At last I've cleared the city limits of this huge metropolitan area. Now I settle in for some rural scenery. I start the day a bit off course but thanks to my GPS I get back in the game in no time and start pedaling like there's no tomorrow. I'm heading off towards Lake Okechobee which is the largest lake east of the Mississippi not counting, of course, the Great Lakes. Rural roads have their upsides and downsides. The biggest advantage is less traffic but I have to roll with the punches of few services and often very narrow shoulders. In fact, by the end of the day I have ridden 63 miles and only on the last two have I begun to see gas stations. Luckily I had the foresight to stock up on Gatorade before leaving the city limits in the morning.

To whine a bit, the magnitude of my exercise is catching up. I am hurting all over and, I guess luckily, I only feel the brunt of the pain once I get off the bike. I've taken several spills and now my aches are being compounded by cuts, bruises and burns. The bike, too, is feeling the pain of the wipeouts and heavy duty use. The shifters are going and the chain is making a rubbing noise. I make a memo to self to have it checked out ASAP.

When I woke up I briefly considered camping out a second day in a row to save money but I feel soooo utterly dirty and exhausted that the thought was quickly dismissed. So I checkin at a motel in Okechobee and pay $82 for the night. Good thing this is the boondocks. I'd hate to see what I'd have to pay in a city around here!

Day 6