So one day my friend dylan called me up, and asked if I wanted to go on a bike ride. I asked where he wanted to ride to, he simply replied- “Until its warm…”
So early January, we left Virginia Beach, Va., with no real plan, no route, just headed south, and what was to be a simple bike ride turned into a 3 month long adventure, overing over 1600 miles. Some days we rode over 100 miles, others we only rode 20, if we even rode at all. No pressure, plans, (freebird style) , and oh yea, No money!
Dylan And I had never traveled on bicycles like this before, but we did have plenty of experience flying by the seat of our pants, so we managed to get by. We never asked for anything, and stole what we needed ( not from people) from Wal-Mart, and an occasional 12er from an Exxon. Most of what we needed we found dumpster diving. Did you know Winn-Dixie cuts wholes in their expired food and pours bleach all over it? Fuckers! Anyway we rode for about a month, sleeping where we could, mostly just trying to stay dry and warm. We eventually ended up in Port Salerno Florida, and found an abandoned trailer, setting up shop with dollar signs in our eyes. We started doing day labor, which consisted of anything from digging ditches, to shoveling shit at the water reclamation plant. we eventually ended up getting a job at the fish market, packing fish in ice, weighing them, and shipping hem all over the east coast. Dylan was even working nights on a fishing boat, fighting off tiger sharks, for 200 bucks per evening!
Fifteen dollar thrift store bicycle, homemade wooden rack, over 1500 miles
We hooked up with fellow travelers on the road, all out there for their own reasons, this dude rode all the way from Wisconsin because there was a band playing in Florida that he liked. Banyon trees are amazing, and make good camp spots as well.
Homemade wooden rack and some bungee cord, floating rack and basket, and tour rack and pannier, all made at the same place.
Dylan’s shoes, the whole trip.
Blazing temperatures in Florida, who wouldn’t want to make some extra cash shoveling ice?
What does this mean to you?
Scavenging for free coconuts-We slept in this barn one night during a gnarly storm, it was super sketchy, and we slept with our helmets on in fear it would collapse.
Inside our trailer- Mattress, shelter, baskets of dumpstered food, dialed!
Dylan and his T-rex helmet, we wore helmets every second we rode bikes.
Hotels were few and far between, but when we did get one it felt like the Taj Mahal. We got so used to sleeping on the ground, it was almost uncomfortable to fall asleep in a bed.
When you ride to the southern most point of the United States, this is your reward.
We celebrated when we finally made it to the Keys.
Closing time at Dunkin Donuts- ” Hey, whatcha gonna do with all those leftover donuts?” – Paddle, plus a sheet and a canoe = sailboat to Cuba
Southern florida has produce stands like Va. Beach has 7-11s, this meal was 85 cents.
Pelicans loved the fish market, it was pretty sad though when the fishermen would feed them fish that were too big, getting stuck in their gullet, causing them to die. Don’t feed the pelicans.
Abandoned trailer trailer with a fallen tree on it, home for a month.
Full of duct tape and bank cards, this tire made it over 700 miles.
Once our wallets were too fat to fit in our back pockets, we hit the road again, with full bellies, and some new gear. With no end in sight, we said fuck it, lets go all the way, and Key West was the destination. We ended up in the Keys in the middle of spring break, which wasn’t the best of timing. After a few blurry nights, and hazy days, we headed northwest through the everglades towards Naples.
Never in my life had I seen so many alligators! once we made it to Naples, we rested for a few days and decided to call it quits. We had ridden further that we had ever imagined, and experienced things we had only dreamed about. We were lucky enough to catch a ride back to Va. Beach, to a welcome home party thrown by our friends and family, it was a great way to end an adventure!
Story and Photos by Jason Anderson
Festival Clean up = ground scores, we walked away with anything from campstoves, to bags of weed, and 100 dollars a day to clean up