Spanish moss and trying to fit in on the Redneck Riviera

“Redneck Riviera,” also called the Emerald Coast, is the western part of the Florida panhandle along the Gulf coast. Lisa and I rode through the Eden Gardens State Park and there were a few spots with a lot of Spanish moss. I asked Lisa why she thought it is called Spanish moss; for whatever reason, I don’t think of it as something that would grow in Spain. Lisa takes a quick look online. You can find the scientific details here, the short version is that it’s a flowering plant, not moss. As for the name “Spanish moss has had a number of different names as various settlers and explorers have encountered the mystical plant. The French called it “Spanish beard” while the Spanish called the plant “French hair.” It has also been known as “graybeard” and “tree hair.” “Spanish moss” derived from the original “Spanish beard” is the name that has stuck and is most commonly used today.” LINK So that is kinda funny.

Back to my attempts to be a redneck while in the Riviera. Lisa and I rode down the beach a little Wednesday. The sand was not great for riding, it is kinda hit and miss around here. It has something to do with the tide. We also had a really hard headwind. The combination made for some slow riding, and a while hunting for solid sand as one is apt to do when riding along the beach.  We would venture into the ocean a little. Needless to say, this is not good for anything on a bike, and the sand and salt water was especially bad on the chains. We stop at a hose near where we are staying to rinse the bikes. Then we skipped wiping them down and lubing chains, we just put them away wet. Then yesterday, when we go to ride, the chains needed help, and although I was sure I had packed chain lube I have not been able to find it. I figured I would use some cooking oil; although that’s usually a mess, I have done it before. When I saw the Pam olive oil in a spray can, I thought that would be way better than pouring oil on the chain. I wouldn’t say it worked awesomely, but I will probably use it the next few days.


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