Saturday, August 31, 2013

Day 5 South Point SC to Monck's Corner SC 82 miles

    I was up and out on the road  at 7:10 with my old saddle on the bike.  It was very foggy but with good enough visibility that I thought OK to ride. I only ride with iridescent yellow jersey which are much easier to see especially in low visibility.   My goal was to get in a good morning before the heat. With the fog the water was accumulating on me, the bike, and particularly the glasses.  Not sure what I saw in the morning but most of the sights were not to interesting, just miles of back roads and some stretches of highway that were not to bad.   Passing through Waterboro I was talking  to Michele on the phone and missed a turn which added a couple of miles, oh well just keep riding, in the correct direction.   A  10:00 Am lunch was followed by a 1:30 lunch and I was at 60 miles. In Ridgeville I found a good sub shop and put my feet up with a tuna sub.  No surprise to those who know me.  Pulled into Monck's Corner at 5:00 and am now at a laundromat washing bike clothing.  It is extremely important to keep these clothes clean to prevent problems.  Wearing bike shorts for 10 is an incubator!  Every day I pass by  numerous churches of all denominations.  Well not many of our New England church denominations.  They are always very neat and mostly along the back roads with little around. I always wonder how large the congregation is and I enjoy their scripture note on the marquis.  Very comforting to see and read.  My saddle seems to be winning and the armadillos are still loosing.  Below is a ,picture of the typical back road country stores I've been stopping at and an idea for lawn decorations.

Day 4 August 30, Statesboro GA to South Point SC 72 miles

 Another 7:15 start with cloudy weather and it stayed cloudy all morning which is nice.  Once the sun came out it was again hot. Leaving Statesboro was not fun as it was a 2 lane simi busy road with a scarfed white side line and small shoulder on the outside of the line. So I spent most of the time on the very narrow shoulder which requires a lot of concentration. Going over the scarf is jarring and actually nocked my phone off twice into the grass.  I have it handle bar mounted.  I also found that I was not properly latching the phone in place so now that is fixed. The ride finally got to very uninteresting back roads with few places to stop. I did pass a corner peanut stand with 8 people hand picking the peanuts off the plants and selling them.  I crossed the Savannah river about noon into South Carolina.  A pretty river but in a severe flood stage with all the woods around it flooded.  So far SC feels different than Georgia, probably because I have not had the opportunity to talk to many people.  I did eat lunch a Brenda's a small convenience store in Robertville SC.  This is a place that my friends Jim and Mary stopped at on their last year Atlantic Coast ride, unfortunately Brenda was not there.  Michele had shipped my other saddle yesterday to a KOA Campground at South Point and I picked it up  and checked into a motel.  It was a very nice campground and the owners are great! I will try the different saddle tomorrow to see if it releaves   some pain. The ride tomorrow is 85 miles.  Legs are tired tonight, I have been biking today in a higher gear with lower cadence, it seemed to help the saddle problem. So as I've been peddling through the south Michele has had a very busy week at the Inn and hosts  Middlebury College parents this weekend as they bring in their new freshman! Always an exciting fun weekend!  Tomorrow to Monks Corner SC.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Day 3 Reidville GA to Statesboro GA 35 Miles

  Well camping out was not to bad, just lacks a good bed so sleep was a little rough. I have a 1 man tent that holds all my gear and weighs about 2.5 pounds, sleeping bag less than a pound and pad less than a pound. They pack small and I carry all the camp gear, tools and any food in the front panniers. The rear panniers, one is for bike clothing other is for off bike clothing with miscellaneous stuff in each.
I am communicating with a helmut mounted blue tooth which makes it so I can talk on the phone or ask Siri for help while riding. The speakers do not interfere with the road noises around me so they are safe.  Ride today was short  and I arrived early afternoon which gave me some time to take care of some great issues and rest. The heat, 95 was really noticeable  today and even with the short ride took a toll. Forecast is not as hot and I'm riding north. Michele is shipping me my old saddle as the new one is causing problems and winning the battle.  I've ridden almost 600 miles on the new one, it has been fit tested for me yet is tearing me up.  Well see how the old one feels. Other than that my body has no complaints.  Some thoughts;  for $6.00 you can get enough breakfasts to feed 3 people, portions are large!  Armadillos don't do we'll crossing roads.  You need to have a taste for boiled peanuts.  While in GA I am a GA Bulldog fan, favorite food is pecans and peaches.  I'll see what I am in SC.  For Ms Cronin's fabulous first grade class; I have not seen any bears or cheetahs but I have seen three very large snakes.  I like bears much better.
   I am blogging on an iPad which gives me few options and I'm struggling with loading pictures where I want the.  Any suggestions are appreciated!

And I did not feed the............or go swimming!

