Day 42: Rest Day in Jacksonville Beach

Yesterday, I ended up not going to Jacksonville. After having a cup of coffee and a quesadilla made by Alan, I rode my bike to downtown Jacksonville Beach. Then I had three sliders at Angie’s Grum for brunch. Brett recommended that I go to the less crowded part of the beach at 30th Avenue, so I went there.

Quesadilla made by Alan

The temperature was just right for the beach. Cool and breezy. I went into the water a couple of times. But when I was sunbathing the wind blew sand all over my body, which was annoying. I guess that’s a metaphor for life. Nothing is perfect.

Chilling at the beach

I was at the beach for maybe an hour or two before I got bored and annoyed by the sand. I decided to get an acai smoothie at Fla Juice and Bowl. I ended up chatting with Merritt on the phone for over an hour.

After the smoothie, I went back to the beach to see if it’s still windy and if I wanted to chill on the beach one more time. When I arrived, it was still windy so I left to go back to Brett’s house.

I took some photographs of my bike and listed on Facebook Marketplace, the Priority Facebook group, and Reddit Priority Bicycle subreddit. I got a lot of responses saying that I should just rebuild the back wheel or check the tension on the spokes so that I can keep the bike. A stranger named Josh on Reddit even donated $50 to support me. I couldn't believe it! It made my day.

I asked Brett to see if he can take a look at the spoke tension. He used a spoke tension gauge and measured each spoke on the back wheel, then he trued the wheel. He did the same thing for the front wheel and found there were a few loose spokes. After all the adjustments were done the bike rode very well. I got lucky that my Warmshowers host is a also a great bike mechanic.

I gave Brett my fuel canister in exchange for his service. I also gave a pair of cycling sunglasses, a plastic container, and a case to Brett’s son, Alan. I’ve lessened my load even more so I really don’t think there will be any more broken spokes on this trip. I think I will keep my bike after all.

For dinner, I wanted to treat everyone by order pizza, but Janice told me she wants to make shrimp salad so that there’s leftovers for the week. So we had salad for dinner.

Around dusk, I saw the SpaceX Falcon rocket launch from the street. It was my first time seeing a rocket launch and it was very cool to witness humanity’s most advanced technology in action.

SpaceX Falcon rocket

I went to bed shortly after 9 PM. I had a great day hanging out at the beach, having my spokes adjusted, and watching the rocket launch.

This morning, I got up at 6 AM and will visit the Trek shop in town to buy a pair of spokes and a spoke tool just in case if any of my spokes breaks again, which I doubt will happen. Then I will ride to St. Augustine and stay at my Warmshowers host Ellen’s place.


  1. When I did my first cross country tour in 2018, I rode an old Surly I had bought used from a friend. In the first week of travel I had to replace the rim brakes, right shifter and even the hub. I was so frustrated with the bike and considered selling it when I got to Kentucky and buying a new bike with disc brakes since the hills in Kentucky were so brutal. Then a bike mechanic talked me out of it because the Surly really is a good touring bike and most of issues were already fixed. I'm glad I heeded his advice. Glad you are reconsidering selling your current bike; don't make big decisions like this in the moment.

    1. You are right, Joan. For my next bike tour, which I'm thinking is the Pacific Coast, I will redistribute the weight better and see if the bike still has rear spoke issues. I'm going to keep the bike since it's so smooth and quiet when riding.

  2. Hiatt, thank you for spending your weekend with us. We will be following your journey and cheering you on!

    1. Thank you, Brett! You are a rare gem in the Warmshowers community. Thank you for hosting me and I hope we keep in touch!


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