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.

  2. I want everybody knows I survived so far. I am now in North of Maine and in three days in New Hampshire ! Without a helmet, which is a personal choice. Everybody should be more concerned about the american way of life putting the entier earth in danger than about my "stubborness". Hiatt, I am glad you made it. Hermine, the stubborn 55 year old french women.

    1. That's great news, Hermine! Glad you made it to Maine! Have fun on the rest of your trip!


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