Miles Today: 86
Miles to Date: 12,576
States to Date: 31
By the time I reached the state line the terrain changed considerably; gentle hills and broad farms that could pass for Ohio. Around noon I received a message from my New Orleans friend Elyse that her friend Cathi in Fairhope would like to host me. I was making good time, so Fairhope before dark seemed doable.
Mobile is a challenging city to cycle. As I approached downtown I realized the primary way across the river was a tunnel; I took an eight-mile detour to cross on a bridge that offered me a great view.
Mobile Bay is immense and the US 90 causeway no more than six inches above sea level. It must flood at the mere threat of weather. But on a clear crisp day it was exhilarating to roll along at water level with the sea scent filling my lungs.
I got to Fairhope about 5:30 p.m. I had heard the old town was extraordinary so I veered onto scenic 98. About a quarter mile in, a Porsche took a sharp left in front of me. Surly hit the passenger side door. Paul flew off his steed and hit the pavement.
Everything changes in an instant. I broke my fifth left metatarsal, my left shoulder, and burst my L2 vertebrae. I have no internal injuries, no paralysis, and an excellent prognosis.
The goodwill I have found everywhere in our land thrives in Pensacola. I’m locally famous at Sacred Heart Hospital where many staff exclaim, “You’re the bike guy!” Strangers who are now friends visited with cookies and flowers. I’ve received local offers of places to recuperate. I’ll likely remain in Florida through March; it’s easier to rehab at the beach than in Boston this time of year.
I won’t post any more Trip Logs for some time, but will continue to post my conversations as I master the art of one hand typing with my non-dominant hand. It’s never too late to learn new skills.
Thanks to everyone who’s contributed love, support, and their ideas along my journey thus far. I have witnessed how great our nation is, not through its strength, but through its compassion. I have had one heck of a ride, which may not be over yet.
Stay tuned, because I think tomorrow is gonna be a good one.