Winter in Florida is not all about snowbirds thawing out stiff limbs. There are loads of drifters and adventurers floating around too. Here are three of the most eccentric that we have come across…
Phil the ‘Turtle’ makes us look like lightweights. His latest ride is a rock solid, industrial strength Worksman delivery bike, hand welded to tow a lumbering box trailer (which was adapted from a jet-ski trailer). In his box of tricks he hauls a full-size car battery, solar panels, weather-band radio, walky-talky radio, CD collection, hard covered books, and electric blanket. All up he has over 400lbs of gear with only his coaster brakes to slow him down!! During the last 32 years he told us he has cycled over 300,000 miles through every state in America (pushing his heavy rig over the Rocky Mountains). The only thing stopping him from claiming his Guinness World Record for ‘most distance travelled by bike’ was his brother’s girlfriend who threw out his collection of Atlases documenting all of his travels. Phil’s ramblings around America are funded by his knife sharpening skills. Along with lots of route recommendations he gave us a demo of his hand powered bench grinder and donated one of his hunting knives to us. Phil was such a chilled out character with a flair for storytelling – a legend of the road.
When I first saw Milton I thought he was rather odd. What kind of Dad pushes his baby stroller along the side of an extremely busy highway? Then when we met him further down the road I realised his baby stroller wasn’t carrying a baby after all, but all his supplies for a cross country adventure. Milton is currently walking and running his way from Miami to Los Angeles for ECYE – a charity that educates and empowers young people in developing nations. To make it even more difficult for himself he is trying to do it all within 100 days. So far he is averaging around 30 miles a day, but is hoping to step it up to 35-40 miles per day by Texas. To donate to his charity and find out if he beats us across the country visit his blog at http://www.100daysofmadness.com
Allen was seeking refuge from hurricane Katrina when he said he received a warning from above. He followed his impulse and jumped out of his tent just in time to avoid a giant tree crashing down upon him. That night he had a dream that he should cycle for Jesus, which is what he has been doing ever since. On his simple single speed Schwinn he has pedaled over 15,000 miles. He funds his travels around America with donations and odd jobs.