Greetings from the Florida Keys! We, Heather and Rachel, arrived in Key West on Tuesday afternoon, to clear skies and balmy temperatures. We were both awestruck when we stepped off the plane into the sunshine, both coming straight out of a harsh New England winter. Luckily we had a home to land in – we stayed our first night with a Warm Showers (like Couchsurfing for cyclists) host named Brian, who did his own bike tour last year around the perimeter of the United States. He’s given us lots of helpful tips and encouragement for the adventure that awaits us. Just before sunset we walked along Mallory Square by the water front, where we got to witness some incredible street performances (including the idiosyncratic “Cat Man” who guided his trained domestic cats along a tight rope and through flaming hoops). We ate fresh caught fish tacos and drank beer on an outdoor patio with the scent of magnolia drifting on the breeze. A visit to the beach and a swim in the ocean completed our Key West beginning.
We were staying in the older part of Key West, which has a very quaint, small town feeling. Many people travel by bike, so we got to peddle around, already feeling like part of a community of cyclists.
We had both of our bikes shipped to We Cycle, a shop on Stock Island, just across the bridge from Key West. They were incredibly helpful, setting us up with bike locks and head lights, alongside our matching We Cycle hats!
Although our trip has barely yet begun, we have already encountered a phenomenal level of generosity. Our hosts, Brian and David, showed us around Key West and helped us find places to stay elsewhere in Florida. The folks at We Cycle hooked us up with some complimentary gear and lots of help setting up our beautiful new bikes. We haven’t held a workshop yet, but already we’ve had some interesting conversations with people about women’s cycles—mostly men who had no idea that sustainable options even existed, but who were curious, intrigued, and supportive of our mission.
This morning will be taking off from mile marker zero—the southernmost point of the continental United States. We are beyond thrilled to be on this adventure!! We are feeling tons of joy and gratitude thinking about all of the people who helped us get here, and all of our friends and family all over the country who have sent us love and encouragement. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Looking forward to our first workshop in Miami on Monday, hosted by Deanna Alvarez!