Day 41: Fernandina Beach to Jacksonville Beach

Yesterday, I bid farewell to Bob and Karen at 9 AM when they had to go to a petanque game. I headed toward the beach to catch the East Coast Greenway, which would take me all the way to the Fort George Ferry Landing. The ferry was closed, but there’s a water taxi I could take to cross St. Johns River.

I rode down route A1A on Amelia Island, then switched to a bike path on the left side of the road even though the A1A had a bike lane. I was very happy to see that Florida has such a good biking infrastructure.

Bike path and bike lane? I'm spoiled.

I saw a female cyclist coming the other way so we stopped to chat. She’s a French woman named Hermine and she has been cycling in Florida for a month, zigzagging the state before going north to Maine. I didn’t see her wearing a helmet so I commented that she should get one. But her thought was that a helmet would make you a victim and she didn’t want to be a victim. I didn’t think that’s logical since the drivers, especially the 18 wheelers, don’t care if you are a victim or not if they hit you. I warned her about the route between Savannah and Charleston. I’m not sure if she’ll follow the East Coast Greenway since I see her with a paper map. She’ll probably be making her own routes.

Hermine, representing France!

I continued my ride. After about 20 miles of riding in the morning I reached the ferry landing. I knew the ferry was closed, but I didn’t see the water taxi. I checked my text message from my Warmshowers host, Brett, who gave me the information about the water taxi. Its location was at a marina about half a mile back.

Once I got to the marina I found the water taxi. The captain told me this is the last weekend for the water taxi then the local government will determine if they want to keep it permanently. I told him the advertisement for the service isn’t that great since there were not much information online except for a newspaper article that’s behind a paywall. The captain agreed that there should have been more marketing since the ridership has been low.

The water taxi

After I reached to the other side of the river, Brett and I decided to meet on the road as I rode the East Coast Greenway. As I cycled into Neptune Beach, I met up with Brett, his wife Janice, and their son Alan. We decided to have lunch at Poe’s Tavern in Atlantic Beach, which was about a mile behind me. I had a chicken salad for lunch since I wanted some vegetables for my diet.

Brett, Janice, and Alan

We rode to Brett’s house in Jacksonville Beach, also known as Jax Beach, after lunch. I let Brett, Alan, and Janice test ride my Priority Apollo since they wanted to try it out. They couldn’t believe how quiet my bike is.

After settling down, I took a shower. Then Brett’s friends and neighbors showed up at the garage and I saw Brett fixed his friend’s mountain bike in such a professional manner that he could have been a great bike mechanic.

Brett’s friend, Bill, also showed me his Surly touring bike. I’m debating whether I should buy a Surly Disc Trucker or a Kona Sutra for my next touring bike.

I really enjoyed the conversations with Bill and Brett regarding cycling and touring. They were very knowledgeable. I think Florida is a now a contender for my next move since there is also a community bike shop in Jacksonville.

We had a late dinner last night. I ate three beef warps that were really good and fulfilling thanks to Janice’s cooking. I helped clean the dishes with Alan after the meal.

I only rode 35.8 miles and ended up going to bed after 9 PM and woke up at around 5:45 AM this morning. Today, I want to explore Jacksonville and maybe chill at the beach later in the day.


  1. I just hope Hermine doesn’t become a victim of her own stubbornness. You can just as easily get a head injury being thrown off the bike by hitting gravel or some other hazard.

    1. Yes, I hope she changes her mind. US is not like Europe when it comes to cycling.


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