Don and I decided to join the local bicycling groups from The Villages today, on a ride called the Sumter Surprise.
We were joined by John & Madelyn, tandem riders and neighbors from Carmel, IN, who have stayed with us the past 2 nights. A group of about 50 left Brownwood, the southern square in The Villages, complete with police escort and bicycle shop sag support. We wandered over rural roads and some state roads to Bushnell, the county seat of Sumter County, which also includes The Villages. One of the county commissioners, also a resident of The Villages, gave us a brief history of the county and the county courthouse (behind the group in the photo below).
We continued on to the Dade Battleground where U.S. forces battled with Seminole Indians, who were refusing to give up their land and move to Oklahoma – certainly a bit of Florida history I didn’t know (the ranger indicated that the battle’s significance was diminished because it was in a similar timeframe as the Battle at the Alamo).
Our final stop was at the Sumter County Fairgrounds. Regretfully we arrived 45 minutes before the fair was scheduled to open, so after a bit of a walk-around, we climbed on the tandem and headed back to The Villages – 60 miles for the day!
I have ridden on each of the past 14 days, 274 miles on the tandem, 172 miles on the single, a total of 445 miles, averaging about 32 miles a day! I plan to take the day off tomorrow, my body needs a bit of a rest.