Melrose, Florida to Gainsville, Florida - 50 miles, warm with partly cloudy skys.
Just outside of Melrose, I went to the small town of Hawthorne. There's a great "rail-to-trail" bike path from Hawthorne to Gainsville, about 20 miles. There were a lot of people out enjoying the nice weather, and I can highly recommend this bike trail. The grade was easy, and there was very little cross traffic. It was really beautiful.
In Gainsville, I stopped at Mr. Goodbike to work on my bike. The first order of business was to get the trailer hitch off of my rear axle and put it on the frame. It seems that the rear tire is being pulled out of alignment by the weight of the trailer. I went to Lowe's Home Improvement to get the parts I needed, and with the help of the guys at Mr. Goodbike, was able to rig up the new attachment. It seems to be working great now. I replaced the blown-out rear brake, and adjusted the front brakes.
I also had a great sub sandwich at Big Lou's in Gainsville. It's a great town, and would love to stay for a while, but I need to get back on road.
About 10 miles outside of Gainsville, it was starting to get dark, so I was looking for a place to camp for the night. A car pulled up with a bike rack on top, so I asked the driver if she knew of a place I could camp for the night. She thought that her friend's dad wouldn't mind if I camped in their yard, so I turned up a dirt road and went about 1/4 mile or so. Turns out that Steve had his own racquetball court that he built on his property about 15 years ago, and he plays racquetball 3 times a week with several friends nearby. I enjoyed playing a game with Steve, Lee, and Elijah! Who would have ever guessed that I'd get a chance to play racquetball on this trip!
Here's my tent in Steve's yard: