Dolly's Bike Blog

Musings about fun between my legs

2013 Southern Route USA

Since at least 1997, I had yearned to attempt a cross country bike ride. That summer, my friend Warren rode from LA to Boston. He called me from Winslow, AZ; I rode with him when he passed through Indiana, and I celebrated his accomplishment when he returned. But I, too, wanted to “explore” the USA. I had always loved Charles Kuralt and his tales of small towns off the interstate. What better way to see our great country?

With children, a job, and a widowed mother in failing health, the dream was put on the back burner of life for 15 years. Early in 2012, when I asked my husband if he was interested in such an adventure, he declined without hesitation. And I “discovered” WomanTours – a wonderful “girly group” that seemed to have great support (before and during the ride) and reasonable daily miles (reasonable if I train well).

So in March 2013, the dream – and adventures – began!

I turned 65 while on the ride – it seemed like a fitting way to celebrate – in El Paso, Texas, where my 100 year old mother passed away in December 2011. I think she would have been nervously excited for me.


  • April 30, 2013
    Getting Close
    April 30: Perry to High Springs, FL We started the morning with map meeting in the parking lot, as last night was dinner out. Only 6 miles into the ride this morning, I hit 3,000 miles on this great adventure. It happened to be right at the sign showing our destination for the day. The first 20 miles ...
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  • May 1, 2013
    The End is in Sight
    May 1: High Springs to Palatka, FL This blog entry is dedicated to Bell Brinn, who started the ride with us on March 8th, fell two hours into the ride on wet pavement, and went home to Colorado with a separated shoulder. She has rejoined us to celebrate at the Atlantic – great to see you! There ...
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  • May 2, 2013
    She has arrived!
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  • May 2, 2013
    Dream Fulfilled
    May 2: Palatka to St. Augustine, FL It only seems appropriate for rain on our final day. Actually, when we started at 6:30 am, it was barely a drizzle. Don and Ray were riding about 10 miles out on our route, Linda would ride the 40 miles to the St. John’s Fire Station. We passed potato fields, ...
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  • May 2, 2013
    Celebration Dinner
    The Grand Finale of our tour is the Celebration Dinner. It was held at Le Pavilion on San Marco Boulevard. The pictures speak for the joyous spirits. Pouring rain couldn’t dampen our joy <a We were so happy to have Bell and Nancy back to join our celebration. We miss you, Pat, hope you will be patient and heal ...
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  • May 7, 2013
    Heading Home
    May 3-7: St. Augustine, FL to Goodlettsville, TN When last I wrote, it was raining in St. Augustine (Thursday evening). Don and I had planned to relax on the beach for a few days after my ride, to decompress and reconnect. When we woke up on Friday morning, it was still raining, and the weatherman said 8 ...
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  • May 12, 2013
    It has now been 10 days since my Tour ended, and I am back in Carmel, adjusting to ‘normal life.’ One of my fellow cyclists has commented that she feels wistful, a kind of unsettled feeling. I agree, not yet back to everyday routines, but not yet fully out of the cocoon of the Tour. I ...
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