Below picture was breakfast yesterday

Day 2 Aug 28 Nahunta GA to Reidsville GA. 80.5 miles

    Getting ready to leave this morning from the fabulous Knox hotel.  Ms Blanche was waiting for me at the front desk just before 7:00 a.m.  Sunrise is at 7:00 so an early start is the best. Ms Blanche is not only wonderful but very funny.  We exchanged one liners and were both laughing! She had a bag of fresh boiled peanuts for me and even held my bike so I could put air in the tires. We hugged goodbye and she said I was one of the best guests she has had.  That's good for me being an Innkeeper!  The ride was through some tough 2-lane highways but mostly back country roads with pine forests, planted for paper making, some of which were being cut 5 at a time and loaded onto the trucks.  I also rode past many fields of peanuts and large pecan trees.  I arrived in Reidsville at about 5:00 p.m. with the temperature at 94 degrees; the temperature is not bad as long as the bike is moving.  This was to be my first night camping, and it was at a GA state park near the town.  Since it was a mile walk from the campsite to food, I ate prior to entering the park.  And just outside the park was a Dairy Queen.  Not sure it gets better. Those who know me know my love of DQ! The park was very nice on a small  lake, and very quiet with only 2 other campers.  Set up went well but it was hot.  Sitting in the tent was also hot, even at 10:00 p.m., but cooled off later as I woke and got into my very light silk sleeping bag liner. Tomorrow is either a 35 mile ride or 115, due to availability of places to stay; I'll take the 35.  The people of Georgia are wonderful, very friendly.  Many ask me questions and wish me a safe ride.  A Pepsi truck driver gave me 2 bottles of water and offered as many as I could carry.  Riding solo is somewhat lonely but people from Georgia are great!

Jax to Middlebury Ride Day 1-August 27

   So after planning and training for months I am of with a sunrise start at the Jacksonville airport.  The first day is always a big challenge and I have set an aggressive first day goal to Nahunta GA a distance of 70 miles.  The first several miles are along busy 2 lane highways mostly heading into the city asI head   north.  The looking trucks show up early but again the full ones are heading in the opposite direction.  I was happy to arrive in Folkston Ga for lunch after 40 miles and had a great start with the cloudy skies and lower morning temperatures.  No matter how much I ride to train, first day soreness starts quick, with mostly arm and hands.  The legs feel great and the saddle is already making an impact on sitting.  The afternoon is almost all back county roads, little traffic and no towns or stores, as will be most of the route.  The roads are flat and not much to see.  As I discovered on my last trip there are many very small churches.  Only one dog chase, but it was 3 together, this is a challenge in the south!  The afternoon was a challenge with heat and tired.  I did not eat or drink nearly enough as I just was just not Hungary and water was hard to drink.  But I did consume over 110 ounces and do carry 1 of the 3 bottles with an electrolyte replacement drink.  I arrived in Nahunta an stayed at the only lodging the 12 room Knox Hotel, a very nice  and very clean hotel run by Ms Blanche and her husband who have been married for 58 years, fabulous! I need sleep so it is off to bed.  Tomorrow will be hotter and an 80 plus mile day.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Biking Jacksonville FL to Middlebury Day 0-August 26

As the owner of the Swift House Inn, I do not get many free days but I do get the opportunity to have some great adventures, thanks to Michele.  When I leave the Inn she has much more to do along with her own busy days!  So I am starting the blog by thanking her for allowing me to bike.
    I will be embarking on a solo ride from Jacksonville FL, home to Middlebury, a total of over 1700 miles on the Adventure Cycling Atlantic Coast route. I will break off the route in Massachusetts   and head north through Vermont. I'm asked why and why alone.  Why not, I like to bike and these rides are a great physical, and mental challenge. Not really fun but you learn a lot about yourself, have to push yourself and get to eat a lot!  I'd much rather ride with a friend as it can be lonely, but again you learn and meet many people on a solo ride.
    Today in Jacksonville I visited my Grand Daughters kindergarten and first grade classes and talked to the class about the ride. They had fabulous questions; where do you go to the bathroom, how big is you tent, have you ever seen a bear, a  cheetah, and many other fun ones, great imaginations.
    The ride will mostly be through country roads, avoiding highways ( well mostly), small towns and some cities such as Washington.  Most riding meals will be out of convenience stores and hopefully at night a restaurant.  I will be staying in some motels, camping and staying with friends and family who are close to the route.
    So if you have a chance follow along, as I'm sure that there will be many interesting and funny things to blog about.  Comment on the blog, ask questions and send me an e mail.  I will try to keep up with the information but time off the bike is almost as busy as on the bike, recovering and getting ready for the next day.  Thanks for your interest.  Dan