbearable. As it was it was cool enough that we never really broke a serious sweat. We bucked fairly serious headwinds heading North to Chekika but with 4 of us riding in a pace line we were able to make good time. After a brief respite we hit the road for the return trip, which fortunately was with the wind most of the way. The return trip was uneventful and quick owing to the tailwind. The last 5 miles though, the wind hauled around and started blowing from the East, and that just bonked me. I made it back to the Speedway but was down to 12 mph by the end and lucky to be making that. Everyone congratulated each other for arriving alive, and we made our ways home.

Several images stick in my mind from today. At a rest stop in a nursery/garden/orchid grower/ ?? (George will probably know what I’m talking about) on the way to Chekika, a gated off area with cages of parrots & macaws and a beautiful, friendly tortoise shell cat. In the same place, the biggest ponytail palm I have ever seen in my life. Bill said it had to be almost 100 years old!

Buzzards! Roosting in the trees along the route, and hundreds circling above the route. Made you a little uneasy about the prospect of a flat to say the least.

Watching a car down the road going my direction and suddenly realizing there was a small animal running after it. The car slowed down, a door opened and the animal (dog? really couldn’t tell) jumped in. It just seemed a little bit surreal at the time.

The biggest, nastiest rumble strips I have ever run across, leading up to a bridge just before a left turn. They were so big I lost my taillight and had to go back for it. Nearly rattled my fillings out.

We have some STRONG riders down in South Dade! Les is like the Eveready bunny; he just keeps going and going and going... George pulled ahead near the end and started accelerating; if I’d had a gun...

All in all it was a great ride. I’m sore but content that I can finish a metric in a respectable fashion. Carl, you may have some company in the future!

..and now for something completely different by Les Garcia

The 9th annual Homestead Speedway Century was held on Sunday. The ride started with a loop in the Homestead Speedway then we rode through farm country with a rest-stop in the Everglades.

Bacchetta was well represented by the The Bent Society of South Florida. George, Russ and Les rode their red Bacchettas and Bill rode his polished aluminum Corsa. Carlos also joined us on his white Rans.

We rode the 100 Km course as a group and attracted lots of attention and questions about our Bents.