Adventure by Sail

Getting ready to set sail on our bike adventure

This blog post is a catch up post from this past January.  During the past two Winters, we’ve been spending some time living with family in Sarasota, FL. Although we still love Winter in the Tetons, we don’t need the full allotment of it anymore. On top of that, I’ve developed a passion for sailing that has me craving for a little more time on the Ocean in the hopes of one day setting sail for the “big one” – a long term family live-aboard cruising experience. With all that in mind, we decided to buy a fixer-upper sailboat that would serve as a winter basecamp and a platform to build up our sailing chops and biking legs.

Part of the allure of a Winter sailboat lifestyle is how well cycling fits into the routine. Come to find out that Florida has some great road, mountain, and gravel biking in between some beautiful ports of call. Jannine and I have this vision where one of us sails the boat with Braden to the next destination while the other person takes the bike inland to meet up after a long day ride. Then park ourselves somewhere to keep working remotely while enjoying morning and evening rides. We’re asking a lot, but nothing ventured nothing gained right? Plus, there’s no time like the present to start chasing your dreams!

Moving In

Well, owning a bike shop means that we can’t quite afford a boat that is ‘ready to go’. So the past two Winters have been more about working on the boat than using it. But after we built up enough ‘sweat equity’ this Winter, we were able to live-aboard for a few weeks before Jannine and Braden left for home. That meant I was left to bring the boat to storage and get ready to leave myself. Fortunately, my good friend Park, owner of the Fat Tire Farm in Portland, OR, happened to be in Florida at the same time. So I pitched him on the biking boat delivery plan – conveniently, he fit Jannine’s bike. We would spend three days delivering the boat to Charlotte Harbor and then ride 60 miles back to Sarasota. I was psyched to finally see the biking/sailing combo trip come together and Park signed up for the journey!

Park didn't know what he was in for

In the end, our sailing journey turned into a motoring journey due to some intense Winter weather that had me too nervous to venture out in the Gulf of Mexico on our first shake down cruise.

Anchored for the night

No matter, the Intracoastal Waterway was also new territory and learning to navigate bring openings, luxury yacht traffic, and anchoring was all super fun and challenging. The biking leg went off without a hitch despite the inevitable ‘getting Fitzy’d’ that Park had to endure as I navigated us through only a couple wrong turns!

Nice trunk!

The looks from passing boaters was priceless when they saw our trunk rack in action!

Adventure by Sail

The Salsa Ti Warbird could be the perfect ‘Adventure by Sail’ bike – ready for any terrain, durable, and corrosion free!

'Urban' riding

Even though we were in the heart of dense Florida development, we spent the day riding low traffic back roads, rail trails, canal trails, and even singletrack!

Teton Valley needs rail themed pathways like this

Funny how a 60 mile ride seems like an ‘epic adventure’ to the boating crowd. People had a hard time imagining bike that far in a day and we were offered car rides from a lot of great new friends looking to help us out.

Looking back at our bikes hanging off the sailboat, while cruising along the water with a good friend,  gave me an incredible sense of accomplishment that made all the frustrations of boat ownership melt away in the moment.  Here’s to the next biking/sailing adventure!

Until the next time...

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