So I've sold my soul, succumbed to pressure and agreed to take the family to Florida this summer.  The excitement at chez Hayward is palpable.  It probably is quicker getting there than it was completing 4 applications for sodding ESTAs ... thank you Mr Trump, how difficult and repetitive does it need to be.

Now, whilst 'er indoors and the kids are at the theme parks I'm taking the opportunity to get some miles in my legs because I'm told the cycle routes are as smooth as a silk codpiece and there are no hills but plenty to see.  If I'm honest, I like the look of the coast-to-coast, which at 200 miles on the flat just might be manageable in a day (I've done the UK coast-to-coast in a day - 152 miles and 4,000m of climb).

My questions are:  Are the routes easy to follow and is there actually plenty to see and how easy is to rent a half decent bike?  If anybody has experience of Florida riding are there any must do or don't do tips?

Thanks in advance!

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Can't help you Terry as, frankly, Florida frightens me, so I've never been.  It all started about twenty years ago when my old mucker Phil started his Miami holiday straight and finished the fortnight gay.  He's still a smashing bloke but at the time I found it unsettling, not to say mystifying.  We grow wiser as we grow older, I guess.

Anyway, my lady says, just to be on the safe side, I must avoid the place as it might be something in the water and she would hate to lose me.  There's nice, isn't it.

Ive never been to Florida MtB and I'm camper than a row of tents. Does a day trip to Croydon count... And, there's absolutely no truth whatsover in the old adage 'My mother made me a homosexual' followed by the pithy 'if I gave the wool do you think she'd make one?' Two balls of Arun and I'm still waiting....

Compared to most of my young mates I had the great advantage of growing up next door to Bill, an  openly queer chap.  He never made a secret of his inclinations, was liked and trusted by his neighbours and back in the sixties that was a considerable achievement.

It helped, I'm sure, that most of the men in the street would keep a fatherly eye on him in the pub, just in case some hothead got ideas above his station.  And the fact that he was a wonderful piano player gave him great kudos in the days before telly monopolised our entertainment.

It shouldn't be that hard to live and let live, should it?

Quite so MtB, after sharp intake of breath 60 years on the planet, 45 of them out of the closet, I have only been involved in two queerbashing incidents. One at College, when the Christian Fellowship decided to protest at one of our Gay Soc discos, we roundly beat the pious crap out of them and second, in a burger bar, when five oiks took offence to me and a fellow (gay) student. Once again we maintained the Honour of the Pink Triangle and dispensed the fellows. Aikido comes in very handy in such cases. Generally, I try to disarm hostility with a pithy quip/humour, sometimes reason and when all else fails.... Like you say, why should it be so hard to live and let live. I've even got several friends who out and proud Torys....


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